Feeds

Music industry sues Yahoo! China

First step in crackdown on £216m illegal market

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The music industry is suing Yahoo! China over links the company allegedly provides to illegal music downloads.

Industry body the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has begun legal proceedings against the search and portal company in the Chinese courts after asking the company to take the action last April. The IFPI represents all the major music labels, including EMI, Sony-BMG and Warner Music.

"Yahoo! China has been blatantly infringing our members' rights," IFPI chief executive John Kennedy said. "We have started the process and as far as we're concerned we're on the track to litigation. If negotiation can prevent that, so be it."

The case will claim that by providing links to sites hosting copyright infringing music downloads, Yahoo! China is acting illegally. IFPI has already taken similar action against ISP Baidu.

"Yahoo! China is an MP3 link site which is infringing IFPI member companies' rights on a large scale by making available copyrighted songs for download from its service without any permission from the record companies," an IFPI statement said.

"In April 2006 IFPI wrote to Yahoo! China on behalf of its member record companies, asking it to take the necessary steps to stop the infringement of IFPI members' rights. To date IFPI has received no acceptable response. IFPI is taking the preliminary steps required by Chinese law for filing a lawsuit."

Yahoo! told OUT-LAW that Yahoo! China is operated and managed by Alibaba.com. No one at Alibaba was available for comment before going to press.

Speaking at the China International Forum on the Audio Visual Industry in Shanghai in June, IFPI's Kennedy said that 90 per cent of recordings in China infringe copyright, and that the illegal music market there is worth £216m.

At that event he seemed to signpost this week's action. "I have been very disappointed in recent months to see some well-known brand names among the internet companies blatantly infringing our members' rights. Baidu has already been found guilty of copyright infringement in the Chinese courts; China-Yahoo! is now in a similar position, choosing to turn a blind eye to the infringements taking place on its service instead of setting the example of responsible practice which we would expect from them."

"We are watching China Yahoo! closely and will have no hesitation in acting to protect our members' rights if we should have to," he said.

Kennedy told Bloomberg News that he was not sure what damages the IFPI would look for in the courts, but that if the case were in the US they "would certainly run into tens of millions and perhaps even more than that".

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.