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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Baidu: The Ideal Search Engine for Movie Pirates

Why is Google not the number one search engine in China? In part, because the leading search engine, Baidu, makes it easy to search for MP3s and movies online. That lax attitude toward copyright makes it a spectacular resource for users who are looking for free movies to watch online.

For instance, doing a search for Spider-Man 3 on Google Video brings up trailers and other promotional videos, but doing a search on Baidu Video brings up full-length copies of the movie itself.

If you can't read Chinese, you can recognize which links lead to actual copies of movie by the slight squashing of the video thumbnail and subtle color saturation anomalies. That, and the alphabetical sorting of the videos.

Interestingly, the site that is hosting these particular videos, KU6.com, is a leading contender in the Web 2.0 space in China and has signed advertising deals with McDonald's, Nike, and Disney. It's backed by VC Draper Fisher Jurvetson and just goes to show how a little piracy can go a long way.

Baidu is looking to expand operations to Europe in the near future so this issue may get wider play soon.


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