Is Baidu A Pirate?

Earlier in 2008 the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) filed a copyright lawsuit against Baidu, China’s biggest search engine, to the tune of $9 million.

Now they’ve gone a step further, and along with the Music Copyright Society of China and the newly-minted China Audio-Video Copyright Association they’re trying to hit Baidu in the wallet by encouraging advertisers to boycott the site.

The music industry reps claimed Baidu is the largest source of pirated music in China – quite a claim when they admit that about 80% of the total music revenue goes to pirates.

Baidu doe have a music search engine, with a link from its home page. However, the music files are all on third-party servers, none of which are controlled or owned by Baidu.

Baidu is the biggest search engine in a country where computer growth is expanding exponentially, claiming 25% of the ad revenue market. To offer a comparison, the best that Western powerhouse Google can manage there is fourth place and 10%.

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