Baidu appeals music download court ruling

EMI compensation claim

Chinese search engine Baidu is likely to appeal a decision which found it guilty of helping illegal distribution of music over the internet.

Although the company did not offer any download services directly it provided links to websites which did. The action was brought by a Chinese subsidiary of EMI, Shanghai Push, which demanded compensation for copyright infringement of its songs. The lower Beijing court ordered Baidu to pay compensation of $8,400.

But Baidu is appealing the decision and taking the case to a higher court. Baidu's lawyers believe the decision was based on a misunderstanding of how search engines work, Reuters reports.

Baidu faces similar action from Sony BMG, Vivendi and Warner, according to the newswire.

Baidu aims to be the Chinese language equivalent of Google, the name refers to an 800-year old poem which "compares the search for a retreating beauty amid chaotic glamour with the search for one's dream while confronted by life's many obstacles."

Baidu floated on Nasdaq last month and saw its share price double on the first day, they are currently trading at $79.53 a share. The Chinese government is keen to improve the country's perceived lack of respect for intellectual property. ®

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