BEIJING A Beijing court has ordered Yahoo China
to delete links to free Web sites offering music-downloads and
to pay about 200,000 yuan ($27,200) for facilitating
distribution of unlicensed songs by other sites, Xinhua news
agency reported on Tuesday.
But in the ruling published on a Chinese website linked to
the Court, Beijing's No. 2 Intermediate Court said Yahoo China
should bear some responsibility for the copyright infringement,
although the music was downloaded from servers of third-party
Yahoo China said in a statement it would file an appeal.
In early January, music industry giants including Warner
Music Group Corp. WMG.N sued Yahoo China for alleged
copyright infringement involving more than 200 unlicensed
songs, seeking damages of 5.5 million yuan (about $710,000).
They filed the case through the International Federation of
the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a trade organization that
aims to combat piracy and promote copyright laws.
Yahoo China's music Web site provides customers with music
search services, allowing Internet users to access related
music links if they type key words into Yahoo's search engine.
The court said Yahoo China assisted other Web sites by
allowing its search-engine users to find the third-party sites
where the illegal songs could be downloaded.
But the court added that the third-party Web sites, not
Yahoo China, were mainly responsible for the illegal spread of
Yahoo China spokesman Xu Yang told Xinhua that Chinese
Internet search leader Baidu.com (BIDU.O) was cleared last year
of similar allegations.
"If any mistake has been made, Baidu made the same one. The
crux of the argument in the two cases are similar," he said.