Music giants sue Yahoo China over illegal downloading

Eleven music companies jointly filed a lawsuit against Yahoo China, owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, over its alleged involvement in illegal downloading and playing copyrighted music, a China Daily report said.

Led by industry group International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), companies, including EMI, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music and Universal Music, are suing Yahoo China for about 5.5 million yuan ($711,000) in damages, the China Daily report said.

A spokesman for Alibaba told China Daily yesterday that Yahoo China only provides Web links in its music search results and should not be held responsible for contents of third-party Web sites.

In November, another Chinese search engine,, won a similar lawsuit launched by IFPI. But IFPI has said it is confident its case against Yahoo China is strong and that it's unwilling to wait until the result of its appeal against the Baidu ruling, the report said.