2024-04-24 06:31:18
Yahoo China Loses Music Piracy Case legislation/news/politics

So Yahoo got busted because of linking to infringing content. That is not a very good news to anyone in the search business: my estimate is that the majority of any content in the search services’ indexes is infringing to a certain extent from the Colbert Report clips on YouTube to blog entries like this one. The DMCA in the US and similar laws in other countries may shield search engines from liability  at least till the Viacom-YouTube lawsuit ends with another conclusion. I wonder if the reason behind the Yahoo China decision is the lack of such a safe harbour.

But nevertheless, this is a very dangerous road to go down. If it turns out that search engines are liable, because they link to infringing content, that would effectively end the web-search  as such.


A court has ordered Yahoo Inc.’s China subsidiary to pay $27,000 for aiding music piracy, the company and a music industry group said Tuesday.

The ruling came amid U.S. pressure for Beijing to stop rampant copying of music and other goods.

The lawsuit filed by the International Federation of Phonographic Industries accused Yahoo China of violating copyrights because its search engine linked to sites that carried 229 pirated songs. It was filed on behalf of 11 recording companies including Sony BMG, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Vivendi.

“We’re very pleased with the outcome,” said Leong May Seey, Asia regional director for the federation.

“We think it is a step in the right direction in creating a legitimate online music service in China.”

The ruling Monday by the No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court ordered Yahoo China to pay 210,000 yuan ($27,000) in damages, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Court employees declined to confirm the report or release any other information.

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