China Blocks iTunes After Olympic Athletes Download Pro-Tibetan Music

from the so-much-for-the-lack-of-censorship dept

So, while it turned out to be a myth that China would drop the Great Firewall during the Olympics, it's still a bit surprising to hear that China is apparently blocking at least some access to iTunes. Apparently, an organization put out an album of pro-Tibetan songs, and asked Olympic athletes to download the songs and put them on their iPods as a sort of quiet protest. Of course, then the group put out a press release, claiming that 40 Olympians had done so... and, suddenly folks in China are having trouble accessing iTunes. Not surprisingly, a "semi-official news portal" of the Chinese gov't claims that folks in China are denouncing Apple for even offering the music, and are calling for the musicians featured on the album to be banned from playing in China.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Potato Head, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 11:14am

    Well...

    I am sure no one is surprised.

     

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  2.  
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    Kim Cronin, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 11:14am

    china

    To Be Expected!!

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 11:32am

    nope, no surprise here

     

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  4.  
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    XS, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 11:32am

    Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    Everyone should know it pretty well by now that supporting Tibetan independence and dissemination of such materials is illegal in China. If any business wants to make a stand and protest against such a law, all the power to you, but then don't act all indignant when your business gets disrupted in China. That's the price you pay for breaking the law. I doubt any provider of Child porn from outside US gets any sympathy when their service gets blocked in US.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 11:33am

    So why does China make such a big deal about Tibet anyways ?
    Does Tibet have oil, strategic value, what ????

    They could attain much better worldwide stature if they were to knock it off already.

     

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  6.  
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    XS, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    One phrase: Territorial integrity.

    You don't give up a large piece of your country just because some religious figurhead supported by CIA want it to rebuild his feudal theocratic rule.

     

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  7.  
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    Acricitosilex, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 11:43am

    Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    Gee supporters of Tibetan independence are just as bad a child pornographers. What a reality check!

     

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  8.  
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    Donald Tu, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 11:48am

    Re:

    In a word, uranium.

     

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  9.  
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    Donald Tu, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 11:50am

    In a word, uranium

     

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  10.  
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    another mike, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 11:50am

    Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    Not that I'd ever give China a pass on their rights violations but I don't have any sympathy for the Free Tibet side in this one either. When you're a guest in someone else's house, you don't kick his dog. The Chinese get to run their country the way they want and if you don't like it, don't go there.

     

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  11.  
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    XS, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    You may be against the Chinese government's actions because you have a fundamental disagreement on the subject of Tibetan independence, but that doesn't change the fact that at this moment, law in China forbid such activity. Just as the case that existence of supporters of Child porn doesn't make it an acceptable activity in US.

    And you're right, as far as I'm concerned, supporter of Tibetan independence is no different than Child pornographers.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    You mean kiddie porn is not banned in china?

    What a bunch of perverts!

     

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  13.  
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    Mogilny, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:13pm

    Re:

    Pride. Don't want to lose face.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    "if you don't like it, don't go there."

    Who invited you to Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Columbia.....

    Americans are just scared to do the right thing (support Tibet), because of commercial regions. There is no oil in Tibet + Chinese will stop trading their cheap goods + US is China's financial bitch (with billions of trade deficits).

    Don't hold your breath for Americans to do the right Tibetans.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re:

    Then why not have a referendum. Why do you need to suppress their voices when you know that your communism is better than theocracy?

    Communism is worse than religion. Religion enslaves just stupid people, but communism does it with half-smart people.

     

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  16.  
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    bunk, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    The dicks that fell our towers invited us to Afghanistan you dolt. As far as the other places... well...

     

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  17.  
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    XS, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That just shows how little you know of the Tibetan theocracy that Dalai presided over. Before the communists came, over 96% of Tibetan population were serfs. The other 4% were lamas and noblemen. It didn't matter whether you were smart or stupid, if you weren't a lama or not born to a nobleman, you were a slave. So stop with this Communism is worse than religion crap. Communism at it's worst is better than the old Tibetan theocracy at it's best.

    As far as referendum is concerned, the overwhelming support given to the communist revolution by the Tibetan serfs in the 1950's had already settled the matter. Plus, if a referendum is held today, the majority of people in Tibet still would want to be part of China. But it wouldn't have mattered because people who supports Tibetan independence has never been about the will of the people to begin with, only their own feeling of racial and moral superiority.

     

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  18.  
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    antnee, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    XS, thank you for providing the official China government stance on Tibetan history and independance. This is exactly the party line that gets promulgated and ignores the complicated history of the two countries. Tibet was seized by Chinese forces in 1958, and one could argue they had some historical claim on it. But by that measure, Mongolia could claim that it has a right to assert sovereignty over China, not something I think the Chinese people or government would be happy with. Also, the line about a "feudal theocracy" is technically correct, but how is that a less legitimate form of governemnt than the current condition: being ruled by a one-party dictatorship that has actively suppressed the language, culture, religion, and lifestyle of the Tibetans both inside and outside the region of Tibet. As for Chinese law, it forbids a lot of things that people can legitimately protest against (and Chinese people do protest quite often about things that are not lawful to protest against, like labor conditions and religious freedom).

    I personally don't see independance for Tibet as a reality any time soon (and perhaps not even desirable), but I do think that they have a right to express their desire for less repression and some measure of sovereignty over the region.

    And please, the child porn line is just plain stupid. Stop with the dumb analogies, please.

     

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  19.  
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    doofus, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    Waitasec, waitasec:

    "if you don't like it, don't go there." Who invited you to Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Columbia.....

    Who said XS was American?

    XS: ......And you're right, as far as I'm concerned, supporter of Tibetan independence is no different than Child pornographers.

    Not American. Clearly from Uranus.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    Not everyone supports or even wanted to start the wars. in the usa, at least for now, it is possible to disagree with the actions taken by your country. George Bush may represent America, but a large portion of America Hates George Bush and thinks he is an idiot.

    what you are doing is akin to assuming every Englishman loves tea with a passion and it is the only thing they drink. are all Japanese men perverts who like to buy school-girl's panties?

    the outside image of a country's inhabitants rarely matches up with an individual's personality.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    "And please, the child porn line is just plain stupid. Stop with the dumb analogies, please."

    the child porn is a fair analogy if you are comparing the US. in the US, anyone under 18 can't be in a porn film. they are very strict about that. in other countries that age is lower, such as 16, 14, or even non-existent, those countries view nothing legally wrong with porn staring younger people while america condemns it completely (it is, for some reason, perfectly fine to watch a film with a girl who just turned 18, but if it was made one week earlier and she was still 17, people would seek the filmmaker's heads on a pike.)

    similarly, America views political protest essential to the process of the country while in China it is worth the death penalty.

    the analogy was quite accurate.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Communism is a socio-economic theory. China is not communist. Anyone who says so is kidding themselves. They are as much, or more, of a dictatorship than any Middle East country has ever been. They're what dictatorships are striving to be.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous N3rd, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    George Bush may have a low approval rating, but the Democrat controlled congress has an even lower rating...hrmmm

    To sum it up, China sucks. But there is nothing we can really do about it except buy stuff that isn't made there....oh wait, is anything not made there?

     

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  24.  
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    Jake, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    Tell that to the Chinese secret police.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous N3rd, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    It was once illegal free slaves in the U.S. I guess all of those people that helped free the slaves were addicted to child pornography as well eh?

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    please to understand this basic concept. when you are in a foreign country you follow their rules. in China, you don't mention Tibet. in USA, you talk talk about how much you like child porn (or how many slaves you own). in Germany (and I'm not sure if this is still the case) you don't mention Hitler.

    the Tibet supporters are breaking the law in China, they can't act indignant when the country does something like this to stop them.

     

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  27.  
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    XS, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    If you want to say the communists "seized" tibet, at least get the date right. The Communists entered Tibet in 1952, and Dalai Lama, (yes, this very Dalai Lama) became a member of the People's congress afterwards. What happened in 1958 was a failed attempt at revolt by disgruntled former Noblemen and religious heads, who wanted to regain their previous status.

    China didn't just have "Claims" on Tibet either. In fact, at least officially, China had been in control of Tibet ever since Mongol empire took it over. Ming dynasty controlled it, Qing dynasty controlled it, and the Republic of China controlled it. There was a brief time where the Tibetan nobles wanted to declare independence, but nobody in the world recognized it, except the British government who instigated the independence attempt in the first place. This is not something "promulgated" by the Chinese government. It's the historical fact, verifiable through all the historical documents that all the nations kept.

    So in no way can you say China "seized" Tibet. The only fair characterization is "reestablished control" over Tibet. Whether the communist government is good for the people or not is a whole other matter, and in no way impact the territorial integrity of a country.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous N3rd, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Agreed, communism on paper is a great idea....if everyone in the entire world was not lazy and worked hard to better themselves and the world it would work. This, for obvious reasons would never work because many people would take advantage of the system; just like many people take advantage of "free" government hand outs in the U.S.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous N3rd, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    Did you know in Germany it is illegal to deny the Holocaust? You can actually do jail time for denying the Holocaust ever happened.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    Have you heard of basic human rights? I don't think so....

    I just feel sorry for you (....chinese). You don't have any freedom and suppress others too. You can procreate exactly once in life, obey what your govt says and lead a uniformly worse life.

    Why should I care as long as I get a dozen socks for $2, created by underpaid 10 year old :)

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    Do you even know who trained those people in the first place? (Also Saddam).

    You guys keep meddling in others' businesses as long as it is financially and politically beneficial. You would never raise your voice for Tibetans, Darfurians etc

    Well......... Hope your God (protestant gun-bearing white) saves you!

     

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  32.  
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    XS, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    oh wait, is anything not made there? Not a lot. Even the posters and flags used by the Tibetan independence protesters are made in China. George Bush may have a low approval rating, but the Democrat controlled congress has an even lower rating...hrmmm Democrats are just like abused dogs after been bitch slapped by the Republicans over the past twenty years. They don't dare to do anything even when the restraint has been taken away.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    My best guess is XS is Chinese residing in US/Europe, enjoying all the freedom he was missing at home. He cannot write anything against the government bcos if they know they are going to "reeducate" his family back home

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Both (theocracy, fascism and communism) are bad. In fact any system that relies on pointless obedience is evil.

    Democracy is better. Want to try some?

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    just because you don't agree with a law in a foreign country doesn't give you free reign to break it with impunity when you are on their soil. I think that talk about Tibet SHOULD be allowed, but because it isn't allowed those who break the law shouldn't get upset when when china uses a relatively peaceful way to stop them.

    so, in summary, Yes china is a mess, and yes people SHOULD be able to protest about Tibet, but said protesters should not be surprised when they get punished after breaking the rules of the country they are in.

    seriously, it is not a hard concept to understand.

     

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  36.  
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    XS, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Democracy is better, nobody is disputing that. But Chinese have this pet peeve about anybody attempting to dismember their country in the name of democracy. Funny, isn't it?

     

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  37.  
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    XS, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    At least in China, you don't have to wear a lapel pin to indicate you are patriotic. That's the cultural revolution practice that we grew out of.

     

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  38.  
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    Overcast, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:53pm

    Agreed, communism on paper is a great idea....if everyone in the entire world was not lazy and worked hard to better themselves and the world it would work.

    But *why* work harder in a communist system? You get nothing more for it. It's just human nature to want to get some type of reward for effort. Otherwise, what was the point of the effort? It doesn't even really have to be a financial effort - even volunteer members of the peace core would get frustrated if their efforts didn't help those they were seeking to help.

    Thing is - the harder work is a benefit to *someone* somewhere, it's only fair and just that the benefit goes to the person actually putting in the work.

    Even in the case of the Olympics specifically - let's say it's a 'communist' version of the Olympics. Everyone wins. Everyone gets a Gold. How is there 'fairness' between the guy who practices 80 hours a week as opposed to the guy who works 1 hour a week?

    Well maybe some would whine, and instead everyone gets a bronze medal, except for the 'leaders' and 'elites' they get a Gold - for doing nothing. Yet the 'normal' people have to train hard for the Bronze.

    Effort and Reward are directly related, regardless of what socialism and communism seek to convince people otherwise of. It's just a fact.

    Take money out of the picture entirely:

    Athletes who practice harder, perform better.
    Farmers who work harder, grow more.
    Students who study harder, learn more.
    Programmers who work harder, produce better code.

    At least - in the *vast* majority of cases the above is true. There should never be a system that rewards everyone the same, because simply - not everyone is the same.

    Some people choose to be lazy - their reward should be fitting of the work the put in. Just as well; those who work hard should see a plentiful return for their discipline. Everyone has the same opportunity in a Capitalist System. Those who don't have much, typically haven't done much - of course, that's not *always* true, but usually, it is.

    Garbage in - Garbage out. Quality in - Quality out.

    Just because one doesn't want to put in additional effort for no additional benefit doesn't mean they are lazy at all - just means they are intelligent.

    But in the end - a communist system seeks to reward everyone with the exact same reward, regardless of one's desire. Not everyone's 'reward' is money. Some people choose to do different work and reap a different reward and are perfectly happy doing so. Teachers can be a good example of that. Again, in most cases.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    Okay.

    What is your opinion on this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7572033.stm

    Just like the government said these people submitted their application and see what happened.

    It is just ridiculous. I would guess patriotism is driving you to make such comments.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe funny for you. Not for the millions of rightless Tibetans.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    You dont have to wear a lapel pin on your coat, but you have to wear them on your heart and brain (just as commanded by the communist party).

     

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  42.  
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    ASeventhSign, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    You're a douche bag. There is no comparison between a pro
    Tibetan song and child porn.

     

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  43.  
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    Overcast, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 2:01pm

    I think Chinese culture, history, and people are fascinating. I wonder how different it would be if the Government didn't try to keep such a tight grip on everything.

    I suspect - Chinese people will be patriots even if the Government doesn't *push* them to. There's a lot for the people of China to have pride in.

    Is there pride and honor in keeping a tight grip on your subjects? There's pride and honor in discipline and self-control - no doubt.

    Just a thought, I have nothing personal against any person of any culture.

    Now Governments - that's another matter entirely and I'm not prejudiced - they all suck to a degree... :)

     

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  44.  
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    JPBV, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 3:18pm

    Tibet

    China seized Tibet -- it was an independent nation -- a unique culture -- separate and apart from China.

    In January 1913 a bilateral treaty was signed between Tibet and Mongolia at Urga. In that treaty both countries declared themselves free and separate from China.

    In September 1949, Communist China, without any provocation, invaded Eastern Tibet and captured Chamdo, the headquarters of the Governor of Eastern Tibet. On November 11, 1950, the Tibetan Government protested to the United Nations Organisation against the Chinese aggression. Although El Salvador raised the question, the Steering Committee of the General Assembly moved to postpone the issue. We sold out a friend [again]!
    On November 17, 1950, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama assumed full spiritual and temporal powers as the Head of State because of the grave crisis facing the country, although he was barely sixteen years old. On May 23, 1951 a Tibetan delegation, which had gone to Peking to hold talks on the invasion, was forced to sign the so-called "17-point Agreement on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet", with threats of more military action in Tibet and by forging the official seals of Tibet.

    The Chinese then used this document to carry out their plans to turn Tibet into a colony of China disregarding the strong resistance by the Tibetan people. What is more, the Chinese violated every article of this unequal 'treaty' which they had imposed on the Tibetans.

    On September 9, 1951 thousands of Chinese troops marched into Lhasa. The forcible occupation of Tibet was marked by systematic destruction of monasteries, suppression of religion, denial of political freedom, widespread arrests and imprisonment and massacre of innocent men, women and children.

    On March 10, 1959 the nation-wide Tibetan resistance culminated in the Tibetan National Uprising against the Chinese in Lhasa. The Chinese retaliated with a ruthlessness unknown to the Tibetans. Thousands of men, women and children were massacred in the streets and many more imprisoned and deported. Monks and nuns were a prime target. Monasteries and temples were shelled.

    On March 17, 1959 the Dalai Lama left Lhasa and escaped from the pursuing Chinese to seek political asylum in India. He was followed by unprecedented exodus of Tibetans into exile. Never before in their history had so many Tibetans been forced to leave their homeland under such difficult circumstances. There are now more than one hundred thousand Tibetan refugees all over the world.

    It has been almost 40 years since Chinese occupied Tibet and the destruction of a unique Culture is still going on Tibet, yet the world has not come in aid of Tibet, only lip service.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    first I must state that I know very little about Chinese law.

    saying that however, I don't like the way China treated this case. the couple tried to go through the approved channels for something that seems there is no existing law against (like there is with Tibet), and they are being threatened.

    this, to me, seems wrong, the country never said there was anything wrong with this style of protest, pretends to encourage it with designated areas and proper processes, and when someone tries to use them, they get threatened.

    as a note, just to be clear, I still don't support their silencing of the Tibet problem (or a lot of other things that go on there), but the government has made the issue clear: that people are not to talk about it. when people DO talk about it, they can't act surprised that action is taken.

     

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  46.  
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    Pinky, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 3:57pm

    Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

     

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  47.  
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    Pinky Floyd, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    So I guess all laws are good then..

    To compare this music downloading of music pertaining to the freedom of an occupied country by a brutal, tyrannical dictatorship to downloading kiddie porn is farking absurd and is insulting to anyone with half a brain...

    /I guess that leaves you out...

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    no, not all laws are good necessarily good. but while you are in a country you are expected to follow their laws. America now believes slavery was bad, but back in the day if you tried to interfere with slavery (say by helping a slave escape) then you would be punished for breaking the law.

    if you don't like the laws of a country then you take action to either get out of a country and/or get the laws changed. but when you break the laws, don't be surprised when someone tries to punish you or it.

    as post # 21 points out, different countries have different views, not only on what consists of "child porn" but whether it is bad or not in the first place. The point is that just because you disagree with a country's laws, doesn't give you right to break them while in the country. in America anything that has people under 18 is child porn if porn from another country where 16 yr olds are legal is brought in by someone that someone will be punished.

    the same is true for China. It is illegal to talk about free Tibet. don't pretend to be shocked when they take (again, relatively peaceful) measures to stop the illegal activity.

     

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  49.  
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    Mike, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 4:20pm

    I need my Itunes

    This is so frustrating! I am sure they will open it up, but for now I can't update my Ipod Touch.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    kenjin, Aug 24th, 2008 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Service that provide illegal contents deserve to be banned

    I feel sorry for you americans too. you really think you are free? ever watch the movie Enemy of the state? that can happen to you too heh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    arthur arturo, Aug 15th, 2009 @ 8:58pm

    GOOD !!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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