China’s dominant search engine Baidu announced a new licensing that will permit legal downloads and streaming music to millions of Chinese users. A recent NY Times report described the new deal that will change China’s image for providing illegal downloads:

The agreement between Baidu and One-Stop China, a joint venture between the Universal Music Group, the Warner Music Group and Sony BMG, will shut down access to a vast amount of pirated music and promises to broadly reshape the way China’s 450 million Web users gain access to online music. The country has long been a haven for pirated content. Baidu has been one of the chief conduits to it, much to the consternation of record labels, publishers and artists both here and abroad.

Although Baidu will pay the costs to provide legally free music the “International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents global music companies, estimates that 99 percent of the music found online in China is illegal, much of it available through Baidu.”

So it remains to be seen how the new Baidu music deal with affect illegal music and international Copyright laws

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