Yahoo China this week launched an appeal against an April 24 ruling by the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court that found Yahoo China parent company, Beijing-based Alibaba, guilty of copyright violation due to the portal's practice of providing "deep links" to Web sites offering unauthorized content such as mp3 downloads, lyrics and ringtones.

Eleven separate claims were brought against Yahoo China in January by IFPI local and international record companies, who presented evidence of widespread infringement of their copyrights.

The court ordered Yahoo China to pay 200,000 yuan ($27,200) in damages to the labels and to delete the links to the free-download Web sites.

"It is incredible that the music industry should have to defend its rights in a Chinese court against a company in which an American corporate icon has such a large stake," said IFPI chairman/CEO John Kennedy in a statement. "Yahoo is one of the best-known international brands on the Internet, which runs its own legitimate music services all over the world, including in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Yet in mainland China, Yahoo is investing in and profiting from the widespread breach of intellectual-property rights."

Yahoo China could not be reached for comment at press time.