EMI to Offer Free Online Music in China

If you’re thinking of how to convince EMI you’re from China, you need to calm down and read before your inner pirate takes complete control. EMI is teaming up with China's web search leader Baidu: EMI Music Zone will be added to Baidu's music and MP3 search pages and allow visitors to listen for free, not download for free, to any Chinese track that EMI has available. So, no Britney Spears: the tracks are by performers from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. As with any free service, advertising will be the main source of income.

"The co-operation between Baidu and EMI also moves us towards jointly controlling digital piracy, something that is important to EMI in the Chinese digital music market," said Norman Cheng, chairman of EMI Music Asia.

This is one way to deny, or rather, delay piracy since there are various simple techniques that can make copies of streamed audio. Baidu has signed on the dotted line for legal reasons as well. According to some local press reports, EMI will now drop out of a joint record company suit against Baidu. Baidu supposedly offered (still offers?) links to unlicensed music files.

"We believe that this partnership with EMI will drive value for Baidu users, content providers and advertisers. It also sets the stage for future co-operation between the internet and music industries," said Baidu co-founder and chief executive Robin Li.

News source: vnunet.com

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