Monday, November 20, 2006

Making it easy to infringe

Anybody reading our post back in July about protecting the interests of web sites which provide links to pirated material, will not be surprised to see the decision regarding which has generated some steam in the general media this weekend. According to the BBC, the Chinese court decision provides all search engines with the easiest of get-outs: "the ruling said the service did not constitute an infringement as the music was downloaded from webservers of third parties".

The IHT quotes Baidu saying ""If the music companies had won, the whole search engine sector would have ground to a halt". A similar excuse was used by the British in China to defend their opium trade and justify a war 165 years ago.

If you want to get a sense of how easy this all is, go to a page such as this one which lists the sources for the number 1 song in Baidu's current top 100. Click on song name and a little window like the one pictured will pop up to direct you right to the source of the pirated songs.

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