Eleven music companies, which includes giants like plaintiffs Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group, have filed a copyright violation suit against Yahoo! China operator Alibaba over widespread infringement associated to digital downloads, lyrics, ringtones, and other music assets. The plaintiffs are looking forward to 5.5 million yuan (which is almost equal to $687,500) for the losses suffered by them.
Yahoo! China was reportedly permitting users to listen to music online and download Chinese as well as English songs without any charge since April 10, 2006. The involved companies have also complained that yahoo! China allowed its users access to lyrics and mobile ringtones of songs which are subject to copyright.
Digital Music News informs:
China is notorious for music piracy, and Yahoo China is a frequently referenced example. And this is not the first time that Alibaba has been targeted – in July of last year, the company was sued by global recording industry trade group IFPI. That is just one of several legal roes involving leading Chinese websites, including an MP3 search service from Baidu. The search giant, often characterized as the "Google of China," successfully pushed back on an infringement lawsuit in November of last year, part of a difficult enforcement climate for rights holders.