NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet Wednesday include Baidu (BIDU - Get Report) after the Chinese Internet search engine has officially been taken off the U.S. government's list of "notorious markets."
Behind the decision was Baidu's settlement in July with U.S. record companies, in which Baidu agreed with Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony (SNE - Get Report) to pay owners of copyrighted material when used on a social-music platform. This enabled U.S. officials to remove the company from its list of businesses involved in the counterfeiting of intellectual property.
China's biggest online retailer, Taobao, remained on the list of over 30 other markets who aid in the illegal sale of copyrighted material.
The U.S. movie and music industries currently support proposed legislation that would enforce stronger punishments against piracy. Congress is currently considering legislation involving non-U.S. Web sites involved in piracy and the distribution of copyrighted material.
Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report) is trending as it has added a new Notifications feature on its Web site. The feature, which is now active, alerts users when others comment on their activity. Similar to Facebook's Notifications, a small bell icon will appear at the top of the Yahoo! page when a user has an alert. Users can click on the icon to see which friends have commented on their activity or given their activity a thumbs-up. If the user has set personal alerts related to stock moves, those can also be seen in Notifications. In September, Yahoo! announced that it was partnering with Facebook in an agreement that would let Yahoo! articles that users read be integrated on their Facebook pages so that fellow users can comment on them. Now, Yahoo! and Facebook are expanding that agreement to 26 additional global Yahoo! sites. Yahoo! also plans to introduce Conversations, a feature that will let users form private groups, in January. Partnership with Twitter is also expected to be on the way.
Motorola Mobility (MMI - Get Report) is another popular search. Microsoft (MSFT) won a ruling that Motorola Mobility's Android phones currently use its licensed technology without permission.