China’s Baidu Signs Deal With Record Labels

Posted July 19th, 2011 at 8:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Baidu company, which operates China's most popular Internet search engine, has agreed to distribute licensed songs from three global music labels in a deal aimed at helping stop piracy.

Baidu says it signed an agreement with One-Stop China — a joint venture between Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony Music. Under the two-year deal, announced Tuesday, users will be able to download or stream new music releases from Baidu servers free of charge.

But Baidu will pay a fee to the labels each time a song is downloaded or played in a stream.

The three music labels will initially license about 500,000 songs to Baidu, some of them in Mandarin and Cantonese.

The deal is significant for the recording industry, which has made little profit in China due to widespread piracy of music and movie recordings.

Music companies have accused Baidu of aiding the piracy by providing their users with the ability to download unlicensed music.