Baidu is the latest leading search engine to be entangled in high-profile legal action after Google was sued by Chinese novelist Mian Mian for alleged copyright infringement this week.
"Baidu’s connivance at net piracy leads to over one billion yuan of losses to our company every year," claimed SDL CEO Hou Xiaoqiang.
The three websites owned by SDL boast the largest internet portal in the world dedicated to original works of literature. SDI said the three websites have already accumulated copyrights to almost 40 billion Chinese characters-worth of original Chinese literature. The highest daily page view volume has exceeded 500 million.
VIP members of the SDL sites pay a small sum per thousand words of books. However, SDL claims Baidu is providing numerous links that offer free illegal downloads of works written by their contracted writers.
China Daily reported that Si Xiao, director of the Legal Department of Tencent Company, said the US offers an example of how to both protect copyright owners and benefit netizens. "For example, Apple Itunes charged every song for $0.99, and has already sold out 6 billion songs. Experience like this could inspire the Chinese," he said.