(AFP) – Jun 3, 2008
BEIJING (AFP) — Chinese music industry representatives Tuesday warned the nation's top search engine Baidu that it risked losing advertising contracts over allegations that it allowed the pirating of music files.
"Resolutely countering Baidu, the largest and most incorrigible purveyor of pirated music in China, has become a common goal of the music industry," said Qu Jingming, director-general of the Music Copyright Society of China (MCSC).
NASDAQ-listed Baidu is already embroiled in a series of lawsuits lodged this year by MCSC and top music labels Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony BMG for providing music links they say infringe their copyrights.
"We will take concerted efforts to marginalise and blacklist pirates by resorting to not only legal actions, but also business and administrative initiatives, public opinion and other means," Qu told reporters at a briefing.
The society, tied up with music producers, publishers, and other industry associations, has urged advertisers to "carefully consider whether they should continue to place advertisements on pirating media", he added.
Top world labels have demanded nine million dollars from Baidu in compensation, Guo Biao, China chief representative of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, said Tuesday.
Guo said around 56 percent of Internet music piracy in China was committed via search engines, of which Baidu was accountable for about three quarters.
Monica Lee, Warner-Chappell Music's regional general manager for Asia Pacific, said the industry loses an estimated 90 percent of its potential annual revenue due to piracy.
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