Eleven music companies including EMI, Sony BMG, Warner and Universal have brought Alibaba, the operator of Yahoo China to court, accusing the embattled web portal of violating their music copyrights by providing music downloading services.

According to these plaintiffs, Beijing Beijing Alibaba Information Technology Company, the parent company of Yahoo China, began from April 10, 2006 to provide 47 of their albums, including a total of 223 songs, for Internet users to download. They believe Alibaba has infringed their copyrights by doing so and ask Alibaba to stop the infringement, make a public apology and pay CNY5.5 million in compensation.

Alibaba has refused to pay the compensation, saying that as a search engine, its subsidiary Yahoo China only provides links, but not the downloading service for this music, and they won't be responsible for the content published by a third party.

Beijing Second Intermediate Court has not yet decided on the case.

Earlier, these music companies lodged a similar lawsuit against Baidu.

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