Starting From Next Year, China Wants Music Services To Vet Every Song Before It Goes Online

from the silence-is-golden dept

Techdirt has reported on so many different aspects of China's online clampdown, that it's natural to wonder if there's anything left to censor. Surprisingly, the answer is "yes", according to this Tech in Asia post:

all Chinese companies operating any sort of internet music or streaming platform will be required to set up internal censorship departments. These departments will have to approve all songs before they're posted online, in strict accordance with the Ministry [of Culture]'s guidelines for permissible song content. Censors will also have to create and maintain a "warning" list and a blacklist for content creators and uploaders whose songs repeatedly fail to pass inspection.
As the article explains, online music companies are expected to bear all the costs of setting up censorship departments and training staff to vet all the songs, and will be punished if they fail to implement the new policy properly. At least some will have had practice, since a similar approach has been applied to online posts for some time. Tech in Asia has the following thoughts on how effective the censorship is likely to be:
The Ministry’s decade-long console ban was very poorly enforced, as have been most of its bans on video games. But online games have been easier for the Ministry to restrict because they typically require China-based servers, and the [Ministry of Culture] might similarly find that it has an easier time genuinely restricting online music than it has policing the offline music.
That seems likely. The real question raised by this latest move is: anything left to censor, or have you finished now, China?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Nov 2015 @ 8:49am

    It's a little ironic that the centralized services created in liberal democracies lend themselves so well to authoritarian control.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Nov 2015 @ 8:58am

    Clearly, someone in the Ministry of Culture really likes 4'33".

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Nov 2015 @ 9:05am

    the USA (not China) sets the standard for new forms of censorship

    China could look to the United States as an example of how to censor music that the government does not want people to hear.

    Although anti-war songs were common radio fare in the US during the Vietnam War, during the Iraq War such music was virtually nonexistent, dispite a large public rejection of the war. So what changed? Two factors were that ownership of both the record industry and radio stations have become concentrated in very few hands in recent years. A single company, Clearchannel (owned by a friend of the Bush family) had bought up most radio stations in the country, and had banned even old anti-war hit songs from the 1960s.

    Many Americans don't realize it, because there is no official Department of Censorship in the US, that the mainstream media market is in fact tightly controlled -- to the point of de facto censorship-- by a collusion of government and private industry.

    China, in contrast, is still doing censorship the old-fashioned way.

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 11 Nov 2015 @ 9:07am

      Re: the USA (not China) sets the standard for new forms of censorship

      Remember how none of the mainstream media covered SOPA until the internet pages went black?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Nov 2015 @ 10:55am

      Re: the USA (not China) sets the standard for new forms of censorship

      ...ownership of both the record industry and radio stations have become concentrated in very few hands in recent years...

      This has been happening in other industries too. Just today I hear the FTC signed off on the merger for AB & SAB. While beer may not be as prominent as media the concept still exists: we are approaching "count on one hand" numbers for any manufacturing and distribution in the US.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Nov 2015 @ 2:18pm

        Re: Re: the USA (not China) sets the standard for new forms of censorship

        "we are approaching "count on one hand" numbers for any manufacturing and distribution in the US."

        We may be well past that stage already, and we are now on our way toward the "count on one finger" numbers for companies in most any major industry.

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

        • identicon
          rikuo, 11 Nov 2015 @ 2:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: the USA (not China) sets the standard for new forms of censorship

          This counts in the IT industry. If you're building your own PC, you have (most of the time) a choice between one or two companies.
          CPU? Either Intel or AMD.
          Graphics card? Nvidia or AMD.
          Hard drive? HGST, Seagate or Western Digital.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Nov 2015 @ 2:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: the USA (not China) sets the standard for new forms of censorship

            "Hard drive? HGST, Seagate or Western Digital"

            Let's not forget that HGST is now owned by Western Digital -- proving your point even more.

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 11 Nov 2015 @ 6:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: the USA (not China) sets the standard for new forms of censorship

          Or the opposite. Where I live, the most popular beer by sales is one that is brewed and bottled in town. Such hyper-localization is becoming less rare in many industries, even tech.

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

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 11 Nov 2015 @ 9:05am

    Please redirect your question

    The real question raised by this latest move is: anything left to censor

    The Ministry of Culture is not the appropriate agency to answer your question.

    Please redirect your question to the Ministry of Censorship.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 11 Nov 2015 @ 9:54am

    The real question raised by this latest move is: anything left to censor, or have you finished now, China?

    Let Tim (any of them) write an article about it and you'll get your answer.

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

  • identicon
    Kronomex, 18 Nov 2015 @ 1:05pm

    You can bet that Monty Python's song "I Like Chinese" won't even get a look in in that case.

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

  • identicon
    Free Royalty Music, 19 Jan 2016 @ 3:02pm

    Processed by creative and music loving team. Royalty Free Music is an awesome platform to save your time and $$ or in many cases don't spend at all, and get beautiful free music from Creative Commons artists that we have found in the darkest corners of the Internet.

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


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