China's top search engine, Baidu.com, has been sued by a music industry group in China over an alleged copyright violation, the Music Copyright Society of China, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.
The Associated Press report also quoted Music Copyright Society official Qu Jingming as saying that Baidu.com provided 'music listening, broadcasting and downloading services in various forms on its web site without approval, and through unfettered piracy, earning huge advertising revenue on its huge number of hits.'
Baidu is China's most popular search engine, with 60.1% of the sector's revenues, according to Analysys International, a Beijing-based research firm. Google's China arm is in second place with 25.9%, and Yahoo's China site is third with 9.6%.
The copyright society said its lawsuit, filed in a Beijing court in January, claims Baidu used 50 songs illegally and demands compensation.
The alleged piracy forced legitimate online music providers to shut down, the industry group said.
A publicist for Baidu didn't immediately respond to a reporter's email seeking comment, the Associated Press report said. It is the second such lawsuit against Baidu.
The International Federation of Phonographic Industries said early this month that several music publishers have sued Baidu, accusing it of aiding illicit online copying, the report fruther said.