Baidu, China’s largest search engine, has recently taken flak for being lax in dealing with copyright-infringing material on its online library. With hopes to clear its name, the company has recently announced its plans to introduce anti-piracy technology for online documents and books.
The search company was identified by the US Trade Representative as one of the most notorious markets for pirated content. It was criticized last week by more than 40 writers who have signed a letter claiming that the company provided the authors’ works for free to download on its online library Baidu Wenku, without their permission. They even went as far as saying “Baidu has become a totally corrupt thief company” that runs a “marketplace of stolen goods.”
With demands for the firm to remove numerous copyright-infringing books and documents found on its Baidu Library product, the company responds by announcing the new anti-piracy technology that would enter a testing phase in April before a full release on May.
“The technology will not only enable Baidu Library to systematically eliminate copyright-infringing content already uploaded on its platform, but will also enable automatic rejection of future problematic uploads,” Baidu’s spokesman Kaiser Kuo said in a statement to Reuters.
Reports say that Chinese authorities are also keeping a keen eye on Baidu, which has faced lawsuits and intense criticism over its handling of copyrighted material over the past few years. Local media reported that the deputy chief of the Department of Copyright Administration requested the search company to submit a plan to eliminate copyright infringing material on its websites, which it did this month.