Labels Finally Realize It's Better To License Music To Baidu Than To Fight It

from the took-'em-long-enough dept

We've been following the record labels fight with Chinese search engine giant Baidu since it began in 2005. The labels kept claiming that Baidu was infringing on their copyrights by helping people find music. And while there were some questions about just how deeply involved Baidu was (including accusations that it didn't just link to mp3s, but may have hosted them knowingly as well), the company kept winning in court.

It appears that three of the big four record labels have finally realized, six years later, that rather than continuing to fight this fight, it's better to license the music and be done with it. An organization representing Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music has agreed to license their music to Baidu, who will make it available as a part of a licensed service. It'll be interesting to see if there are any crazy restrictions on this, but kudos to those three record labels for finally (way too late) realizing that this was always a business model issue, not a legal problem.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 20th, 2011 @ 6:41am

    They way to stop piracy

    Just give us a way to buy your music.

    At a reasonable price.

    In the formats we want (8-track, vinyl, wax cylinder).

    Without DRM so it plays on all our devices (victrolla, gramaphone) and mobile devices (car 8-track).

    You'll make money. There won't be a reason for piracy.

    There will always be a few pirates, but the vast majority will be happy that they can purchase music to listen to on all their devices, inexpensively.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Jul 20th, 2011 @ 6:55am

    Well at least ICE won't have to seize baidu.com in the next round of Operation In Our Sites.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Jimr (profile), Jul 20th, 2011 @ 7:47am

    I think they realized fighting Baidu was a no win and they need to accept what Baidu offered.

    Baidu is essentially an arm of the government. The record labels are foreign companies. And this whole concept of copyright is relatively new to China. Three big strikes against record labels.

    The record labels just want sources of revenue - Baidu offered them a easy choice make money now or simply not to. Now that Baidu has legitimate control over purse strings they can and will start to dictate what they want or they will revoke there revenue stream from the record labels and go back to hosting the music files themselves and not paying any foreign record companies.

     

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  4.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 20th, 2011 @ 9:03am

    Re:

    Then hilarity will ensuem after PIPA passes. :D

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    RD, Jul 20th, 2011 @ 9:09am

    nah, its just a big plot

    It's all just a big plot, there is no "they've seen the light." They will Netflix them down the road. They will start off with an already-high licensing fee, and then after a couple of years when Baidu has gotten a good foothold and finally has the business running smoothly, and legally, the big labels will increase the fees 10 fold from one year to the next. Can't pay the fee? No music license then. Out of business and they never had to go anywhere near a courtroom. That's yet another competitor to the almighty CD erased, and they can go back to business as usual.

    They learned this trick from the movie studios, as Netflix is about to slit it's own throat by increasing fees as much as 60% (for now, next year it will happen again, and again) while not increasing ANY of its streaming titles one whit, then having to pay 1.8 billion for those rights next year (up from 180 MILLION this year).

     

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  6.  
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    Ed C., Jul 20th, 2011 @ 9:11am

    What do you know, after over a decade of kicking, screaming and infantile pouting, the recording industry just might yet come into the digital age.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Jul 20th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Re: nah, its just a big plot

    If that's the case, Netflix should have a good case for collusion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Oddly, most of the stories I have seen about this have Baidu giving in pretty much all the way, with massive pressure from the Chinese government.

    The recording industry didn't give up much, Baidu gave up pretty much it's whole business strategy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    william (profile), Jul 20th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    Hey, for people who never dealt with Chinese company on Chinese soil, taken this to heart: You can't win fighting a Chinese company in a lawsuit in China.

    Now, I am hoping something good will come out from this, ie. Baidu gets a much favorable terms with the Labels than others in U.S. or else where in the world. After all, Baidu is the apparent winner in this case (the Labels will never admit to this).

    Once this happens, we can all start getting our music from Baidu, thus effectively force Labels to realize that they need to give the same term to other companies, or they will risk create the next iTune Store in China with Baidu holding most of the customers base. The Labels will obviously make some kind of "Chinese customer in China only" restriction on this agreement. However, I believe Baidu will just ignore that (as per usual).

    Of course, the above scenario assumes that Labels are smart enough to realize that. With their past record on intelligence...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 20th, 2011 @ 10:21am

    Re: nah, its just a big plot

    If they increase prices too much, people will stop buying.

    Piracy will be back.

    (For movies: theater attendance drops, DVD sales drop.)

    For reference see: Las Vegas.

    Remember guys: it is an entertainment product you are selling. Not essentials such as food, water and internet access.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Brendan (profile), Jul 20th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re: They way to stop piracy

    Pretty much this. If licensed methods were MORE convenient than pirate methods, most people would be willing to pay a reasonable price. The exact number varies by person, but I would peg it betweeb $2 and $6 per album, delivered electronically, with the higher prices including some automatic cloud backups etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Nicedoggy, Jul 20th, 2011 @ 9:35pm

    Re:

    Let me guess you read it in the RIAA website and believe it right?

     

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  13.  
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    Nicedoggy, Jul 20th, 2011 @ 9:37pm

    Re:

    http://www.sinosplice.com/weblog/archives/2005/08/08/using-baidu-mp3-search

    There is also a video search.

    Now if you use Google translate you can actually navigate all of that without problems.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Jul 20th, 2011 @ 9:43pm

    Re:

    http://www.sinosplice.com/weblog/archives/2005/08/08/using-baidu-mp3-search

    There is also a video search.

    Now if you use Google translate you can actually navigate all of that without problems.

    Meanwhile PPStream in China is big.
    http://www.kavoir.com/2009/04/watch-tv-and-movies-free-online-the-china-p2p-internet-streaming -network-pps.html

    All that piracy LoL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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