China’s major music streamers are launching lawsuits against each other

China’s major music streamers are entangled in a legal game of Twister, launching lawsuits against each other at a frenetic pace over copyrights. While the legal battles look ugly now, they may mark the beginning of the end for China’s widespread piracy problem, opening up a potential $5 billion market to international music labels.

The lawsuit festival began in earnest last November when Tencent, best known for its chat apps QQ and WeChat, sued rival Netease for 3 million yuan (about $450,000). Tencent claimed Netease was offering its streaming users access to 623 songs that Tencent claims it had licensed exclusively for its QQ Music service. Netease quickly counter-sued Tencent, for allegedly offering 192 songs licensed exclusively to Netease on its own streamer.
Other players quickly joined the fray. In December Kugou, which offers a streaming service popular in China’s second- and third-tier cities,sued Netease for allegedly infringing on copyright on 200 songs. Netease duly countersued. In May, Alibaba sued Kugou for infringing on its exclusive streaming rights. Kuguo countersued two weeks ago.

Source: Quartz

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