Baidu sued over music copyrights

/ Source: The Associated Press

China's top search engine has been sued by a local music industry group for alleged copyright violation, the second recent similar action from the industry, the group said.

In a statement on its Web site Friday, the Music Copyright Society of China quoted official Qu Jingming as accusing Baidu of "providing music listening, broadcasting and downloading services in various forms on its Web site without approval, and through unfettered piracy, earning huge advertising revenue on its huge number of hits."

The industry group said Baidu's piracy forced legitimate online music providers to shut down.

The group said in the statement  that it filed a lawsuit against Baidu in a Beijing court in January, alleging it illegally used 50 songs and demanding compensation.

An outside publicist for Baidu didn't immediately respond to a reporter's e-mail seeking comment.

The International Federation of Phonographic Industries said earlier this month several music publishers have filed a lawsuit against Baidu, accusing it of aiding illicit online copying.

That lawsuit demanded Baidu remove links to thousands of sites that carry unlicensed copies of music.

The companies that launched that legal action were Universal Music Ltd., Sony BMG Music Entertainment Ltd., Warner Music Hong Kong Ltd., and Hong Kong-based Gold Label Entertainment Ltd., according to the IFPI.