LeTV Ceases Partnership Negotiations with Baidu


Responding to recent reports that Chinese online video site LeTV (Leshi) (300104.SZ) had partnered with Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) on a dedicated LeTV-Baidu video channel (http://baidu.letv.com), LeTV senior vice president Gao Fei said today that the two companies had discussed a possible partnership on the condition that Baidu address piracy on its own platform, but had not in fact formed a partnership. Gao said that http://baidu.letv.com was merely a placeholder page, and that LeTV had broken off talks after finding pirated copies of more than 1,000 of its licensed titles on the Baidu Yingyin video platform.

Gao said that LeTV's legal department had collected evidence on more than 500 instances of Baidu Yingyin infringement on LeTV content licenses, and had filed civil, administrative, and criminal complaints against the company with the court system, the National Copyright Administration of the People's Republic of China, and public security organs, respectively.

A LeTV employee explained that the Baidu Yingyin PC video client is a plugin that uses P2P technology to transmit video, allowing it to play unlicensed copyrighted videos from third-party websites. "During the course of our talks with Baidu," Gao said, "not only did Baidu not address issues of piracy - it actually continued its wanton piracy using a possible partnership with LeTV as cover." "Large amounts of unlicensed LeTV content are available on both the PC and TV versions of Baidu Yingyin. We will resume discussions with Baidu only if it completely ceases infringement on LeTV's rights."

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