Baidu Inc (BIDU) Fined for Copyright Infringement

A group of Chinese online video providers including Qvod Technology and Baidu (BIDU) were recently fined on grounds of copyright infringement. Both the companies have been accused of making it easier for users to find and play pirated movies and TV shows.

China has been in the news for its weak intellectual property legislation. Recently, the Chinese government has taken some stern measures for the protection of valuable intellectual properties. Due to this weak IP legislation, it had entered into innumerable disputes with the United States in the past.

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According to a China online video company Youku Tudou (YOKU), a fine of $41,240 has been imposed on each of the two aforesaid companies by the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC).

Following the disclosure of the fine amount, Baidu’s Stock was up by a fraction while Youku’s stock went down 1 %.

Earlier this year, Youku had brought copyright infringement complaints with other allies including, Tencent and the Motion Picture Association of America against Baidu and Qvod.

The fines imposed by NCAC are viewed as a symbol of victory by the alliance consisting of the likes of Baidu, Sohu, Tencent and the Motion Picture Association of America.

Reportedly, the alliance has sought up to $49 million in damages for alleged copyright violations. Further, it had asked Baidu and Qvod to assist in building a positive online and mobile video ecosystem by putting an end to all their pirating actions.

Baidu, Inc. provides Internet search services in Chinese. The company also offers a Chinese language search platform for businesses to reach their customers. Baidu earned 3.25 billion yuan in advertising in the third quarter and is estimated to create 16.2 billion yuan in sales next year.

Currently, Baidu has a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy). Aol Inc. (AOL) with a Zacks Rank # 1 (Strong Buy) also present a lucrative investment option this season.
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