China bans songs ,maybe for culture crackdown




China has banned 100 songs from being featured on websites, barring artists ranging from Lady Gaga to the Backstreet Boys apparently for being out of tune with the country's cultural authorities.

The ministry of culture said it aimed to regulate the "order" of the Internet music market, adding songs that "harm the security of state culture must be cleaned up and regulated under the law".

The notice, issued on August 19 and posted on the ministry's website, included American singer Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory", "Hair", "Marry the Night" and "Bloody Mary".

It did not explain why the songs were banned but China routinely censors anything it considers politically sensitive or offensive.

Lady Gaga's "Bloody Mary" ends with the line "Oh, libertad, mi amor (Oh, freedom, my love)", while "Hair" includes the lyrics "This is my prayer/ That I'll die living just as free as my hair".

Teng Jimeng, a professor of American studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said that sex, politics or religion could put a song on the black list but even songs about "youthful independence" may run afoul of censors.

"Sexuality should be avoided, and politics," he said.

But he saw the move as part of a broader tightening of controls over culture given the revolts in the Arab world, which have worried Beijing.

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