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Music Industry Tells Advertisers to Boycott "Pirate" Baidu 206

An anonymous reader points to a story at PC Authority, which begins: "Music industry representatives have warned advertisers to stop supporting Baidu, China's largest search engine, because they believe it is encouraging music piracy. Baidu is the largest source of pirated music in China, according to the representatives, who describe the company as 'incorrigible.' The Chinese firm's music search engine is accessed through what is described as a prominent link on the company's home page."
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Music Industry Tells Advertisers to Boycott "Pirate" Baidu

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  • by gyepi ( 891047 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @04:18AM (#23679457) Homepage
    I only see scribbles.
  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arotenbe ( 1203922 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @04:20AM (#23679465) Journal
    Why would advertisers care? They don't have any music being pirated (or obtained legally, for that matter).

    Maybe they should have sent Baidu a DMCA notice instead. </sarcasm>
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @05:44AM (#23679817)
      That was pretty much my first reaction too. The RIAA doesn't care if my business goes under due to someone undermining it (and rightfully so, why should they?), so why the hell should I care for their biz?

      Is the search engine relevant for my business or not? Does it bring me customers or not? First of all, does it have users or not? That's what counts.

      Whether that search engine is a haven for copyright infringement, questionable porn or DIY bomb making, do I care? If that's what brings them users and me visitors (and customers), more power to them.

      Hmm? Moral? Hey, I'm pretending here to be a corporation out to make a profit, stop pestering me with things that ain't in my dictionary!
      • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:43AM (#23681971)
        I'm just trying to imagine anybody in China even noticing the RIAA request in the first place. If some Chinese industry group told all businesses in the US to boycott google, do you think it would have a big impact? It's so implausible I have to wonder what the RIAAs motives actually are.
        • Motives? the same they've always been - to do the most idiotic, nonsensical crap they can possibly get away with to continue to make money.
  • Thanks! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2008 @04:22AM (#23679475)
    Didn't know about this until today, thanks RIAA! Seems you're doing more to help piracy than hurt it. Bash the (pretty f'ing bad comparably) napster, which lead eventually to the better protocols today, without which wider scale piracy wouldn't even be able to the masses! Then you give these mediums free advertising by screaming about how easy it is to get what you want to hear without dealing with extortion rate pricing. (Yeah yeah news groups, xdcc, etc... but your average joe can handle a torrent a lot easier than that)
    • Re:Thanks! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sm62704 ( 957197 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:10AM (#23680799) Journal
      Seems you're doing more to help piracy than hurt it

      Their aim isn't to stop downloading of RIAA music; why would they? It's free advertising. If they had a problem with that then they wouldn't let their music be played on the radio. KSHE in St Louis plays seven whole albums, uncut and uninterrupted, every Sunday night [] and has been doing so for decades. I had Ted Nugent's Cat Scratch Fever [] on cassette a week before its release, recorded in full from KSHE. That was thirty years ago! You can sample from a radio even more easily than recording a cassette.

      The RIAA's problem is that their competitors, the indie bands, are on baidu. Take all the indies off baidu and the RIAA will have no problem with it.

      Nobody takes issue with free advertising unless a) it's their competetitor's free advertising or b) they're incredibly stupid.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MightyYar ( 622222 )
        You give the music industry WAAAAY too much credit.

        They are much simpler beasts than this. They didn't mind FM taping too much (after they fought the cassette tape tooth and nail, mind you) because the artists still get a cut of the FM broadcast (and the more people listening, the more they make), and the analog medium of tape is too crappy to make a bunch of copies for all of your friends. In short, they still controlled distribution.

        They essentially killed (won) the battle over digital recording the first
  • by freedom_india ( 780002 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @04:24AM (#23679493) Homepage Journal
    Am thoroughly disgusted by the illegal activities of these music companies and their hypocrisy.
    Sony infected many computers with a dangerous trojan, which would have sent any hacker to 40 years in Prison, and they escaped conviction or even a fine.
    RIAA has been ruled against many times in court and ordered to pay lawyers fees to a poor single mom, and still they are loose: No arrest, no seizure of their equipment, etc.
    MediaSentry and other RIAA hackers violate state laws in Montana, California, Texas and a host of states and yet continue to operate even though they are illegal. None has been sued yet and their findings are valid in a court of law: Its like a thief acting as a witness to a houseowner against another thief.
    RIAA would be happy if the whole internet shut down tomorrow but they still can produce music at zero cost and sell it for $29.99 an album.

    The Baidu search engine should show its middle finger publicly at RIAA and also sue them for defamation.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 )
      I'd sue for slander and loss of earnings.

      The amount for loss of earnings? Ask the RIAA where they pull their numbers out from, I'd reach for the same place.

      But I wouldn't use a lot of lube...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mi ( 197448 )
      Sorry, your post is idiotic, even if typical /.-fare. Starting with the subject — FTC, being part of the Executive [] can not convict anybody. Going on:

      Am [sic] thoroughly disgusted by the illegal activities of these music companies and their hypocrisy.

      Hypocrisy is not illegal. "Illegal activities"? Let's see:

      Sony infected many computers with a dangerous trojan, which would have sent any hacker to 40 years in Prison, and they escaped conviction or even a fine.

      Well, that's simply a lie. Sony BMG had p

      • MediaSentry and other RIAA hackers have done no harm.
        Care to substantiate that claim, astroturf? And thieves is most certainly, in a legal sense and in a common sense, exactly the wrong word here.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Most of your post is accurate (even if it won't be popular), but I couldn't help noticing one thing:

        MediaSentry and other RIAA hackers have done no harm.
        Oh really? []
        • by mi ( 197448 )

          MediaSentry and other RIAA hackers have done no harm.

          Oh, really?

          That's MediaDefender, not MediaSentry, although, yes, it would qualify as "other RIAA hackers". I guess, I missed that story, thanks for the correction...

  • by MichaelCrawford ( 610140 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @04:39AM (#23679547) Homepage Journal
    Any Chinese speakers here?

    I searched for my own music [] on Baidu, and it didn't find it. How can I submit it?

    I clicked all the links on the homepage, and hovered my mouse over all the links on the result page, and couldn't find anything that looked like a submission form.

    I'd love it if everyone in China were to download my compositions - they are all Creative Commons-licensed.

    • by zakezuke ( 229119 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @04:48AM (#23679577)

      I'd love it if everyone in China were to download my compositions - they are all Creative Commons-licensed.
      That's no fun. Tell you what, release something with a draconian license then I might download your material.

      • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

        That's no fun. Tell you what, release something with a draconian license then I might download your material.

        I had a scary realization. That actually might be a genius marketing ploy.

        1) License your music with the most draconian license you can find
        2) Slip someone a few bucks to "illegally download it"
        3) "Sue" them in court
        4) News at 11: "GEOMETRICVISIONS.COM sues single, amputee mom with two kids who are crippled (and have aids) and a three legged dog... and their dad died in Iraq as a WAR HERO WHO SAVED ORPHANS"
        5) Public outrage, tons of people download music to see what all the fuss is about
        6) Settle o

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2008 @04:52AM (#23679599)

      Any Chinese speakers here?
      Certainly not. I use only Belizean speakers as they have the most resonant sound reproduction. With solid gold speaker cables.

    • What exactly did you search for - I just entered your name and your music seems to be available [].
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      you don't "submit" your music to Baidu, as laxly enforced as Chinese copy right law, openly hosting pirated music on servers of one of the most well-known internet companies with extensive business and financial connections to the US is still not something most sane people would do. I'd tell you, Baidu people aren't crazy. What Baidu provides is a mp3 search engine, you type in what you want, click search, Baidu will return a list of mp3 file hosted on myriad of other often very small Chinese sites (these s
      • Don't Chinese people feel humiliated because their largest technology company helps citizens to violate IPR laws? I know they feel ashamed, otherwise they would not check your IP. This way, they can hide their actions from the outside world.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by stephanruby ( 542433 )

          Don't Chinese people feel humiliated because their largest technology company helps citizens to violate IPR laws?

          Humiliated? I doubt it. Insulted, most certainly. The US Supreme Court has already decided that the linking was legal in the US. IPR laws, my ass. You can frame this anyway you want. Whether it's on one large web site, or on many little web sites, the linking is legal in the US either way. It's the hosting and the sharing that are not.

          As to getting blocked, we're the ones getting blocked ri

      • by RulerOf ( 975607 )

        music lovers who don't want to pay for their hobbies, Baidu is simply irreplaceable.

        Hellooooooo Seeqpod. []
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Yes, I'm a Chinese. Baidu crawls Chinese websites to index music files stored on various servers. You just need to submit your homepage, and baiduspider will index your music files along with html/etc. The link to submit is: [] The submission page itself is in Chinese. But it's still easy to use. You input your address and the Captcha code, hit the button and it's done. Good luck with your CC music.
  • by Lord Lode ( 1290856 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @04:48AM (#23679575)
    AFAIK, artists may be able to earn more money by putting their music to download for free on a website with advertising, than by going through a record company. When will the record companies finally realize they need to adapt?
    • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @05:32AM (#23679775) Journal
      It's not that simple.

      For a start, advertising doesn't really pay big bucks any more. We've had companies flop during the peak of advertising money in the dot-con years with that model, what makes you think it's more viable now?

      A quick search says that the Cost Per Click (i.e., what the advertising companies pay) can be as low as 1 cent per click. After the ad provider takes their share, it's even less money for the site carrying the ads. And that's per _click_. So if every single person downloading your music were to actually click a banner per song downloaded (fat chance) and the ad provider gave you the full cent (fat chance), you'd need to sell some thousands of songs per month just to pay for your hosting costs. Probably more, since you use bandwidth too.

      Pay per view, even less. If you go really per view, expect it to be small fractions of a cent.

      Remember, you're not Penny Arcade or PvP Online as a musician. You're not going to make a new song per day, and serve an ad or two with each one.

      The RIAA members also provide one valuable service: they create a scarcity via marketing. There are hundreds of thousands of girls who can sing just as well as Britney Spears, and don't look much worse. But there's only one Britney Spears. And boy band members are even more dime a dozen, and chosen mostly on how well they look (i.e. how wet would they get a 16 year old girl seeing them on stage.) Not on any skills in composing that music or expressing anything profound. There are a few tens of million of young guys who'd be not much worse than, say, Backstreet Boys, and some would probably be only better.

      So while it's easy to say "OMG, musician X is only getting a pittance out of the CD sales, and gets all the money out of concerts anyway," the more cruel reality is that musician X would be yet another _nobody_ without the publisher. Maybe a thousand people would know about his music, and maybe a dozen of them could be arsed to show up at a concert.

      To put it otherwise, it's an economy of massive overproduction. If left to the free market, you'd be about as able to make a money out of music as you'd make money out of your farm in 1929. When there's 10 times more produced than anyone needs, and the products are perfectly interchangeable, the price doesn't just go 10 times lower. It spirals down to the point where nobody can make a living out of it.

      Now I'm not saying it's necessarily the best model for society, but that's how it works.

      And the moral of the story is: well, maybe a better model can be found, but it will have to be a better one than, basically, "but I want them to work for me for a tenth of a cent in ads."
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2008 @07:22AM (#23680179)
        > When there's 10 times more produced than anyone needs, and the products are perfectly interchangeable, the price doesn't just go 10 times lower.
        > It spirals down to the point where nobody can make a living out of it.

        And that, is called a commodity []. Your view assumes that people should be able to make a living out of something beyond its real economic value. What does this add of value for society or for any of the individual parties? Nothing.

        What you fail to mention is that it's more than just "marketing". The music business needs to do more than promote the acts it wants to push, it needs to actively sabotage and destroy the competition.

        It is like the inflation added to diamonds by De Beers "marketing" (destruction of low value diamonds). All you are doing is pumping the price of an artificially rarified stock by destroying the surplus (eg crop burning, diamond warehousing, attacking the free market in music). To me that goes against the grain of free market principles.
      • Your story of depression for musicians is an artifact of not embracing new technologies and markets, but instead trying to sell your music within the framework set by the music industry. That approach is guaranteed to fail as it's stacked against independents. But there are alternatives.

        In the virtual world of Second Life, many hundreds of musicians are performing live in 1-hour slots in front of audiences of up to 100 people (a system scalability limit), and that happens throughout the day, every day, in
      • You don't put your music on a website to attract visitors so you can earn that puny ad revinue. You put your music on a web site to sell CDs.

        I'm not going to buy your CD unless I like the music on it. I can't like music I've never heard. The MP# is the advertising for the CD. Yes, many (maybe even most) will download the MP3 and not buy the CD, but you've lost nothing. Many, maybe most, didn't like the music. They're not going to buy your CD whether they download the MP3 or hear it on the radio.

        If the RIAA
      • by Cym ( 1303127 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:57AM (#23681399)
        I'll add my own personal experience, for what it's worth - and I agree, it really isn't that simple.

        I decided to make an attempt at making some money, and hopefully some day making a living (pipe dream), off of all the music that I write. I, like many, figured the old way of doing things was dead, the net is the future, and what works for others should work for me. I decided to apply the webcomic business model to music. I write a song every month, post it for free, and you can, if you are so inclined, buy some merchandise to support my efforts. The back catalog is all available to anyone, and I make a couple other inconsequential updates between songs to keep the site alive and active more than once every thirty days.

        So, a couple years back, I setup my website [] (shameless self promotion), and I started rolling with the project. What's working in my favor:

        * I've got a MySpace page, complete with all the similar musical artists friended.
        * I took out some advertising on what I figured would be the most relevant (affordable) website, Questionable Content.
        * I do plenty of forum posting (read: free advertising), and had a few friends and some interest in my music before the site was launched due to that.

        A couple caveats, to be honest and fair about this:

        * I honestly do not write even remotely commercial music; it's instrumental, and it's somewhat experimental. It's not mainstream.
        * My T-shirt and web design may or may not be the best; those are not my strengths.
        * I don't update absolutely every month. Right now it's working out to about two on, one off, but I've had some longer on streaks.
        * I could play the MySpace / LastFM angle harder than I do, I suppose.
        * I don't play live. Probably the single biggest dent in this whole thing, and likely by a good margin.

        So, no, I'm not poised to take over the internet and become the next Arctic Monkeys, and while I certainly daydreamed about such things, I was mainly hoping to cover costs, and maybe even make enough to purchase another effects pedal or even a new instrument. My total haul from not quite two years of all of this? Not enough to cover the domain name for a single year. Hell, even if the merchandise was completely cost-less to produce and I made 100% profit on it (Cafepress certainly takes plenty), I would still be in the red. Take out items bought by my friends and that would be even more true.

        Honestly, a record contract is looking better and better the more I try to go it alone (this isn't my only musical project ever, either).

        I'm not saying that because it doesn't work for me, it won't work for anyone, but it's not as simple or as easy as one might think. The net isn't the answer to everything, and the old guard isn't completely irrelevant or without its advantages. Going with a new, cutting edge model of distribution does not equal success, nor does it equal easy or guaranteed money. It doesn't necessarily even equal any money.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Comment removed based on user account deletion
  • by maroberts ( 15852 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @04:51AM (#23679593) Homepage Journal was all Greek to me.

    Oh wait...
    • That just means you need to change your character encoding. Most of us don't browse with our character encoding set to ISO-8859-7 :D
  • Hey recording industry guys, I'm going to give you a chance here. Tell us what's going on. Everything. What's the prominent link here? How are they encouraging piracy? Specifically. What EXACTLY are they doing? Tell us. Show us a legitimate argument, and I'll treat you with the respect that you deserve, however much that may be, and while I can't speak for the rest of Slashdot, I can only ask them that they do the same.

    You're all but hated here, but I think you deserve one honest chance to prove your cr
    • by pla ( 258480 )
      Tell us what's going on.

      The RIAA had a hissy-fit over a search engine helping its users find what they want.

      What's the prominent link here?

      Umm... The only thing on the entire page in English, that says "MP3"? ;-)

      How are they encouraging piracy? Specifically. What EXACTLY are they doing?

      Here you ask a "hard" question. Does a search engine facilitate/encourage piracy (or other crimes) merely by allowing users to search the web for topics some people might not like? By analogy, if a stranger
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Opportunist ( 166417 )
        You have to admit, though, that Napster's (almost) only reason to exist was exactly that, to faciliate the exchange of music. So I can see the logic.

        I can't see the logic in a search engine whose primary goal is to let you find whatever you're looking for. Yes, people will (ab)use it to look for illegal material or to find a source to acquire goods illegally. That's a given. But that is not the main reason why people go there and use it.

        Now, one may argue that a lot of people use any P2P technology to excha
  • The RIAA should tell songwriters to name all their songs with "Tiananmen" somewhere in the title. Problem solved!
  • Why would advertisers care?
    They want to advertise their product to as wide an audience as possible, and offering free MP3 downloads is a very good way to attract an audience.
    Why should the owners of the businesses paying for advertising from Baidu put the interest of another business (the RIAA) before their own? That's completely ridiculous, and incredibly arrogant.

    How about the RIAA forego what's in their interests, and help the business of companies like Allofmp3 and backbone providers..

    How much money do
  • by viking80 ( 697716 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @07:01AM (#23680119) Journal
    Multiple comments here on /. tells the music industry to adapt to the 'new world'. This is like throwing a lobster in boiling water, and telling it to adapt.

    The business model for the music industry has always been:
    1. Buy expensive recording and vinyl pressing machines.
    (The price on this equipment gives them a de facto monopoly on production)
    2. Pay musicians a song for their work (maybe this is where the expression comes from?)
    3. Sell disks for as much PROFIT as possible

    In the 'new world' there is no monopoly and ipso facto no music industry.
    • by sm62704 ( 957197 )
      There's a typo in your post, here's the fixed version:

      This is seeing a dinasaur stuck in the tar pit, and telling it to adapt.

      Let the dinasaur die. In fact, put a spear in it to put it out of its misery before its thrashing causes more damage.
  • by beadfulthings ( 975812 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:42AM (#23680581) Journal
    I find myself siding with the music mafia. Not in the "Piracy" sense but in the "boycott" sense.

    I'd like nothing better than to boycott Baidu. Their Baidu Spiders arrive in hordes and spend hours crawling my site. They ignore crawl-delays and denies. They're looking for online poker files that were placed there by some illustrious Chinese citizen or other in an attempt to deface my website about two months ago. That lasted about four hours (from the middle of the night, local time, until I woke up next morning and made it go away), but I'm still dealing with the Baidu invasion. They're worse than Genghis Khan. An attempt to contact the email address provided resulted in a bounce stating that my ISP (Comcast) is blocked in China. My next step will probably be simply to block any contact with Baidu at all, and I've been tempted to extend that to the whole of China.

    So while I generally deplore the actions of the Music Mafia, my perception is that Baidu has invited the actions by their own behavior, which is by no means above reproach.
  • great site for finding obscure mp3s from obscure sources like Doctor Demento and Billy and the Boingers, stuff that you cant buy even if you wanted to.
  • The RIAA is the recording industry ass. of America.

    maybe they should form an RIAPRC. oh wait, china's laws don't permit that sort of group.

    too bad RIAA, you fail.
  • If you don't want to advertise to music lovers who have extra money to spend since they're not wasting it on overpriced CD's then by all means boycott.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker