Yahoo! Found Guilty of Mass Copyright Infringement
Written by enigmax on December 20, 2007
It is being reported by the IPFI that Yahoo China’s music search feature violates the law when it deep links users to pirated music. Yahoo China’s music search has been confirmed illegal in a Beijing court ruling which states that under new copyright laws it facilitates mass copyright infringement.
After being hounded by the IFPI since April 2006, Yahoo! China - partly owned by one the world’s most prominent internet businesses, Yahoo! - today had its music search (via deep linking) deemed illegal by a Beijing Court, who said the service violates Chinese law by facilitating mass copyright infringement.
Yahoo! China had appealed against the guilty verdict reached in the case in April, but this was today dismissed by the Court.
In an earlier case it was decided that another company, Baidu, also facilitated copyright infringement when it used similar methods to Yahoo!, but under Chinese laws in operation at the time they had committed no offense. However, new copyright laws came into force in 2006 and it was under these that Yahoo! China was found guilty, as explained by John Kennedy, Chairman and CEO of the IFPI:
“We are disappointed that the court did not find Baidu liable, but that judgment was about Baidu’s actions in the past under an old law that is no longer in force.”
The IFPI say that when sites like Yahoo! and Baidu - or even Google - deep-link “to hundreds of thousands of pirate tracks” they are “a huge drain on efforts to develop a legitimate music market in China.”
According to IFPI statistics, music sales in China were just $76 million in 2006, with 99% of all music downloading done in a way that infringes copyright.