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Chinese court rules Yahoo violated music copyrights

In a copyright infringement lawsuit, a Chinese court ruled against Yahoo's China operations and ordered the company to pay 210,000 yuan ($27,000) in damages to member companies of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. John Kennedy, the IFPI's chairman and CEO, called the ruling "a good news day for the music industry. This judgement will boost the growth of a licensed digital music business in China and provide better protection for intellectual property in this vast, exciting market."

Eleven IFPI member companies alleged that Yahoo China infringed IFPI members' copyrights by making copyrighted songs available for download without permission and filed suit in the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court, seeking 5.5 million Chinese yuan ($710,000) in damages. The IFPI specifically objected to a Yahoo China music search engine that the IFPI charged "induces and facilitates" the search of music tracks and their subsequent playback or download for free from within Yahoo China's Web site. The court told Yahoo China to delete the offending links to the free download sites. The ruling will allow IFPI members to demand the removal of infringing links from all music search services in China, Kennedy said.

The IFPI represents the interests of its 1,400 music industry member companies in more than 70 countries worldwide, including Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, three of the record companies involved in the Yahoo China lawsuit.

News source: InfoWorld

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