China Faces The Music
Forbes reports on law suits brought by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. These suits, if successful, will have big implications for the status of intellectual property rights in China.
China’s long if exceedingly slow march to intellectual property rights protection has taken another small step forward with the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court consideration of music copyright infringement suits brought by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents the leading Western record labels.
Thought the suits were filed in February, details of the redress being sought by Universal Music Group, Sony BMG and Warner Music Group from Chinese Web sites are only now being made known: $9 million from search company Baidu.com and $7.5 million from web portal Sohu.com and its Sogou multimedia search site.
The record companies’ suit against Baidu is based on 127 music tracks, which they say are a small representative sample of the wider infringement. “The claim [against Baidu] is the tip of the iceberg in a copyright infringement test-case that could expose the Chinese Internet giant to a multibillion dollar liability,” IFPI said in a statement.