It’s practically impossible to enforce intellectual property rights in China, which holds the heavyweight title for the world’s best pirates (of goods, not actual pirating), and that’s espeically true on the ‘net. It’s even harder to enforce copyrights when even the courts won’t admit that rights are even being infringed: a Beijing court ruled yesterday that Baidu’s MP3 search engine was not violating any rights by offering downloads.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, representing Universal Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment Hong Kong and Warner Music Hong Kong, brought the case against Baidu (and a similar case against Sogou) in 2008 after China had changed its policies on unauthorized content online and a similar case was won against Yahoo China.
From Financial Times:
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said it had received verdicts in a case against Baidu, China’s largest online search company, and Sogou, a smaller one.
“The judgments in the Baidu and Sohu/Sogou cases are extremely disappointing, and we are considering our next steps,” said the IFPI.
“The verdicts do not reflect the reality that these services have built their 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.”
This is the second time that Baidu has escaped the international clutches of record companies, and it kind of blows our mind that China can still get away with officially sanctioned piracy with their judicial system. Then again, we would probably be a little more compromising if we could find any MP3’s that we wanted to download on Baidu.