A Chinese court found no wrongdoing by Baidu in a copyright infringement case launched against the largest search engine in China some two years ago by Universal Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment Hong Kong and Warner Music Hong Kong. The Beijing court ruled that the search engine had not broken the law by linking downloads that infringe copyright.
The IFPI expressed disappointment with the ruling, which left them contemplating their next steps in the face of yet another adverse ruling against the music companies by Chinese courts. In the view of IFPI, the verdict did not comport with their belief that Baidu had created its music search businesses “on the basis of facilitating mass copyright infringement, to the detriment of artists, producers and all those involved in China’s legitimate music market.” Given that Baidu now has a music partnership with seven labels (including EMI) that allows it to legally stream music, this may be the end of their legal woes with the recording industry.
I am a commercial litigator and intellectual property lawyer in Orange County. Although my practice encompasses a wide variety of business disputes, I have a particular fondness for, and am prone to wax philosophical on, the subjects of copyright and trademark infringement in music, literature, art, and film.