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					issue 250
May 2007




China – IFPI succeeds in 'illegal music
download' case against China Yahoo!
In a recent decision in favour of the     owners to provide URLs in respect of
International      Federation       of    all alleged infringements.
Phonographic Industries (IFPI), the
Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's       In relation to some of the illegal
Court found China Yahoo! liable for       downloading    brought    to    China
copyright infringement because it         Yahoo!’s attention, IFPI did provide
provided links to sites it knew were      URLs. In relation to other illegal
permitting illegal music downloads.       downloading,    however,     it   only
IFPI was represented by Lu Sheng,         provided   details   of  the     song
Rouse's associated law firm in China.     concerned and proof of copyright
                                          ownership.
background
                                          The Court held that in these cases
IFPI is an international industry body    too, appropriate notice had been
representing     record     companies,    given, and that China Yahoo! was
including many of the world’s largest.    obliged to take action. In reaching
China Yahoo! is a search engine           this conclusion, it relied on Art. 23 of
operated by Alibaba, China’s largest      the Regulation, which obliges search
online commerce company, under            engines to take action where they
licence from Yahoo! Inc. It allows        'know or ought to know' that
users to locate and download deep-        infringing activity is taking place.
linked music files without payment.
                                          China Yahoo! has              appealed       the
IFPI notified China Yahoo! of its         Court’s decision.
members' rights in hundreds of songs
being illegally downloaded via links      comment
provided by China Yahoo!. China
Yahoo! refused to remove the links        This decision will be welcomed by
from its site and IFPI commenced          copyright owners in China. It sends a
proceedings        for       copyright    clear message to search engines that,
infringement    on    behalf   of   its   once put on notice, they must take
members.                                  steps to remove links to offending
                                          material. The liberal approach taken
decision                                  by the Court to notice requirements
                                          should make it easier, in future, to
The Court held China Yahoo! liable for    gain the co-operation of search
copyright infringement on the ground      engines and have links to infringing
that it had failed to remove the links    material removed.
in question following appropriate
notification.

In reaching its decision, the Court
broke new ground by relaxing the
notice requirements that are imposed       For further information, please phone or email
on rights owners by Art. 14 of the         your usual contact or email alert@iprights.com.
                                           For previous Alerts, see
Regulation for the Protection of           http://www.iprights.com/our_publications/alerts
Information    Network    Distribution     /index.asp
Rights. This Article obliges rights