Majors Target Baidu & Sohu, MP3 Search Engines In China
In what could be the biggest claim for copyright-infringement damages in China, the major music labels have joined together to file copyright-infringement lawsuits in a Beijing court against two Chinese Internet companies, Baidu.com Inc. and Sohu.com Inc.
The labels claim that the two companies promote illegal music file-sharing and are suing Baidu.com Inc. for $9 million and Sogou for $7.5 million in damages. The suit against Baidu.com is being spearheaded by Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Bertelsmann, Warner Music Groupand Vivendi’s Universal Music Ltd.
The case could have huge implications if the Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court, where the case is being heard, decides to award the requested damages. Baidu and Sohu offer MP3 searches and links to largely unlicensed music files, but they don’t host the files. So will simply linking to those files make them liable?
That’s the multi-million dollar question…