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China bans illegal content in karaoke songs, criteria proves troublesome for venue owners



PHOTO: Eduardo P. Filho/Flickr

China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced that it is planning to ban karaoke songs that have “illegal content”.

The illegal content criteria include songs that “endanger national unity”, sovereignty or territorial integrity. People/companies that provide content to karaoke venues are urged to check the songs they are offering and report to the ministry any songs that are possibly harmful.

The song-banning is set to come into effect on October 1.

In addition to songs that could crumble the fabric of society i.e., national unity, or threaten its freedom, or the head-scratching “territorial integrity”, China is also putting the kibosh on other songs, such as:

  1. Songs that incite ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination
  2. Songs that endanger national security or harm national honour and interests
  3. Songs that violate the state’s religious policies
  4. Songs that propagate obscenity, gambling, violence and other criminal activities

However, it has proven tricky for karaoke owners to distinguish which songs would ruffle these ambiguous feathers as some owners have catalogues that include over 100,000 songs.

This is also not the first time China has cracked down on the horrors of unchecked karaoke selections. Back in 2018, 6,000 songs had to be cut from Karaoke venues due to copyright infringement.

Examples of such nefarious songs that could lead to China’s downfall were not provided. It was also not stated if the banned music includes Justin Bieber or Katy Perry.

The ministry does encourage “healthy and uplifting” songs, which may leave The Wiggles in the clear… Unless “Dorothy the Dinosaur” is a metaphor/celebration of foreign invaders encroaching on distant lands, spying on its people, seducing them with its exoticism and strength, terrifying citizens with its insatiability. Further, “Dorthy” i.e. a colonising force so strong it overpowers all forms of authority/military might and reveals the government as an impotent shell of military force. The Thaiger will update readers if this proves to be the case.

SOURCE: BBC The Guardian


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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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