Yahoo China Loses Piracy Case

Beijing court cracks down on users downloading music
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Dec 21, 2007 3:21 PM CST
A Chinese man glues the Chinese characters for Yahoo! China onto a board advertising the global Internet portal Yahoo in Beijing in this 2004 file photo. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Yahoo China—40% owned by the US Internet giant—can no longer allow users to download unlicensed music on its Web site. A Chinese court yesterday upheld a decision that the company violated copyright laws in effect since last year. The US has long complained about rampant music and movie piracy in China, and the decision could signal a tougher stance, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The original ruling levied $27,000 in damages. The company had argued it wasn’t responsible for search results linking to outside Web sites with illegal songs, but industry reps pointed out that users didn't have to leave Yahoo China's site to get the music. Chinese company is off the hook—for now—in a similar suit filed under the old law.