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Baidu inks deal with 'Big Music'

When pirates become partners

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Chinese search giant Baidu has done a deal with three of the biggest Western music labels.

It has signed an agreement with One-Stop China, a company owned by Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music.

The deal covers MP3 downloads and streaming of Chinese and international tracks. Baidu will pay per track played or downloaded.

As part of the agreement, the three companies also agreed to end legal action against Baidu for alleged copyright infringement. A conciliation agreement has been endorsed by Beijing's High People's Court.

Tunes will also be available on Baidu's social networking site "ting" (nothing to do with grapefruit drinks).

Baidu has been frequently criticised for allowing straight MP3 searches, it has also been hit by legal action from human rights activists who object to its censorship of Tiananmen Square material. ®

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