Chinese search engine Baidu has started testing its new Baidu Ting legal music downloads service, in advance of its full launch later this month. The company announced plans for Ting in April (Bulletin, 6-Apr-11), with plans to blend searches for legal streams and downloads with social features. A deal was in place then with the Music Copyright Society of China on the publishing side. Baidu is hoping the new site will improve its relations with music rightsholders, who have long been angered by its Baidu MP3 search engine, which links to infringing content. The launch of Ting comes as the Chinese government continues its crackdown on online piracy, having just introduce new rules to force sites hosting infringing songs to take them down within 24 hours of notification (Bulletin, 4-May-11). Rightsholders will be hoping that the company’s new plans will make Baidu Ting good for the industry. Source: Financial Times

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