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Baidu May Play Ball With Music Industry

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Last month, the music industry, which had previously lost a piracy case against Chinese search site Baidu (NSDQ: BIDU), went public with further complaints.

Now, Baidu “will launch a licensed music search service in May”, Reuters reports, citing Baidu’s spokesperson.

The service would be called Baidu Ting and “will allow users to stream, download, create libraries of licenced music and will have a social-networking aspect”.

The music industry’s main umbrella, the IFPI, which last month wrote its frustrations with Baidu’s indexing of and linking to MP3 files in The Financial Times, did not respond to paidContent:UK Wednesday. Baidu tells Reuters (NYSE: TRI) it is already licensed by EMI by virtue of being licensed by Music Copyright Society of China, but talks with other labels continue.

Such an agreement could be a big win for the music business in China, which is rife with unauthorised downloads and short on paid legal alternatives.

Baidu Ting would be supported by advertising, Reuters report. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) also operates a Chinese music search service.