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China's Biggest Search Engine, Known for Illegal Downloads, Makes Music Deal [nytimes.com]
Baidu, the dominant Chinese Internet search engine, on Tuesday announced a major licensing deal with three of the world's largest music companies that would allow Chinese Web users to legally download and stream hundreds of thousands of songs free.
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.