Baidu to pay artists for pirated music

By on April 3, 2011, 11:04 PM
China's largest search engine Baidu has announced that it will begin paying Music Copyright Society of China, an agency that takes care of songwriters, for music downloaded from the site. The decision comes after years of complaints from the record industry saying that the Chinese search engine has been providing direct download links to MP3s from the darker corners of the Internet.

The two companies will work together in the hope of protecting digital music. Baidu will take note of the songs downloaded from its site, give data of what has been downloaded to Music Copyright Society of China, and pay copyright holders appropriately. Major record labels likely still won't be pleased given that they are being excluded from the deal; the money will be sent directly to songwriters. Baidu also plans to eventually add a licensed content page on its music search site.

Baidu has only recently started fixing up its reputation. The Music Copyright Society of China has been trying for years to push it to protect copyright holders, even taking legal action against the company. Late last year, however, the two began working an agreement to protect copyright holders.

Last month, the search engine was still being criticized by the US Trade Representative for being useful to pirates. It's surprising, but it appears the message has finally hit home and Baidu wants to change, if only at least a little.




User Comments: 5

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OUTLAWXXX said:

F*ck those record labels quite frankly... They are outdated and hoard way more than their fair share of the profit. They remind me of a bank racking in a massive amount of profit for only taking risk? This is interesting though. Wonder if Baidu will attempt to pay American artists...

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Nope. They won't pay out to American artists. To be fair they would have to pay out to artists from all over the globe whose music has gone through thier servers. I doubt they have the money for that.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It looks from the texts that only songwriters will get paid, i.e., the singers won't. Considering the low royalty rates songwriters get anyway, there's a chance they could pay them anywhere. Most of the money goes to the singers through the record labels (which take 90%+ of the profit, so obviously won't be happy).

Jurassic4096 said:

If China pirates music as much as it does Windows OS, this could get expensive. Why else would it take so long to give in? I don't know, sounds fishy.

Guest said:

there are 2 things that come to mind when reading this story...

1) Is it possible that the Chinese government set this up so set a "court of law precedent" to now go after google bucks?

or

2) That they are that stupid to see the search engine has nothing to do with it.... Example... After having their home broken into, why can't a home owner sue the Chinese government for making roads that allow access to the victims home?

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