Chinese web giant Baidu has been ordered to pay damages of more than $75,000, the maximum penalty available, to a literary website after losing a copyright suit, state media said on Thursday.
A Shanghai court has ruled that Baidu should pay 500,000 yuan ($76,950) in compensation to Shanda Literature, a content provider website, for violating the company's copyright, the Global Times said.
"Baidu indirectly infringed on the copyrights of Shanda Literature as it did not remove unauthorised literary works from its website immediately after being informed by Shanda," read the verdict.
China's copyright law states that violators have to pay the amount of money equal to losses suffered by the copyright owner or profits the offender gained through illegal actions, with a maximum set at 500,000 yuan, the paper said.
Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo told AFP the company has appealed the ruling, without elaborating.
In March, Baidu said it deleted nearly three million works from its online library after more than 40 Chinese authors signed a letter blasting the firm for providing their works as free downloads without their permission.
The US Trade Representative in February named Baidu on a list of "notorious" markets openly selling or enabling the sale of counterfeit or pirated goods.
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