The Chinese Ministry of Culture has ordered the removal of certain songs from download sites. Their list, of over one hundred different tracks, must be complied with during the next two weeks. If download sites do not comply then they will be fined. As CBS News reports, songs that are to be removed include “Judas” by Lady Gaga, “Last Friday Night” by Katy Perry, and, oddly enough, “I Want it That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. Having released in 1999, as the first track of the Backstreet Boys album “Millennium”, is now twelve years old. All Lady Gaga tracks marked for removal are from her latest album.
Certain tracks from Hong Kong and Taiwanese artists have also been listed. The announcement, posted on August 19th, told sites they had until September 15th for “self-correction”. The announcement does not say the songs were objectionable; only that they were not assessed by the government.
China’s government is known for its high degree of control within its country and they carefully screen tracks from other nations in order to ensure they do not contain any political or social messages that run contrary from their own reports. Supposedly, western artists are most heavily scrutinized. This stems from Icelandic singer Bjork’s 2008 concert in Shanghai. During the concert, she performed a song entitled “Declare Independence”, and shouted “Tibet!”.
China’s issue with Tibet has been well documented, with multiple reports on events within the Himalayan region.