Today, One Stop China, a joint venture between Sony Music, Warner Music, and Universal Music, announced a licensing deal with Chinese search and social networking giant Baidu. One of the 10 most trafficked websites in the world and the most popular website in China, Baidu has long been a major concern for U.S. copyright holders, as their services connected users to infringing music and video content and facilitated piracy. Baidu has been highlighted by the International Anti Piracy Caucus in its annual watch list every year since 2008, and in 2010, it was included among a list of six "Rogue Sites" that facilitate digital piracy on a massive scale.
"The announcement of a licensing deal between some of America's leading music labels and Baidu is a major step forward in the fight against the rampant piracy of the intellectual property," said International Anti Piracy Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). "With this deal, American creators will be fairly compensated for their talents. I applaud the deal and hope it is the first of many more steps by Baidu and other Chinese companies to respect international copyright norms. I also hope it sends a powerful message to other foreign websites identified in the 2011 Anti Piracy Caucus Watchlist, such as the Russian website vKontakte, that it's time to become good corporate citizens."
The International Anti Piracy Caucus's 2011 Watchlist report highlighted China as one of five nations of particular concern with regards to intellectual property protections. The report addressed Baidu at length, saying:
"Websites offering pirated music remain an enormous problem. Baidu, the leader among China's "deep-linking' sites that connect users to infringing content, facilitates Internet piracy through its dedicated music service. We highlighted Baidu among our 2010 Rogue Sites List, and we continue to believe that Baidu's facilitation of digital piracy drastically lessens the market for legitimate content in China. Approximately half of unauthorized music downloads in China take place through Baidu links. Indeed, as the United States Trade Representative reported in its Special 301 Review of Notorious Markets in February of this year; Baidu is the most visited site in China, and ranks among the top ten most visited sites in the world. In addition, numerous popular Internet forums point users to Chinese cyberlockers, where unauthorized files are available for download or streaming. Peer-to-peer file-sharing and streaming of infringing music content also remain pervasive."