by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jan 26th 2010 1:59pm
One of the biggest reasons why Baidu has been so popular in China is because it helps people find music to download. Of course, it mostly finds unauthorized tracks, and once Baidu became a public company, the lawsuits quickly followed. Baidu won, but the record labels/IFPI sued again. However, once again, it appears to be for naught, as a court has ruled in favor of Baidu, saying that just linking to infringing content isn't infringing itself, and pointing out that the IFPI failed to point to a specific site that was actually hosting the infringing content. While I think that the basic reasoning behind the ruling (just linking to infringing content shouldn't be considered infringing) makes sense, there actually is a fair amount of evidence that Baidu is a lot more involved in actually hosting and hiding the content itself. Of course, you also have to wonder how much the fact that Baidu is a Chinese company, and the IFPI represents foreign labels, played into the way this has turned out. Perhaps the IFPI could take a page from Google's book and "leave" China as well.
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