Game developers sue Baidu over illegal downloads

Industry group claims Chinese Web giant provided unauthorized downloads of games, but Baidu says it only links to games on third-party platforms, notes report.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

A group representing Chinese game developers says it is suing Baidu for copyright infringement for providing unauthorized downloads of games built by its members.

In an AFP report published late Monday, the news wire quoted Content Provider Union (CPU) spokesperson, Tian Lifeng, to say the group was suing Baidu for more than 30 million yuan (US$4.7 million). A Beijing court had accepted its case, she added.

"We ask for 30 million yuan in compensation because Baidu stole as many as 354 mobile games so far," Tian said. The union represents 25 local, small game development companies, said AFP.

In its defense, Baidu spokesperson Kaiser Kuo told AFP it never uploaded the games on its platform and had no plans to shut it down. The company simply provided links to games delivered on third-party platforms, Kuo said.

The Chinese Web company has been the subject of various copyright lawsuits. In 2008, music labels Sony, Universal Music and Warner Music went to court to seek copyright damages totaling US$9 million from Baidu. In 2011, the company signed a deal with the three record companies to provide free music to its users.

This March, several Chinese authors slammed Baidu for providing e-copies of their works without compensating them, according to a blog post on CNET Asia. The Web company later deleted some of the works.

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