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Yahoo is 2nd largest search engine in China, but certainly not immune to litigation

The problems for Yahoo China are continuing to mount. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the organization that protects international music interests, is suing Yahoo China because the search engine allegedly links to sites that are hosting illegally pirated music. Unless the two sides enter negotiations and come to an agreement, the search engine company will be sued in as early as “a few weeks.”  The IFPI claims that up to 90 percent of all music recordings in China are illegal.  It is not publicly known how much monetary compensation the IFPI will be seeking from Yahoo China and Baidu. 

Yahoo China isn't the only search engine company having problems. Baidu.com, the most used search engine in China, is being sued by EMI, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal, Go East Entertainment Co., Gold Label Entertainment, Cinepoly Records and Warner Music Group.  The record companies plan to use a new law that became effective on July 1 which will fine the distributors of illegally copyrighted music and movies up to $12,500.  In theory, the search engines will have to browse and confirm each video and music link is a legitimate, non-copyrighted file.

As mentioned earlier in the article, Yahoo has had problems because of censorship and what some have considered unethical practices in China.  Yahoo is reportedly the biggest censor in China, according to Reporters Without Borders.  However, since Yahoo is operating its business in China, the company must abide by all laws and regulations of China.  The site is also being accused of taking part in getting a Chinese journalist jailed.




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