Feeds

Google launches free (legal) music search in China

Music labels bang heads over Baidu

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Together with the world's four largest music labels, Google has formally launched an ad-based MP3 download service in China to combat easily accessible illegal downloads that have effectively killed the country's music industry online.

The venture, which also has the backing of 14 independent labels, will compete against similar MP3 search services — most significantly the country's leading search engine, Baidu — that "deep link" directly to music files and whose results are heavily skewed in favor of unlicensed music.

Google began testing the service in August 2008 in partnership with the partially-Google-owned Top100.cn, which had dropped its own download service for the venture. The companies have secured licenses for more than 1.1 million songs from record labels including Warner, Sony BMG, Universal, and EMI. Under testing, the service only had about 350,000 songs available for download.

The companies said they will share advertising revenue with the record labels — although no financial details were disclosed. But in China, Google doesn't have nearly the clout it does elsewhere. Estimates put Google at controlling between 17-28 per cent of the search market, compared to Baidu's 62-77 per cent.

According to the the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), over 99 per cent of all music downloads in China are illegal. IFPI claims about half of online music piracy is done by deep-linking music sites, compared to Europe and North America where P2P is the preferred platform of pirates.

Google's music download search service won't be offered outside China.

In 2005, Warner, Universal, Sony, and EMI sued Baidu for alleged copyright violations and lost when the court ruled that although the company provides links to music files, there isn't any infringement by Baidu itself.

Another lawsuit was filed in 2008 by the IFPI on behalf of the music labels, claiming Baidu provides "music listening, broadcasting and downloading services in various forms on its website without approval, and through unfettered piracy, earning huge advertising revenue on its huge number of hits." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.