9Sky Loses Internet Music Piracy Case To R2G In China
The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court ordered Shanghai-based website www.9sky.com to compensate digital music distributor R2G for providing unlicensed internet music streaming and downloading services - the first successful case of its kind for R2G involving piracy of online music.
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Shanghai Yue Sheng Technology Co. Ltd., the owner of 9Sky, was ordered to cease sales of the pirated full-length music streaming and download services immediately and also to compensate R2G the sum of RMB 89,000.
Since April 2005, R2G has been the assigned exclusive music publishing rights distributor of Universal Music Publishing. In June 2005, 9Sky was found to be providing streaming and downloading services for 11 of Universal Music Publishing's titles without authorization. R2G subsequently requested 9Sky to stop the violation but as the latter had no intention of complying, it left R2G with no choice but to sue 9Sky in July 2005
This case involving online full-length music service piracy follows R2G's recent successful lawsuits against China.com & Hurray Solutions for the unlicensed use of ringtone applications for songs by popular Taiwanese singer Jay Chou.
To put the compensation amount awarded into perspective, it is to be noted that considering that it only covered publishing rights' violation, it is fair compensation – in cases where an award is made covering both recording and publishing rights violations, the compensation would be significantly higher. This further emphasizes the importance of obtaining proper clearance for both publishing and recording rights and this case serves to prove that China is steadily protecting intellectual property rights in increasing sectors.
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