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China's largest search engine to pay for music downloads

Sony, Warner Music and Universal have reached a deal with Baidu. Currently almost all of music downloads in China are illegal.

Image: Andy Wong/AP/Press Association Images

CHINA’S MOST POPULAR search engine has agreed to pay music labels for music from three major record companies.

Sony, Universal and Warner Music will all receive payment for songs which are legally downloaded or streamed from the Baidu, reports Bloomberg.

The deal ends a six-year battle over piracy, which saw the record labels accusing Baidu of linking to third party sites, thus enabling users to access pirated music. The Guardian reports that Baidu will now remove links to sites which carry pirated material.

Almost all music downloads in China are currently thought to be illegal, and the country has 470 million internet users. Baidu handles about 80 per cent of search traffic in China.

Bloomberg reports that a body called One-Stop China will licence music catalogues as well as new releases on behalf of the Sony, Universal and Warner.

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Emer McLysaght

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