Chinese search engine sued in N.Y.

Claims Baidu lets users download music illegally

NEW YORK — Nasdaq-listed Baidu.com was sued for copyright infringement in New York District Court this week by a Chinese online music distributor whose first lawsuit against the leading Chinese search engine is still pending in a Beijing court.

5fad.com, which claims its online music library reaches an audience of 300 million, filed its latest suit against Baidu on Tuesday. The New York court has since accepted the case, 5fad.com said in a statement released from its Hangzhou headquarters, south of Shanghai.

The suit accuses Baidu of allowing Web surfers to listen to and download copyrighted songs from 5fad’s library without permission. China now has more than 210 million Internet users, government data shows.

In July 2007, 5fad sued Baidu in the People’s High Court of Beijing. After multiple hearings, no decision has been reached.

In late 2006, a Chinese court cleared Baidu of similar charges brought by Western music publishers Universal Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Hong Kong) and Warner Music Hong Kong, who followed up in February 2008 with a new suit in Beijing.
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