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 Music Industry Establishes Alliance Vowing to Escalate Fight Against Baidu Piracy

2008-06-03 R2G

(Beijing, June 3rd) Today, the Music Copyright Society of China (MCSC) jointly with the China Audio-Video Copyright Association (CAVCA) and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in conjunction with an alliance of local and international record labels, music publishing companies and delegates from copyright related industries held a media conference, and issued an official public statement. They called on all major corporations including the advertising industry, “to support copyright through practical action, and avoid providing any direct or indirect financial support to copyright infringers but in so doing, also prevent their own brand equity from being misused and diluted by these pirates in any way.”

The public statement is jointly signed and issued by the big three associations of MCSC, CAVCA and the IFPI, together with Universal Music Publishing, Warner-Chappell Music (Publishing), EMI Music Publishing, Linfair Music, Linfair Music Publishing, Seed Music, Taihe Rye Music, R2G, Zhu Shu Fang Music, Yue Lin Music, Universal Music, Sony BMG and Warner Music. This statement is not only the first joint cooperation between the three associations, but also represents the first integrated public representation of publishing and recording rights holders, and it has gotten wide support from domestic and international music companies. The content involved covers more than 80% of the total Chinese music market, and also including a significant portion of international mainstream music.

This action is the extension and continuation of the previous anti-piracy fight against Baidu initiated earlier by the music industry. Since the beginning of 2008, a series of anti-piracy actions has been undertaken respectively by MCSC, Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony BMG against Baidu for piracy. In addition, digital music distribution and licensing company, R2G has also just filed a lawsuit against Baidu at the Beijing Haidian District People’s Court on 16th May 2008 as a consequence of Baidu’s inaction as a response to legal take-down notices with respect to infringing links. R2G CEO Wu Jun revealed that this is only the beginning of a series of anti-piracy actions by R2G.

Director-General Qu Jing Ming of MCSC also announced that all the rights holders who signed the joint public statement have also issued a letter to advertisers and advertising companies suggesting that they carefully consider whether they should continue to place advertisements on pirating media. Also, all the rights holders will call on the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC), to propose that it use the full breadth of its administrative powers to supervise and fight piracy collectively.

“Lawsuits are not the only way for rights holders to safeguard their rights. Though it will eventually manifest as a judgment of right or wrong of past actions, the establishment of a healthy industry value chain needs the cooperation and continuous efforts from various sectors. Furthermore, music content is a product with strong dependencies on variables like timing, so it is detrimental to the industry when legal cases involving copyright usually take a very long time to be heard and in some cases involves a year or more, but the resultant amount of compensation that the rights holders eventually receive barely even covers the litigation costs! Under such circumstances, if we simply wait in a state of inaction, it can only contribute to piracy going from bad to worse. So under such daunting legal circumstances, the rights holders would be better off in simultaneously pursuing and exhausting in parallel, all possible means of autonomous and collective help in an economic sense,” MCSC Director-General Qu Jing Ming stated.

All the allied delegates agreed on the urgency of taking more pro-active actions against Baidu. IFPI’s Regional Director Leong May-Seey said,

“It is without doubt that the blatant and massive piracy of music by Baidu has harmed all players in the industry in China and abroad. This has prevented China from becoming the dynamic digital music market that it has the potential for. We have united with other partners in our stand against this total disrespect for our rights. We hope that in standing together, we can highlight this gross injustice to all the rights holders and the whole music industry.”

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