News24

Developers sue Baidu over copyright

2011-11-21 09:30

Shanghai - A Chinese industry group of game developers said on Monday it was suing Baidu for more than 30 million yuan ($4.7m) for copyright infringement, the latest such case to hit the internet giant.

Content Provider Union (CPU), which represents developers of games for mobile devices, has accused Baidu of providing unauthorised downloads for more than 350 games designed by member firms, said Tian Lifeng, a CPU spokesperson.

Baidu, the nation's most popular search engine, rejected the allegations, saying that it only provides links to games present on third-party platforms.

The case has been accepted by a local court in Beijing, according to Tian and a group statement provided to AFP.

"We ask for 30 million yuan in compensation because Baidu stole as many as 354 mobile games so far," she said.

All of the 25 firms involved in the case and represented by the industry group are small, domestic game developers.

Baidu spokesperson Kaiser Kuo said his company was adhering to the law.

"We have never uploaded games to our platform that are in any violation of copyright," he said, adding the internet firm had no intention of shutting down the platform for the time being.

Baidu, which commands nearly 80% of China's internet search engine market, has been accused of violating intellectual property rights before.

In July, it reached a deal with One-Stop China - a Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony Music joint venture - to distribute music from the three major firms online, ending a prolonged legal battle over copyright infringement.

And in May, a Shanghai court ordered Baidu to pay 500 000 yuan in damages to a literary website after losing a copyright suit, state media reported.