(1) In this case, the plaintiff Zhong Qin Wen found some of its copyrighted works made available on the platform BaiduWenku and sued Baidu for copyright infringement. Baidu claimed that BaiduWenku was just a platform for Internet users to upload and share materials, and it had fulfill reasonable duty of care to prevent infringement on its platform, so it should not be held liable.
(2) The Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court held that Baidu was incapable of monitoring all uploads and did not directly benefit from infringement, but should know the infringing uploads in question. According to the decision, the defendant Baidu kept the viewing and downloading data of each uploaded work. By using current technologies, it was reasonable for Baidu to execute a monitoring mechanism in light of which, once an uploaded work has been viewed or downloaded more than certain times, Baidu needs to inspect the potential copyright status of the work by contacting the uploader, checking whether the work is originally created by the uploader or legally authorized by the copyright owners. In this case, the plaintiff’s works had been viewed by a high volume of users. However, Baidu failed to exercise its duty to examine the legal status of the plaintiff’s works and should have known that the plaintiff’s works were illegally uploaded.
(3) On appeal, Beijing Higher People’s Court upheld the previous decision. This case sets a duty for Internet hosting providers to protect popular works. Because once a copy of a popular work is uploaded on a platform, it tends to attract many views and downloads. However, both Beijing First Immediate People’s Court and Beijing Higher People’s Court did not set a clear indication on deciding how many times of views or downloads are enough to trigger the examining duty, which puts hosting providers' liability in uncertainty.
Topic, claim, or defense
Appellate Domestic Court
Type of service provider
Host (Including Social Networks)
Trigger for OSP obligations
OSP obligation considered
Monitor or Filter
Type of law
General effect on immunity
General intermediary liability model