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Three Chinese companies are in hot legal water for providing access to infringed copyrighted material

Looks like Google/YouTube isn't the only online giant in trouble for yielding copyrighted material in its searches.   China's top search engine, Inc, has been brought to court by three major record companies, Universal Music Ltd, Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Hong Kong) Ltd and Warner Music Hong Kong Ltd, for allegedly giving access to copyrighted music files.

The companies have asked for a court order to force to remove links to sites with infringing material, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, IFPI, the organization handling the company's complaints said in a released statement.  The IFPI is the parent organization of the RIAA, well know in the U.S. for its use of strong arm tactics to try to curb file sharing.

The IFPI announced that these claims against have been filed in a Bejing court.  The IFPI also announced that Universal Music Ltd, Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Hong Kong) Ltd, Warner Music Hong Kong Ltd as well as Gold Label Entertainment Ltd are also seeking legal action against the Chinese media giant Inc and its search engine Sogou.  The action against is separate to the complaint.

Yahoo China also is in trouble with IFPI.  The site, which is chiefly owned by Alibaba and only loosely affiliated with Yahoo in U.S., has nonetheless been a headache for its American namesake.  The U.S. government recently blasted the site for assisting in the jailing of a dissident.  Now the IFPI is seeking punishment against Yahoo China for refusing to comply with a December ruling by the Beijing Higher People's Court.  The ruling stated that Yahoo China violated Chinese law by committing mass copyright infringement.  The company has thusfar rejected the ruling.

Yahoo China,, and were all unavailable for comment.  Likewise, Chinese court officials declined to remark on the case. 

John Kennedy, the IFPI chief executive, complains about the lack of respect for copyright by Chinese companies, stating in a written statement, "The music industry in China wants partnership with the technology companies -- but you cannot build partnership on the basis of systemic theft of copyrighted music and that is why we have been forced to take further actions."

The IFPI alleges that 99 percent of all music download in China is pirated, which costs the music industry millions a year.

China has vowed to get tougher on piracy in the force of international criticism, yet the government has made it hard in recent years to get some materials by legal means.  China recently banned the import of U.S. DVDs, leaving citizens with the unfortunate choice between not watching or joining the record number of pirates.

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RE: and why do we keep doing it?
By kyp275 on 2/7/2008 5:01:32 AM , Rating: 2
I would agree, but in this case you'd be hard-pressed to find things that AREN'T made in China.

RE: and why do we keep doing it?
By InternetGeek on 2/7/2008 5:02:42 PM , Rating: 2
There was as article from NY Times about a woman who tried this for 2 years. She said there were times she'd be hard pressed to even be able to tell if a product was made in China or not. A consumer group (or even just a website) doing something like this would be quite helpful. And I think that if instead of regulating the market the Goverment would take a role in this type of things it might actually work a lot better and cheaper for all of us.

In one hand, it'd be good for the world to have more than one economic engine. China, Europe, X, Y Z the choice doesn't matter. More than one economic engine will keep us all going in case of a meltdown and it could actually help the other one get on track. In the other, some choices might not be just as good.

Just a few thoughts

By SandmanWN on 2/7/2008 7:07:45 PM , Rating: 2
A simple google search for "Made in the USA" should give you enough websites and lists to keep you busy for quite some time. ;) is obviously a good starting point.

I think however there are a great deal of people who simply don't have a clue about the current economic situation or those who simply do not care. The rich and careless, the poor and unknowing, and the penny pincher's. For those people unfortunately, nothing less than government intervention seems to be the answer.

But yes, I fully agree, it is about time to spread things around a bit.

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