China to “review” online song lyrics

Given the control that the Chinese authorities try to maintain over other arts, it’s hardly surprising song lyrics are now being targetted. According to a report on China’s Global Times, song lyrics found to be vulgar, violent, or in otherwise poor taste now face removal from Chinese Web sites. The Chinese Ministry of Culture has even announced an “innovative” fast-track system to review material.

Foreign music providers must translate the lyrics of each song into Chinese, and file related images and an introduction with the government. The goal, the ministry said, is to remove vulgar music from the Internet including those that are in poor tastes and are illegal. A local professor has even said it would protect students from negative influences. Zhang Yiwu, a professor at Peking University, said the move could protect students and “ward off the negative influences of foreign pop culture.”

It’s interesting that we worry about copyright infringement whereas they worry about foreign influences.

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