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China Blocks iTunes

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the protesters-need-oxygen-let's-ban-that dept.

Censorship 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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325 comments

Me play joke? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24716955)

Frosty piss in your coke.

this is getting interesting (5, Funny)

extirpater (132500) | more than 5 years ago | (#24716963)

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

Re:this is getting interesting (4, Funny)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717295)

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:this is getting interesting (2, Insightful)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717453)

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.

Re:this is getting interesting (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717487)

Oooo! Or, we could fill up Tienanmen square with peaceful people in protest. Then they'd have the choice of listening to us or just mowing us all down.

Re:this is getting interesting (5, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717615)

Oooo! Or, we could fill up Tienanmen square with peaceful people in protest.

No, this is bound to work :
"'Songs for Tibet' was downloaded more than 40 times by Olympic athletes as a sign of solidarity for Tibet's cause"

If this doesn't make the world take the notice, nothing will. I mean *40 times*, that's probably as many as 40 people. Downloading an album from iTunes. Now *that's* solidarity !

Take that China !

Re:this is getting interesting (3, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717555)

They'd pull the internet connection; don't kid yourself.

Re:this is getting interesting (2, Interesting)

Rhapsody Scarlet (1139063) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717749)

They'd pull the internet connection; don't kid yourself.

So they either give up the firewall and open up, or kill the internet access entirely and cut themselves off from what has proven to be the single most important invention of recent years. It's lose-lose for them, and win-win for us. What have we got to lose?

Re:this is getting interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717483)

Workaround: match "t" + "i" + "b" + "e" + "t" instead.

Re:this is getting interesting (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717531)

And pathetic American losers will block "Guantanamera"...
iTunes is not blocked in China because of the great firewall. It is blocked anywhere in the world (Brazil, Africa, China, etc...) because of the Music Industry Property rights. The songs sold in iTunes can't be commercialized outside of the US or Europe. In Brazil, if you want to download songs in iTunes you need to use a VPN and an American IP.
So, before you basement dwellers think you know anything about politics and decide to criticize the evil China, check with Apple which countries in the world are on their allowed list.
It is Apple, not China, who blocks the songs...

Re:this is getting interesting (1)

Lachlan Hunt (1021263) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717601)

No, if you RTFA, you'll see that it's China who have blocked access to it. Ordinarily, it's possible to access any localised iTunes store from anywhere in the world. That's why I can buy from the Australian iTunes store, even though I'm currently overseas. So Americans who are in China should be able to purchase from the USA store.

Western Romanticism (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717535)

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. [youtube.com] The difference in our cultures is a real eye opener.

If you don't like what we do, don't come here (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24716973)

I don't come there to complain about Bush killing babies by the 1000s do I? Do I complain about New Orleans left to rot? Do I complain about Paris Hilton? Yes, yes I do, but then even we can't stand her.

To be fair to China (5, Funny)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#24716987)

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?

Re:To be fair to China (5, Funny)

tyle (1243518) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717035)

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?

It's like rain on your wedding day, It's a free ride when you've already paid, It's the good advice that you just didn't take, Who would've thought ... it figures

Re:To be fair to China (1, Insightful)

Turnpike Lad (1006707) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717401)

The Great Firewall of China blocking a song that criticizes the Great Firewall of China is not ironic. It would be ironic if the Great Firewall of China blocked a song that _praised_ the Great Firewall of China.

Re:To be fair to China (4, Funny)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717043)

In fairness to China, they make the iPod, so they should get a veto over what crap people listen to on it.

New moderation request (1)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717067)

+0 Funny until logic like that becomes commonplace

Re:To be fair to China (3, Funny)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717093)

Isn't that ironic?

...Don't ya think?

Re:To be fair to China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717421)

I hope Sting realizes that we all share the same biology,
regardless of ideology. Hasn't he wondered if the Chinese love their children too?

Look on the bright side (0, Redundant)

Miladinoski (1280850) | more than 5 years ago | (#24716995)

They won't be able to buy Apple's DRM protected music. Boo hoo Apple.

iTunes != iTunes Store (5, Insightful)

Dare (18856) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717007)

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

Re:iTunes != iTunes Store (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717299)

An interestingly accurate definition of most /. summaries...
Still a great selection of poorly summed-up news.

Re:iTunes != iTunes Store (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717477)

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

If it's redneck news shouldn't that be "Chinar Blocs Itunes Storr"?

Re:iTunes != iTunes Store (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717495)

Still, it would be smart to outright prohibit iTunes. That POS bloatware is worse than the abomination Creative unleashed upon the world with it's Zen MP3 players half a decade ago. I don't know a piece of software that is as slow, buggy and bloated and comes bundled with that much crapware (Quicktime and Safari anyone?) that the average user almost has to install if she wants to use it.

But hey, it's Apple. It's got to be awesome. If iTunes was a Microsoft product the DOJ would probably launch another investigation. I just love Apple hypocrites. And I particularly love fixing their overpriced crap computers for them when their fancy little userfriendly GUIs don't allow them to do what they want. That's if I'm getting paid for it. Otherwise, well, call your yogurt-eating guru and have him fix it because I'm not going to help you.

Re:iTunes != iTunes Store (1)

El Icaro (816679) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717583)

You realize you can pick to not install Safari right? Though they do advertise it as recommended.

Quicktime contains Apple's own codecs for music / media playing that iTunes uses. They really should bundle them separately, but i can just choose not to use them and i'm fine.

Not to mention, iTunes is still waaay better to organize large collections of music than any other app. I love the way they layout the files in the music directory, makes moving it so much easier.

Re:iTunes != iTunes Store (1, Troll)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717645)

Safari marks itself to be installed -every single damn time-. I have to uncheck the box every time.

Yeah that pisses me off.

Every country has a different threshold (1, Insightful)

burnitdown (1076427) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717057)

We ban child porn and bomb making instructions, they ban bad music that criticizes the government.

If anything they should be consistent and just ban bad music.

How is it our place to criticize them? A country should be able to make decisions about what ideas it tolerates within its borders. Not all countries will make the same decision.

Not everyone agrees with us enlightened, progressive, "free" Westerners. Get over it and get over yourselves. There's no scientific proof that our way is the universal right!

Re:Every country has a different threshold (3, Insightful)

saihung (19097) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717091)

They have the power to kill free debate and discussion within their borders. That's true. They have the power to murder Tibetans and then tell the rest of the country that Tibetans are very happy to be part of China, on pain of imprisonment.

But as a free people, we have the right to point and them and call them cowards. That's about our freedom to call it like we see it. As long as there is freedom of speech anywhere in the world, then no one has the "right" to not have their evil discussed abroad.

Re:Every country has a different threshold (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717159)

But as a free people, we have the right to point and them and call them cowards. That's about our freedom to call it like we see it. As long as there is freedom of speech anywhere in the world, then no one has the "right" to not have their evil discussed abroad.

How brave, I think foreign leaders will be impressed and change their evil ways.

This message was brought to you from a Free Speech Zone.

Re:Every country has a different threshold (4, Insightful)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717435)

How brave, I think foreign leaders will be impressed and change their evil ways.

*shrug* - the apartheid regime owes it's downfall partly due to economic sanctions by the western world. You can't achieve everything just by getting public opinion in the west on your side. But the western world is powerful, and public opinion is a powerful factor in the western world.

You are right that you don't have to be brave to protest for Tibet while living in the US, you just have to be willing to get of your butt. So what?

Re:Every country has a different threshold (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717341)

I'm pretty sure the Chinese people have all the freedom they could wish for to criticise the American government as well. That's not about freedom, and what you're describing isn't about freedom. Does that mean you're unfree, or just that you're an idiot?

Re:Every country has a different threshold (4, Insightful)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717313)

How is it our place to criticize them? A country should be able to make decisions about what ideas it tolerates within its borders. Not all countries will make the same decision.

So we should accept another country's right to censorship because that's the moral thing to do? How come that moral concept is universal, and the moral concept of human rights is not? I don't see how that position makes sense.

Re:Every country has a different threshold (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717627)

We should in theory, but only if people are free (both politically and economically) to leave the country at will. If people choose to live in a totalitarian state, then I don't have a problem with it, but somewhere like China has strict controls on emigration and a population so large that if a sizeable proportion of them wanted to leave the rest of the world couldn't easily accommodate them.

Re:Every country has a different threshold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717359)

How is it our place to criticize them? A country should be able to make decisions about what ideas it tolerates within its borders. Not all countries will make the same decision. Not everyone agrees with us enlightened, progressive, "free" Westerners. Get over it and get over yourselves. There's no scientific proof that our way is the universal right!

There you have a perfect example of a moral relativist. Doesn't make much sense when you look at it closely, does it? I truly feel sorry for him. What a sad life he must lead.

Re:Every country has a different threshold (2, Interesting)

cloakable (885764) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717621)

Actually it makes perfect sense to me.

I'm English. I therefore don't have the right to carry a firearm. This would probably cause (possibly armed) riots in the streets over in the USA. Me? I'm perfectly happy not carrying one, and knowing that the people I see aren't going to be carrying one.

Re:Every country has a different threshold (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717775)

Unless they're criminals. :P

Re:Every country has a different threshold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717403)

How is it our place to criticize them?

Because we are free people. If you don't like being around free people, then you should move to a fascist country, like China.

There's no scientific proof that our way is the universal right!

No, but theirs definitely isn't.

Re:Every country has a different threshold (2, Informative)

netcrusher88 (743318) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717427)

Two things to note:

Number one, we don't ban bomb making instructions. Google "Anarchist's Cookbook". Get your facts straight before attempting to troll.

Number two, the ban on child pornography is not because the porn itself is obscene, it is because its production is harmful. See this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashcroft_v._Free_Speech_Coalition#Majority_opinion [wikipedia.org]

Laws prohibiting the distribution and possession of child pornography ban speech because of the manner in which it is produced, regardless of its serious literary or artistic value.

If you don't understand how this is different from China blocking all of iTMS because a handful of songs protested their takeover and violent suppression of a sovereign nation, by all means emigrate to China.

Please no comparing Tibet to Iraq here. One might recall that we're in the final stages of talks with Iraq to fully remove American troops over time (having already handed over control of the nation to the new government), where China refuses to recognize the existence of Tibet as a separate culture and violently suppresses any suggestion that they do. Go ahead and see what happens when you walk down the street in DC with a tape of Iraq war protest songs in a ghetto blaster. Hint: odd looks, but nothing else.

Re:Every country has a different threshold (4, Interesting)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717489)

Gah, I hate getting roped into bickering on the Internet (which is different from arguing), but that just irritated me so much I have to respond before someone Godwins this thread.

"A country should be able to make decisions about what ideas it tolerates within its borders."

If you take the liberal constitutional approach, the one with all the founding fathers and such, no, absolutely not. If you take the ancient Athenian view, the one that killed Socrates, then yes, but only under a democratic government. Since the Chinese government is not democratically elected or accountable to "the people," you're conflating the "country" with the "people in power." That's okay, I guess, as long as you have some rationale for determining the legitimacy of the Chinese regime. Is that justification simply that the people in power have a right to speak for the country simply because they were able to pull themselves up to the top---e.g., might makes right? As far as I know that particular sophistry was debunked thousands of years ago (again, see Socrates). Is there some sort of divine authority that legitimizes the CCP's authority---doubtful, since they're atheistic. Capitalism has taken hold with a vengeance in China, so I guess Marxism's out the door. So what's the source of the Chinese government's "right" to do anything?

"There's no scientific proof that our way is the universal right!"

That might be because ethics does not pose any scientific questions. But maybe you're right; as long as there's one guy out there who doesn't agree with us, we should all abandon our principles for fear of offending his sensibilities.

Okay, that was horrible.

Nazis.
Nazis.
Nazis.

Re:Every country has a different threshold (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717655)

I hate getting roped into bickering on the Internet..

That's why I find that spewing complete nonsense, with some kernel fact and truth, therapeutic. I think if I get good enough, I may get an editorial job at CNN or Fox News.

Re:Every country has a different threshold (0, Flamebait)

Bazman (4849) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717499)

I'm having trouble finding out what treaties and conventions the Chinese government has actually ratified or signed, but when they say they will - or will work towards - abiding by this or that UN Human Rights agreement, then yes, it is our business.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0WDQ/is_2005_Sept_5/ai_n15403393 [findarticles.com]

  "The covenant is a 29-year-old agreement that calls on nations to let their people freely determine their political status and not be arbitrarily arrested. China signed the agreement in 1998, but has not ratified it."

  I'm quite happy for them to torture, murder, enslave, and restrict the activities of their own people as much as they like as long as they admit it. No problem. But when they say 'oh, we're nice people really' and carry on, well then I just CANT STAND hypocrisy....

Re:Every country has a different threshold (4, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717547)

Not everyone agrees with us enlightened, progressive, "free" Westerners. Get over it and get over yourselves. There's no scientific proof that our way is the universal right!

The West kicked the ass of the totalitarian regimes of Nazi Germany and Italy in WWII, and then watched communism crumble into the ground. Politically free, free market societies simply tend to do better in the long run than repressive, totalitarian societies. Or look at the Arab dictatorships of the Middle East: sure, a lot of them are wealthy, but they're basically all failures. In scientific terms they have produced nothing, in economic terms they produce nothing except oil, and in military terms, none of them could take on Israel in a fight.

Suppressing political discourse and reporting basically means that the government is no longer accountable for its failures. For instance, if a family protests the fact that a school collapsed in an earthquake and killed their daughter, and you arrest the family (which is the kind of shit the Chinese government is currently doing), well sure it helps the government maintain control. But it also means that the corrupt people who built the substandard schools go free and the problem doesn't get fixed. Perhaps you get stability, but in the long run the lack of government accountability means that the system lacks the ability to improve itself and adapt to changing conditions. Basically, you're saying that the ideas and opinions of 99% of your population aren't worth listening to. That's just a stupid way to run a society. And keep in mind that for all of China's impressive economic growth, the vast majority of the country is still dirt poor. They've managed to create a middle and upper class, but it remains to be seen whether the rest of the country can share in the gains.

Re:Every country has a different threshold (1)

penix1 (722987) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717683)

In scientific terms they have produced nothing, in economic terms they produce nothing except oil, and in military terms, none of them could take on Israel in a fight.

To be fair, the only reason Israel is still on the map is because of US military support. Israel couldn't defend itself without the arms, both conventional and nuclear, that the US gives them. And since you are going on about production, what exactly has Israel produced for the world except a continued source of strife in the middle east? It is the continued support the US gives to Israel, even when Israel is the aggressor, that is the real root cause of much anti-US sentiments in the middle east.

Re:Every country has a different threshold (1)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717799)

How the hell is this "Insightful". There's a gaping flaw in the premise.

Politically free, free market societies simply tend to do better in the long run than repressive, totalitarian societies.

Oh yeah? You want to give me a few examples of "Politically free, free market societies" that don't "suppress political discourse"? You can't do it. Countries that were once beacons of "liberal-democratic" hope like the UK and the US have become riddled with censorship, political repression and eroding human and civil rights. Other countries that have managed to a certain extent to keep some of these liberal principles aren't really "free market". Then again, it's pretty easy to construct a case showing that no country on the planet is "free market".

What's even funnier is that you start talking about how we in "The West" hold the government to account for its failures. Have you been reading some of the Slashdot articles of the past seven years?

Re:Every country has a different threshold (1)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717549)

How is it your place to claim a massive tract of land and treat those born on it like property, setting down arbitrary rules and taxing them because they popped out of the wrong vagina? Countries exist for the good of their citizens; to maintain order and to promote the intellectual progress and well-being of those living there, not to provide cheap labor/praise for a select ruling class.

I don't need no proof! (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717629)

There's no scientific proof that our way is the universal right!

What's this "science"?

God has said that we are right! Look at our money. It's says "Under God".

If... (0, Offtopic)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717059)

If you like iTunes and you are one of the billion people residing in China...

This is kinda hypothetical, right?
Cause... while I can't disregard the possibility of being a resident of China some day, my imagination falters at the idea of liking iTunes.

Sorta like "...if I were an Oscar Mayer wiener...".
While I can imagine changing my name to Oscar Mayer, I can't really see myself as a wiener.
Well... the whole me, not just a part.

Slashdot in China (0, Troll)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717061)

Can you even access slashdot from within China? Seems to me if you are in China you have 'No Rights On-line', come to think of it, if you are in China you have 'No Rights At-All'.

Now we know what it is like to live under a government that the people fear. A government so concerned about loosing face in the Olympics that they did everything they could do to embarrass themselves and prove what everyone has been saying about them all along. That they are a group of thugs prepared to subdue anyone that gets in their way. I'm sure you'll censor that Mr Hu Jintao. [wikipedia.org] president of a Totalitarian State.

So now English citizens can look forward to having their freedoms raped in the name of 'Protecting the Olympics from Terrorism legislations' and the television stations can conclude their coverage with 'We will now return you to your regularly scheduled apathy'.

Re:Slashdot in China (5, Informative)

aeroswift (1347955) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717099)

Yes, you can access slashdot from China. In fact, I'm sitting at a computer in one of Shanghai's suburban neighborhoods. You're jumping to some pretty big conclusions there. A lot of the Western media covering Chinese affairs do nothing but criticize. I'm not saying they shouldn't criticize, but it really leaves Westerners with the impression that the Chinese government is so cruel and harsh that all the citizens are living in fear. Um, no. We really aren't that affected at all, and I can say (because yes, I have lived in the US and Australia) that life here is no different, except for the annoying fact that I can't access Freewebs.

Re:Slashdot in China (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717275)

I am also reading /. and I am in Beijing, there is now way they would ever block access to sl

Re:Slashdot in China (1, Interesting)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717349)

Yes, you can access slashdot from China. In fact, I'm sitting at a computer in one of Shanghai's suburban neighborhoods.

Ok, that answers the question - thanks.

You're jumping to some pretty big conclusions there.

Maybe, but China's history of human rights abuses speaks for itself. I guess for pointing that out I deserve to be modded a troll, thanks for that moderators. Frankly, it makes me angry, because oppression of any people in any country provides lessons to oppress people anywhere.

the Chinese government is so cruel and harsh that all the citizens are living in fear. Um, no.

Hmmm, I remember videos and reports of the Chinese government running over one of their own citizens with a tank. And more recently allegations of organ harvesting from Falon Gong members [wikipedia.org] . So perhaps it's not fear more an imposed state of apathy, where it's extremely uncomfortable to talk about things the government doesn't want people to talk about. Tibet, Taiwan. Threatening two old ladies to 'hard labour re-education' [washingtonpost.com] because they *wanted* to protest reinforces the perceptions that the Chinese government is actually all that it's critics say it is. The emperor has no clothes.

We really aren't that affected at all, and I can say (because yes, I have lived in the US and Australia) that life here is no different, except for the annoying fact that I can't access Freewebs.

Great. Does that mean you a Chinese citizen? I'm free to say what I want and, yes, I'll defend your right to disagree with me, but I doubt that the same attitude is even vaguely present in China. I'm not having a go at you personally but I stand by my original "troll".

Because if it wasn't true then why would the Chinese government even need a 'Great Firewall of China'.

Re:Slashdot in China (5, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717387)

Maybe, but China's history of human rights abuses speaks for itself.

If its history we're talking about, then what about America's history of human rights abuse (slave trade anyone?), or the UK (slaves again, plus that whole empire thing, and navvies).

In fact almost all western countries have just as bad a record as China, only for us a lot of it is in the past. for the US that past isn't too far back, we are in fact talking just decades since the 'not slaves any more honest' were fully accorded the rights they were promised by Lincoln.

Not that I don't like America, I do, its just that I don't hide from the truth of things.

So, check your history before declaring China to be the fount of all that is wrong in the world.

Re:Slashdot in China (4, Insightful)

cortana (588495) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717443)

If China is taking moral cues from how Imperial powers acted in the 19th century and before then yes, we have a problem.

Interestingly, no one seems to know much about how the slave trade was ended, in large part due to the efforts of Britain after we decided to abolish it.

Re:Slashdot in China (4, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717521)

If its history we're talking about, then what about America's history of human rights abuse (slave trade anyone?), or the UK (slaves again, plus that whole empire thing, and navvies). In fact almost all western countries have just as bad a record as China, only for us a lot of it is in the past. for the US that past isn't too far back, we are in fact talking just decades since the 'not slaves any more honest' were fully accorded the rights they were promised by Lincoln.

The difference is not that the United States has made no mistakes- it's made some pretty awful ones. The difference is that when society feels that these mistakes need to be corrected, the government sooner or later has to respond, because citizens are free to voice their opinions and influence the debate. That happened with the abolition of slavery, and that happened again with the civil rights movement. Elements of the government did try to fight the civil rights movement, but ultimately Martin Luther King was not sent off to a labor camp for re-education. That meant he was able to keep speaking out to persuade our society and our government to try to do the right thing.

Re:Slashdot in China (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717541)

If its history we're talking about, then what about America's history of human rights abuse (slave trade anyone?), or the UK (slaves again, plus that whole empire thing, and navvies).

That America and that UK no longer exist. All of the people that comprised them are dead. Most modern citizens and government representatives strongly condemn these past actions.

Compare that to modern day China, where the people responsible for Tienanmen are still in power.

for the US that past isn't too far back, we are in fact talking just decades since the 'not slaves any more honest' were fully accorded the rights they were promised by Lincoln.

But no matter the behavior of the US, it doesn't excuse China's behavior. The US continues to have major racial problems, but that doesn't mean that China shouldn't be held accountable for THEIR human rights abuses. We should be working for human rights in BOTH places, not giving up on China because the US isn't perfect yet.

Re:Slashdot in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717567)

I'm not sure I understand. The fact that decades and decades ago the American people did bad things somehow means that today China driving over dissidents is an ok thing and says nothing about the quality of life there?

Re:Slashdot in China (3, Insightful)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717605)

If its history we're talking about, then what about America's history of human rights abuse (slave trade anyone?), or the UK (slaves again, plus that whole empire thing, and navvies).

I object to ALL human rights abuses. As it stands the subject of *this* conversation and *this* Olympics is China's human right's abuses.

So, check your history before declaring China to be the fount of all that is wrong in the world.

I'm well versed in the human rights abuses of Western countries, thank you very much. I did have an open mind on China during the lead up to the Olympics, but as I learned more it's evident that China has a record of human rights abuses at least as bad as western countries.

Oppression is a trans-national phenomenon that must be challenged wherever it occurs.

Re:Slashdot in China (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717703)

I believe the grandparent was referring to how the human rights abuses are reported. For example, in the UK there was the 2005 incident where Jean Charles de Menezes was shot by police for running while looking a bit foreign. In the local press, this was covered as a serious abuse of police power by a small number of individuals and a total failure of the system. It could easily have been covered as a government-sponsored assassination of someone rumoured to have been criticising official policy. If you read the former, you might be concerned about the British police. If you read the latter, you would gain the impression that the UK is a totalitarian regime where the people live in fear of death squads (it isn't yet, but Tony did his best). Coverage of events in China by the western media tends to favour the second interpretation. Unfortunately, there isn't an unbiased source available, so it's very hard to find the truth. Talking to people who live in China you get a very different picture (although I know one Chinese girl whose father isn't allowed to visit her because the government won't allow him to leave the country with his brain full of military secrets).

Re:Slashdot in China (2, Interesting)

makomk (752139) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717789)

To be honest, I think you're missing the point totally. Not only is there absolutely no evidence that Jean Charles de Menezes was shot for criticising official policy, I'm not aware of any evidence of him criticising policy.

On the other hand, there is plenty of fairly solid evidence of bad things happening to people who criticise the Chinese government or its policies, and of deliberate attempts by the police to shut them up (usually, but not always, in the non-fatal sense). While it's unclear if these activities have official central government approval or are official policy, since they don't do anything to stop them they are complicit in said activities.

Re:Slashdot in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717611)

Only difference is here in the US we've now moved onto the rights of animals and fags so yeah we have a jaded past but we're WAY much further along.

We don't eat cute animals and gay people are starting to get married!!!

Re:Slashdot in China (1)

seibed (30057) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717409)

"I remember videos and reports of the Chinese government running over one of their own citizens with a tank" - Apparently you don't remember it very well, as no one got run over in that particular infamous incident.

Re:Slashdot in China (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717773)

They certainly did get run over at Tienanmen Square. An ex-flatmate's brother lost his leg there. You're talking about the famous photo of the guy stopping the tank by standing in front of it, but that wasn't the only tank, and they didn't always stop.

Re:Slashdot in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717713)

Falon Gong is a Chinese cult that bankrolled by the US to launch smearing campaign against Chinese government. The leader of the group claim that he is God, mullah and Buddha morph into one. How legit can this group be? They were out lawed but picked up by US for the sole purpose of propaganda tool against China. Members are all Chinese. I think US would shut it down if more westerners starting to join.

Re:Slashdot in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717479)

Mod aeroswift down. He has obviously been "re-educated".

Re:Slashdot in China (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717109)

Can you even access slashdot from within China?

I am not sure but a chinese guy in my team (I live in Australia) was browsing something which was obviously slashdot: same colors, layout, software etc but in chinese. I said to him hey thats slashdot and he said whats slashdot?.

Re:Slashdot in China (1)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717135)

Slash, the code that runs Slashdot, is open source and freely available - http://www.slashcode.com/ [slashcode.com] - there are lots of sites that bear more than a passing resemblance to Slashdot simply because the codebase is the same.

Re:Slashdot in China (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717157)

Slash, the code that runs Slashdot, is open source and freely available - http://www.slashcode.com/ [slashcode.com] - there are lots of sites that bear more than a passing resemblance to Slashdot simply because the codebase is the same.

Yeah but I think sourceforge own the look and feel. I believe there was once a slashdot in spain but I can't find it now. The slashdot page on wikipedia has a link to a japanese slashdot.

I think somebody has ripped off the L&F for their own site in China. Wouldn't be the first time.

Re:Slashdot in China (2, Informative)

threephaseboy (215589) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717207)

slashdot in spain

http://barrapunto.com/ [barrapunto.com] I believe the title literally translates to "Slashdot"

Re:Slashdot in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717303)

Lol, it's like a mexican slashdot

Re:Slashdot in China (4, Funny)

vic-traill (1038742) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717327)

http://barrapunto.com/ I believe the title literally translates to "Slashdot"

And hey, if you Google translate barrapunto.com from Spanish to English, it's more better grammar, too!

http://translate.google.ca/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbarrapunto.com%2F&sl=es&tl=en&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 [google.ca]

Re:Slashdot in China (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717517)

2008 is shaping up as the year's coldest twenty-first century

Slashdot commented upon in the year 2008 will be the coldest this century, according to data supplied by the British Meteorological Office, due to the climatic phenomenon of "girls" that cools the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Kickass, so according to the Google translation of Spanish... all we need are more girls, and the planet wont get hotter?...huh... it would be a climactic phenomenon though...

Re:Slashdot in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717681)

Congratulations,

you've found the only website on the web that's slower with the news than slashdot, and it's... slashdot!

Re:Slashdot in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717209)

I think somebody has ripped off the L&F for their own site in China. Wouldn't be the first time.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The Chinese people are just trying to flatter us when they copy our products!

It's a cultural thing, I suppose.

Question of Motivation (2, Insightful)

VocationalZero (1306233) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717063)

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 macfans.com.cn, 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?

Michael Phleps (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717117)

Michael Phelps does swimming for a hobby when he isn't sucking the cocks of his Talmudvision jew media masters. Enjoy your wives and daughters getting themselves off on an endless stream of hollywood jew olympic shit while jew NBC and jew Comcast rakes in all the shekels and you bust your ass for peanuts, faggot american dopes.

Re:Michael Phleps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717215)

I... erm... ah, sorry, I was going to reply to you, but you mentioning Jews and the Olympics so much together made me think of hot Jewish girls in leotards, and I sort of got sidetracked. Excuse me.

Re:Michael Phleps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717463)

Hot Jewish girls?

Like in the Deutsche ovens?

I, for one, welcome our Alanis Morissette, banning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717129)

overlords.

fago8Z (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717131)

I 4ave a life to [goat.cx]

ooooh, 40 downloads (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717173)

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.

Re:ooooh, 40 downloads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717385)

Show me an athlete who refuses his medal to make a point.

That already happened, didn't it? Though it had nothing to do with censorship I suppose.

CANT GET IT THROUGH ITUNES WILL HAVE TO PIRATE :( (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717189)

Way to try to justify your illegal piracy, Slashfags. It's just like you to lash out at those fighting the good fight. Oh well, not guilty, unlike you. Hope you like prison food!

BEND OVER, MUSIC THIEVES, FEDERAL LEGISLATION ON THE WAY!

A better idea. (0, Troll)

crhylove (205956) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717287)

As much as China's censorship is abhorrent in every sense of the word, we have similar problems in this country with corporate control. Look at comcast.

A much better idea would be free and open ad hoc wifi, not just in China, but globally. You can communicate with any router in range of another router, and we could use fiber or parabolic dishes for the long hops.

I'm really tired of paying $80 a month for crap Net service.

Re:A better idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717383)

As much as China's censorship is abhorrent in every sense of the word, we have similar problems in this country with corporate control. Look at comcast. [..] I'm really tired of paying $80 a month for crap Net service.

Wow, you're right. That's exactly like what's going on in China.

Ah, if only you could live in a society that has so much freedom that your greatest concern would be to be deprived of the free high-speed internet that you are entitled to. A utopia, of course, but a man can dream.

Excellent. *rubs hands* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717355)

So how about attaching pro-Tibet text to many websites and see how many sites China can do without? Must be a breaking point where the whole web goes dark when everyone mentions, y'know, tiananmen square. A lot.

it's rather simple (1)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717371)

begin boycotting all things china.

maybe they'll figure it out eventually ... and grow up.

!Ironic! (3, Interesting)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 5 years ago | (#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!
-Taylor

Re:!Ironic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717467)

Artists on the compilation include Alanis Morissette, Garbage, Imogen Heap, Moby, Sting, Suzanne Vega, Underworld and others.

You're ironic. In this thread, at least.

Oh boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717411)

There's no problem when every business in the world cooperates with China, but when China does what China does, we cry foul? What are you going to do? Withdraw your precious shop from China? Stop buying their cheap stuff? They've got us cornered and they know it. Let me tell you what will happen: The album will disappear from the Chinese iTunes and the great firewall will allow access to the good citizen Apple again.

Slave labor combined with unchecked capitalism rules the world. It will take a lot more than a couple tourists with "Free Tibet" signs to change the world we live in, especially because we keep cheering for "our" companies, even though they would sell each one of us to get in on the action.

They need the bandwidth to launch SQL injects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717431)

Why waste it on iTunes when there's plenty of servers to hit.

iTunes is back! (1)

oblivinated (1001921) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717465)

I think as soon as the "Songs for Tibet" album was taken off the frontpage, it was allowed back.

F*ck China! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717475)

It may not be politically correct, nor will it be as internationally 'bonding' as the Beijing Olympiad, but f*ck China. F*ck 'em all. Or send a UN force in to 'liberate' all chinese....but for crying out loud, let's stop this eternal 'outrage' about human rights abuse and state censorship: crying 'fire' and not bringing any water only makes us look complacent and silly....

If we ignore them for another century or so, we'll both be happy: the chinese won't have to complain about rational people interfering with human righ...err..government policy, and we won't have to waste our time being indignated over a life that 1 billion people apparently choose to life.

I say 'choose', as I hold the firm belief that when one billion people would raise up against ANY 'oppressor', they would overthrow him within days, if not hours.

Not blocked! (5, Informative)

unicorn_2003_1 (926541) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717485)

Seriously, I'm in China and iTunes Store is all fine for me. Get a life.

Way to go, athletes! (-1, Flamebait)

uxbn_kuribo (1146975) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717557)

God, you guys couldn't just go over to China and play proudly for our country, could you? You just have to turn everything into a political statement and piss off the host country. I mean, you could have gone TWO FREAKING WEEKS without a political statement, right?

There's no better time to bash China (0, Troll)

shuying (752029) | more than 5 years ago | (#24717569)

the olympic days are so awesome! advocating splitting China, what do you expect in return? how about supporting terrorist attacks on american in the name of freedom? you know what, probably 99% of the 1.4 billion people in china support this very decision to block itunes, though they may disagree with other censorship measures. those western "protesters" in beijing, they are cowards. they only "protest" in english. i bet the moment they dare "protest" in chinese, they would be crashed by infuriated average chinese. yeah, "free tibet", because that's just what your media tells you to, because china is by default evil, therefore you don't really need to know what actually happens in china.

Re:There's no better time to bash China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717665)

You're right. In the name of the entire Western Civilization I humbly apologize for supporting those evil Tibetan troops invading China and smashing Chinese culture to bits.

I for one welcome our new chinese overlords.

unprecedented evile blocks life, liberty ..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717591)

&, no, we're not referring to china in this case. fear is unprecedented evile's primary weapon. that, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' greed/fear/ego based hired goons' agenda. Most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'war', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid scheme. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24717639)

It's so funny. Why people got so mad when China block this, block that? You should be happy because all your hard working info will not benefit the Chinese. You should jump for joy. Cheer up! If you are so sick of China. Just keep it out of your mind and don't talk about it. Use a Chinese saying: don't see it, don't bother with it. One more thing, I don't disagree with your position. But, giving what US had done, it's just that you have no credibility what so ever. So, just keep your thoughts, happy thoughts to yourself, and get China out of you mind.

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