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China court rules Yahoo China violated copyright by linking to filesharing sites

[JURIST] A Chinese court has found Yahoo China [corporate website] liable for copyright infringement by linking to websites that illegally offered free downloads of copyrighted music, Xinhua news agency reported Tuesday. Yahoo China was ordered to pay a fine of 200,000 yuan and to remove the links. Although most of the music was hosted on third-party websites, Beijing's No. 2 Intermediate Court ruled that the search engine was still partly responsible for the copyright violations since it enabled websurfers to find the illegal music. In January, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) [trade website], a trade organization that fights against music piracy, filed suit against Yahoo China on behalf of recording companies, including Warner Music Group [corporate website], for alleged copyright infringement involving over 200 unlicensed songs. Yahoo China said it would file an appeal. Reuters has more.

In 2005, the US Trade Representative office placed China on a "priority watch list" [JURIST report] due to what the US considered rampant copyright infringement in the country. This month, the United States is filed a case against China [JURIST report] at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for lax enforcement of copyright violations and trademarks.

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