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China Blocks iTunes 325

eldavojohn writes "If you like iTunes and you are one of the billion people residing in China, you may have noticed that you no longer have access to the eight million songs on it. An album, 'Songs for Tibet' was downloaded more than 40 times by Olympic athletes as a sign of solidarity for Tibet's cause. Ironically, this compilation had songs criticizing the 'Great Firewall of China,' and that is the very thing that prohibited these songs from reaching the Chinese public. Artists on the compilation include Alanis Morissette, Garbage, Imogen Heap, Moby, Sting, Suzanne Vega, Underworld and others." Additional coverage is available at Computerworld. Earlier this year, China blocked Youtube and other video services for similar reasons. More recently, the Chinese government detained a technologist who planned a pro-Tibet demonstration.
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China Blocks iTunes

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  • by extirpater ( 132500 ) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @05:20AM (#24716963)

    One day China's great firewall will block itself because it includes word "tibet" in it's blocking rules.

    • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) * on Saturday August 23, 2008 @06:51AM (#24717295) Homepage

      Include Tibet(as well as things that would keep the developing world out) as a major part of an mmo. Their own country won't let them play the game.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Asic Eng ( 193332 )
      Well maybe that's one way of circumventing the great firewall - just have Tibet-protests on just about any website of interest. Eventually they'd have the choice of pulling the plug on either the firewall or the internet connection itself.
    • Many young people haven't been well versed in the Western romanticism of Communist China, though recently Obama did idealize China's transportation infrastructure in a effort to promote investment in our own. I recommend the The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. [] The difference in our cultures is a real eye opener.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23, 2008 @09:16AM (#24717951)

        Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.

        1. WE are in control Muthafucker
        2. 40 million dead and counting.
        3. Don't make me re-educate you.
        4. If 12 year olds are good enough for Mao, then they are good enough for the Gymnast team.
        5. Pollution? What pollution?
        6. One kid. It's the LAW.
        7. Never too young for a job!
        9. Never met a technology we couldn't steal.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hey! ( 33014 )

      One day China's great firewall will block itself because it includes word "tibet" in it's blocking rules.

      Where have you gone, Mr. Spock?

      A nation turns it's lonely eyes to you...

  • by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @05:30AM (#24716987) Homepage Journal

    Blocking an album containing Alanis Morissette, Garbage, Moby and Sting is probably preventing human rights violations as much as it contributes to them. Isn't that ironic?

  • by Dare ( 18856 ) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @05:35AM (#24717007)

    Shouldn't that be "China Blocks iTunes Store"? What is this, Internet News by Joe Sixpack?

  • From the article

    "It seems like suspending iTunes is punishment for iTunes, but really it doesn't hurt iTunes, it hurts us," said a note on Chinese Apple fan site, according to the AP.

    Do Chinese leaders actually think what they are doing punishes iTunes? Mayhaps, a more devious conclusion; like the applications to protest in the "authorized protest zone", they are trying to incite outrage among hidden dissidents to... strengthen their unpaid labor force.

    Or maybe its just the technologically incompetent trying to rule the unruly propaganda machine that is technology with an iron (outdated; see steel) fist. Or both?

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @06:18AM (#24717173) Journal

    That will send a strong message to the chinese leaders, a country with over a billion people in a world of 6 billion people and a olympic event involving hundreds if not thousands of athletes and their support staff. 40 downloads.

    Guess that shows just how much athletes really care about peace and such.

    Did I download it? No, but then I don't try to pretend that my sporting event is anything else then an ego trip to prove I am better then everyone else.

    Frankly, the truth is nobody really cares about Tibet. Oh we might buy the t-shirt but we also buy t-shirts with the logo of a soda brand or whatever band the music industry pushed on us.

    Show me an athlete who refuses his medal to make a point and then I might think the olympics are any different from the soccer world championship.

    • In a day and age when athletes are bought by the highest bidder to go and compete for them, you're asking for them to take the moral high ground?

  • !Ironic! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Facegarden ( 967477 ) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @07:19AM (#24717399)

    Soo... I hate to say it (err, okay, that's a lie, i love pointing these out!), but china blocking a song protesting china blocking things isn't irony! It's just not!

    Irony is (roughly) when something happens that is the opposite of what expected... but if you criticize a tyrant... you can expect to get censored!

  • Not blocked! (Score:5, Informative)

    by unicorn_2003_1 ( 926541 ) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @07:39AM (#24717485)
    Seriously, I'm in China and iTunes Store is all fine for me. Get a life.
  • Ironically? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by torstenvl ( 769732 )

    I'm boycotting this discussion (except, obviosuly, for this post) for incorrect use of "ironically"

  • Makes you think (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Vexorian ( 959249 )
    Would the US ban an album called songs for Guantanamo? Hmnn, interesting.
  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @10:17AM (#24718347)

    It would pretty much make the chinese firewall moot.


  • I am shocked! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JoeD ( 12073 ) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @10:19AM (#24718369) Homepage

    I am shocked - SHOCKED - that a repressive totalitarian regime would censor something criticizing it.

    Oh wait. I'm not.

    I'm shocked that people keep forgetting that China is ruled by a repressive totalitarian regime.

  • Downloading something is a pretty modest show of solidarity because hardly anyone will notice.

    I know the Olympics aren't supposed to be "politicized", but let's not be hypocrites: it's ALL about politics, and the fact that they are in Beijing this year is a huge political stunt.

    If a bunch of athletes want to protest China's activities, I think they should go all the way and have a walk off. Just get to the starting line, wait for the buzzer, then stand there like an idiot until the others finish their run.

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik