Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why Katy And Gaga Were Banned In China

Lady Gaga image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
China may be the biggest market in the world, but it's still one of the most difficult to crack. Just ask Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. While Gaga and Katy may have substantial followings in China, you still have to get by the Chinese government, who appears to not be buying what they're selling at the moment. Both Gaga and Perry made a list of 100 songs that China's Ministry of Culture has ordered Chinese websites to remove by September 15.

According to a story, "Gaga racked up six songs on the list, all from her most recent album Born This Way. "The Edge of Glory," "Hair," "Marry the Night," "Americano," "Judas" and "Bloody Mary" were all included in the ministry's announcement, while the album's title track was included in an earlier list that the government issued. Perry placed twice in China's latest banned-songs collection, with "E.T." and "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)."

But they're not the only ones. Beyonce's "Run the World (Girls)," Britney Spears' "Burning Up," and even the 1999 Backstreet Boys hit "I Want it That Way" all made the list as well.

So why did the government choose to ban these songs? According to the ministry, allowing the songs on its list to be shared and downloaded over the web has "endangered national cultural safety" for one thing. For another, the tunes in question had not been registered with and reviewed by the ministry, which makes you wonder how they decided that they were a threat to national security in the first place.

According to ministry guidelines, all imported digital music needs to be translated into Chinese and submitted to the government before online distribution is permitted. The crackdown applies to all websites, including personal sites.

While these songs may not be the height of taste and culture, they're about as far away from a dissenting political voice that you can get. It just goes to show that even though the Internet allows you to access the world and for the world to access you, sometimes there can be large impediments in the way.
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