Google Music's new scan-and-match feature for its music service means that users no longer need to upload their sounds to their cloud drive. If a song matches one in the library, then the library copy can be used instead.
However complaints began emerging as users discovered that the scan-and-match technology was matching songs with explicit lyrics with clean versions. You might, for example, see your version of Katy Perry's Teenage Dream album (explicit)
replaced with the clean version.
This seems more bug than deliberate censorship though. There's a reason to believe that: Some users are experiencing exactly the opposite, seeing their clean versions of songs replaced with explicit versions.
One of Benjamin Britten's most famous operas was censored and branded obscene before it reached the stage, a new biography of the composer will reveal.
The original version of The Rape of Lucretia was branded obscene and was censored before it reached the stage.
Records from the Lord Chamberlain's Office, which had powers of censorship over theatrical productions at the time, reveal how the work caused 'outrage' with its sexually-suggestive language.
The opera, written in 1946 by Britten and the librettist Ronald Duncan, was originally inspired by a Shakespeare poem. It tells the classical tale of the rape of Lucretia, a Roman noblewoman, by Tarquinius, a prince -- leading to her suicide
and a popular uprising against the king.
Britten's original arrangement saw the Male Chorus singing:
He takes her hand
And places it upon his unsheathed sword ,
followed by the Female Chorus singing:
Thus wounding her with an equal lust
A wound only his sword can heal .
A theatre censor wrote:
I most certainly think we should draw the line at the somewhat transparent effort by the Chorus on page 5 of Act II to wrap up an ugly fact in pretty language. It is little better than the obscenities in Lady Chatterley's Lover.
The licence to perform The Rape of Lucretia was only granted subject to the removal of the offending lines. For the opera's first performance in July 1946, they were replaced with:
Tarquinius: Poised like a dart Lucretia : At the heart of woman Male Chorus: Man climbs towards his God Female Chorus: Then falls to his lonely hell
The findings appear in Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century by Paul Kildea which is set to be published on 3rd February next year to mark the composer's centenary.
Egypt has banned the broadcasting of any romantic songs or video clips on its 23 state-owned channels, only allowing patriotic music, the state-run Ahram Arabic website said.
Only patriotic tunes that are worth broadcasting will be allowed, al-Ahram reported.
Sarcastic songs mocking public figures will be also banned because of the sensitiveness of the political situation, it said. The sharia based constitution is up for approval in a referendum is proving unappetising for many, particularly
those not of a muslim persuasion who weren't even consulted on the issue.
Islamic extremists controlling northern Mali have imposed sharia law on unfortunate residents, curtailing their previous lifestyle which celebrated culture and music, and silencing their voices.
The voice of celebrated Malian singer Khaira Arby, known as the Nightingale of the North, has been silenced in her home town of Timbuktu. The Washington Post reported extremists broke into Arby's home and destroyed her instruments
She has not returned to her home in northern Mali's Timbuktu for seven months. Doing so could mean prison time, she says, or having her tongue cut out by the ruling Islamists.
Charges that Madonna broke a homophobic censorship ban in the Russian city of St Petersburg have been dropped.
Homophobic activists had tried to prosecute the US singer over accusations that she violated St Petersburg's law on the promotion of homosexuality among minors.
The nutter prosecution resulted after Madonna spoke out against the ban on stage and handed out pink bracelets. She also issued a message of support for the imprisoned LGBT-supporting feminist punk protestors of Pussy Riot.
The Trade Union of Russian Citizens demanded £ 6 million from Madonna and from the company that organised her show.
However on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported that the case had been dismissed by a St Petersburg court. Madonna did not attend the hearing, which had attracted intense media attention in Russia.
Elsewhere in Russia, regional lawmakers in Moscow rejected a homophobic censorship law similar to St Petersburg's. The failed bill attempted to outlaw: non-traditional sexual orientation propaganda to minors.
Rapper Pitbull has had his latest music video banned by the BBC.
The promo for Don't Stop The Party sees the chart-topping star partying with an array of bikini clad women on board a luxury yacht and includes sexy but modest bedroom scenes. A partly-naked girl strokes herself on a bed and another drinks
from a vodka bottle showing the well known brand.
The video is still being viewed online and now has almost five million views since it was posted on YouTube ten days ago.
Poland's Supreme Court has ruled against against a legal argument used in the defence of a rock musician who tore up a Bible on stage.
Adam Darski, front man with a heavy metal group named Behemoth , ripped up a copy of the Bible during a concert in 2007, called it deceitful and described the Roman Catholic church as a criminal sect .
The Supreme Court was asked to rule on legal arguments thrown up by the musician's trial in a lower court on charges of offending religious feelings. It said a crime was committed even if the accused, who uses the stage name Nergal, did not act
with the direct intention of offending those feelings, a court spokeswoman said. Lawyers for Darski, argued that he had not committed a crime because he did not intend to offend anyone.
The lower court will now decide if he is guilty. The maximum sentence is two years in jail, under Poland's criminal code. However, it is extremely rare for anyone convicted of this kind of crime in Poland to serve prison time.
When it comes to bishops' opinions on controversial social issues, I listen to them, but I
In one indication of the changes in society, the blasphemy trial does not appear to have harmed Darski's show business standing. He is one of four judges on The Voice of Poland , a talent show broadcast on national public
Update: EU speaks out against blasphemy prosecution
The European Commission has said that Poland's prosecution of a rock group for blasphemy is against European values.
It said in a written statement for EUobserver that national blasphemy laws are a matter for the domestic legal order of the member states. But it added that EU countries must respect international pacts. It cited the European Convention of
Human Rights, a Poland-signatory treaty attached to the Strasbourg-based rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, on freedom of expression:
This right protects not only information or ideas that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also those that offend, shock or disturb.
A poster featuring a cartoon scene of a woman who appears to have been raped has been plastered across Las Vegas to promote an upcoming Guns N' Roses gig.
Activists and local public officials are 'outraged' by the illustration, which appeared on advertisements for the group's upcoming four-week run at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino from October 31 through November 21.
Las Vegas Commissioner Mary Beth Scow told the Las Vegas Sun:
It's clearly inappropriate. Maybe it's the risk of doing business with a rock band, but I guess we'll have some remorse over this decision. It's a lesson learned.
The graphic used for the ads was actually a toned down version of the cover for their Appetite for Destruction album, which showed an unconscious woman with an exposed breast and her underwear pulled down. A menacing robot stands over her
appearing to be ready to attack. The original CD cover was criticized and eventually was replaced.
The ads that appear on buses and taxi cabs in Las Vegas do not show the woman's exposed breast or her underwear, but the explicit graphic is included in the poster that appears on the band's website.
Lisa Lynn Chapman, a spokeswoman for Safe Nest women's shelter, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
It functions as a mechanism to normalize violence against women, and that's not OK. When we start looking at pictures objectifying women, we say, 'OK, this is Vegas'. This is beyond the pale, even for Vegas.
US rapperGame has caused Twitter controversy with his upcoming album whose cover appears to depict Jesus as a blood gang member.
The artwork for Jesus Piece has been branded as blasphemy by upset Christians and fans, because it shows a black Christ-like figure wearing a bandana over his mouth, a gold chain around his neck and a tear drop tattoo under his eye.
The Game's new album cover is kinda disrespectful [sic], one said on Twitter.
Game, who claims to be a devote Christian, also took to the social networking site to defuse the situation, writing:
My album cover is art & represents small pieces of things that I have embodied, embraced, struggled, grown with [sic].
Madonna has been sent a summons to appear in a Russian court for breaking St Petersburg's homophobic censorship law, during her concert in the city.
Russia Today reported that nine anti-gay plaintiffs intend to make Madonna pay for their supposed moral suffering following her performance in August.
The pro-Kremlin group Trade Union of Russian Citizens wants the star in court to answer claims of blasphemy and for damaging the anti-gay cultural foundations of St Petersburg.
They are seeking 333 million rubles ($10 million) from Madonna and from the company that organised her show.
The pop star gave out pink wrists bands during the performance to show solidarity with Russia's LGBT community. The complaint also includes a video taken of the concert that allegedly depicts Madonna allegedly stomping on an Orthodox cross.
English National Opera is under fire from Mediawatch-UK and a few tweeters after using a double entendre to promote its new production of Don Giovanni . The poster depicts a used condom packet and the words: Don Giovanni. Coming soon.
A spokeswoman for ENO said:
Given the subject of the piece, the marketing campaign for Rufus Norris's production reflects the opera itself.
We wanted an eye-catching ad to promote the opera. We came up with this idea which we think is brilliant, funny and captures the idea of Don G in a witty way.
Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch-UK, said the ad was clever in itself but contributed to the hyper-sexualisation of society.
Venues in England and Wales with a capacity of under 200 people no longer need a licence for live music, as long as it is not late at night. The change in law is part of a government move to free businesses from a little of the mass of red tape.
Live unamplified music can also now be played in any location, regardless of the audience size, under the act.
However, the government has made it clear there would be no changes on the rules controlling gatherings of more than 5,000 people, boxing and wrestling, and events such as lap-dancing clubs classed as sexual entertainment.
Musicians and business owners have welcomed the change, which will allow live music to be played between the hours of 08:00 and 23:00. Jazz musician Buster Birch described the change as a huge thing , adding that live music is very
important for our society and our culture .
UK Music, which represents the music industry, estimates that the Live Music Act could enable 13,000 more venues to start holding live music events.
Business Minister Michael Fallon said:
From today businesses are freed from the red tape that holds them back.
He described the previous rules that affected pub gigs and small live performances as over-the-top bureaucracy that stifles community groups and pubs.
We've set ourselves the challenging target of scrapping or reducing a total of 3,000 regulations. I'm determined to slim down regulation and make Britain an easier place to start and run a business.
The change was introduced through a private member's bill, introduced by Liberal Democrat Don Foster. The success is a relatively rare example of a House of Lords private member's bill making it into law.
A theatre in the Russian city of Rostov has dropped a production of Jesus Christ Superstar after protests by Orthodox Christians.
Protesters had complained the rock opera projected the wrong image of Christ. Local Russian Orthodox protesters lodged their complaint with prosecutors and also wrote a letter to the management of the producers at Rostov Philharmonic.
Citing a new law protecting the rights of believers , they described the musical as a profanation and said any such production should be submitted to the Russian Orthodox Church for approval.
It is unclear to which law the protesters were referring. The lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, is currently considering a bill which would make it a crime to offend the religious feelings of citizens .
Popular Russian blogger Rustem Adagamov said in a tweet that Orthodox philistines had cancelled the musical.
Calendar News is ITV Yorkshire's half-hour early evening local news programme.
The edition broadcast on 22 May 2012 ended with a montage of clips illustrating the exceptionally sunny weather being experienced at that time and accompanied by the song, The Sun Has Got His Hat On .
A viewer alerted Ofcom to the broadcast of offensive racial language in the first two lines in the second verse of the song:
The sun has got his hat on, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today
Now we'll all be happy, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today
He's been tanning niggers out in Timbuktu
Now he's coming back to do the same to you
So jump into your sunbath, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today
Ofcom considered Rules:
Rule 1.14 The most offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed.
Rule 2.3 In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context.... Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language, ... discriminatory treatment
or language (for example on the grounds of...race...).
ITV explained that the music was selected for the montage by an editor from the news library on the assumption that the title and words of the song were appropriate to the theme of the montage. It was assumed, because the tune and opening verse
are very well known, that the rest of the song was equally innocuous. ITV said that the editor and other newsroom staff were completely unaware that the original version of the song contained the offensive language. Unfortunately, given this
mistaken assumption, the whole song was not reviewed before being selected for the montage, nor was the edited item reviewed by the news producer before broadcast.
Shortly after the broadcast and the bulletin had come to an end, it was recognised that inappropriate language had been used. Calendar News took swift action to prevent the repetition of the language in a further broadcast, ensuring that the
offensive language was dipped on the ITV1+1 service. Also an apology was broadcast on the later news bulletin that day stating, Finally Calendar would like to apologise for a piece of music we transmitted at the end of tonight's six o'clock
programme, which contained offensive language. It was transmitted in error.
Ofcom Decision: Complaint Resolved
Ofcom research on offensive language1 clearly notes that the word nigger is generally considered by audiences to be among the most offensive language. Therefore the use of this word before the watershed without any justification was a
clear breach of Rules 1.14 and 2.3.
Ofcom however took into account that: ITV identified the error almost immediately on transmission, took steps to dip the sound during the repeat on ITV1+1, broadcast an apology during the later news bulletin the same day and took various further
measures afterwards to ensure there was no recurrence of this problem.
In view of the action taken by the broadcaster, Ofcom therefore considers the matter resolved.
Liverpool City Council suspended its plan to become a censor for buskers after a legal challenge.
Street performers are claiming victory in the first round of a court challenge to the council plans to introduce a suffocating system of licensing and quality checks. The threat of a High Court injunction prompted council chiefs to suspend the
measures pending a review .
Liverpool buskers had been ordered to buy a permit, pay an annual fee for insurance and book pitches in advance before they could perform in the city. Under the censorship rules any busker who was not licensed and up to the performance quality
mark set by council officials or police could have been ordered off the streets.
Permits cost £ 20 a year and buskers and other street performers were also required to pay £ 100 a year for public liability insurance. The new rules came into force on 1st
August but caused controversy with the scheme dubbed The Simon Cowell Cops , after the music mogul known for his ruthless treatment of performers.
But a Keep The Streets Alive! campaign enlisted the support of solicitor David Kirwan who sought a High Court judicial review of what he described as restrictive terms and conditions .
In a hearing at the High Court in Manchester Liverpool City Council declared that new busking regulations have been suspended pending the outcome of a review. Kirwan said:
Legal proceedings appear to have focused the minds of Liverpool City Council's leaders.
We are pleased that implementation of the unfair policy has been suspended, therefore protecting buskers in the short term at least.
Our belief is that the new policy is unreasonable and unlawful and that ultimately a High Court Judge will share our view at judicial review.
Russian activists have claimed that they were offended by Madonna's support for gay rights during a recent concert in St. Petersburg, where there is a legal ban on promoting homosexuality to young people.
Madonna performs during her concert in St. Petersburg on the day Russian activists say she promoted gay rights in front of children as young as 12 The star performing at the concert in St. Petersburg earlier this month. The complaint against her
is said to include a video taken at the concert showing Madonna stomping on an Orthodox cross
It was reported that Alexander Pochuyev, a lawyer representing the nine activists, had filed the suit on Friday, against Madonna, the organizer of her concert, and the hall where it was held, asking for damages totaling 333 million rubles, or
nearly $10.5 million.
Muslim extremists have disrupted a string of Tunisian cultural events they deemed un-Islamic, culminating in a violent attack that left five people wounded.
Salafists attacked the Bizerte music and theatre festival on Thursday evening armed with swords and sticks.
The interior ministry said that five people were wounded in the attack, and that police dispersed the assailants with tear gas, arresting four of them.
Previosuly Salafists prevented an Iranian group from performing at a Sufi music festival in Kairouan, south of Tunis, claiming their Shiite chanting amounted to a violation of Islamic values.
On Tuesday, renowned Tunisian actor Lotfi Abdelli was prevented from performing his comedy act 100% Halal by extremists who had occupied the auditorium.
Last week, the director of a festival at Gboullat, announced he was cancelling the event under pressure notably from the Salafists Another festival had been cancelled at the end of July, in Sejnane, with the organisers again blaming radical
Cuba has unbanned more than fifty artists critical of the government who have been censored from television and radio programming for decades.
A list of prohibited names was never made public, nor has the list's elimination been officially announced. The information has only come to light via broadcasting insiders.
The list included Gloria Estefan, Celia Cruz, Olga Guillot, Paquito D'Rivera, Bebo Valdes and the famous Spanish singer Julio Iglesias censored as a result of his critical stance toward the government in Havana.
New technologies have been making it possible for Cubans to acquire these prohibited voices on CDs, DVDs and flash drives. So this flexibility follows the same logic as other Raul reforms : that of accepting what they can't prevent,
authorizing what is already happening and is unstoppable.
Cuba may have lightened up on political dissent but it is still not keen on gays
Writing on his Facebook page, Israel Rojas, a member of the popular musical duo Buena Fe, protested Cuban television's censorship of his latest music video Ser del Sol (Being of the Sun), which is about a lesbian relationship between two
The video has not still not been released on Cuban television though it's currently in fifth place on the hit-list of the Lucas Music Video Awards.
The video tells the story of two young women who meet each other through their boyfriends and initiate a relationship. In the surprise ending, when the boyfriends discover them kissing, the two relax and start to laugh.
The opera, Babur in London, has been cancelled for its Indian tour. This was because of a possible threat to the performers, or, in other words, because they were wary of offending Muslim religious sentiments
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has publically insulted Madonna via Twitter. He tweeted:
Every former w. who has aged wants to give lectures about morals, especially during tours and gigs abroad.
The w, translated from Russian, is an abbreviation that roughly means slut, bitch," or "whore."
Rogozin ranted about Madonna after a mid-concert speech which she gave in support of the all girl dissident protest group, Pussy Riot, to tens of thousands of fans at Moscow's Olimpiisky stadium, Madonna said:
I think that these three girls ... have done something courageous. I think they have paid the price for this act and I pray for their freedom.
A group of leading musicians has called on Russia's president Vladimir Putin to give a fair hearing to members of a protest group held for months on remand for performing a legitimate protest .
The trio from Pussy Riot staged a performance in a Moscow cathedral calling on the Virgin Mary to remove President Putin from power.
In a letter to The Times newspaper, the group of British musicians including Jarvis Cocker, Pete Townshend, Martha Wainwright and Neil Tennant, said that the incident by the band amounted to a minor breach of the peace .
Requesting the release of the three protestors a statement said:
We are extremely concerned about the treatment they have received since their arrest and during their trial.
Dissent is a right in any democracy and it is entirely disproportionate that they face seven years in jail for what we consider a preposterous charge of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred".
We are especially concerned about recent reports that food is being withheld from them and that they have appeared in court in a cage.
The backing of British musicians comes after other celebrities including pop star Sting and US rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers had showed support for their plight.
Catholic groups in Poland are protesting against Madonna's Warsaw show because it falls on the same day as the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising.
Every year, Poles commemorate the date the city's failed revolt against Nazi occupation began. At 5pm on August 1, sirens wail across Warsaw and people stand still to pay their respects to the 200,000 victims of the 63-day uprising.
Concert organisers have agreed to a proposal by city officials by showing a short film about the events of 1944 to appease the protestors. [Madonna can probably squeeze her set into the advert breaks!]
However, catholic groups have started an online campaign urging people not to watch the concert -- claiming more than 50,000 have signed up to their Don't Go To See Madonna campaign.
One group, Krucjata Mlodych (Youth Crusade) says anti-Madonna Mass services and prayer sessions have been held. They accuse the singer of offending their faith by burning crucifixes and using crown of thorns imagery, adding that she promotes
Elf and Safety extremists pulled the plug on a concert by Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band and Paul Mccartney citing ludicrous bollox that they had run 8 minutes past their allotted time.
Fans were left angered after the Hard Rock Calling event ended prematurely after Paul Mccartney joined Bruce Springsteen on stage to perform Twist and Shout and I Saw Her Standing There.
As 80,000 rapturous fans yelled their delight under the pouring rain, the microphones were switched off after the health and safety curfew was breached by eight minutes, leaving the singers to leave the stage in silence.
While organisers defended the unfortunate decision last night, it provoked a storm of protest from fans and even members of Springsteen's entourage.
Steven Van Zandt, the guitarist with Springsteen's E Street band, said:
One of the great gigs ever in my opinion. But seriously, when did England become a police state?
Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, also wade into the row, criticising the excessively officious decision .
Last night, a spokesprat for Live Nation, the event's organisers, spewed:
The curfew is laid down by the authorities in the interest of the public health and safety.
A Westminster Council spokesman said it was concert organisers, not the council, who pulled the plug.
Update: Oops Wrong Jobsworths. It wasn't Elf & Safety after all. It was the department of Petty Bureaucracy and Clock Watching
Ferhat Tunc, one of Turkey's most popular and outspoken musicians, last week found himself on the wrong side of the law, when a court sentenced him to two years in prison.
In 2011, Tunc, an Index on Censorship Free Expression prize winner, stood an independent parliamentary candidate for Labour, Democracy and Freedom Bloc. During a speech in Tunceli, where he was standing for election, he referred to three
political figures, Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, Mahir Cayan and Deniz Gezmis, whose revolutionary spirit he announced to have shared in his own political struggle.
These long-deceased political figures have become symbols for some of Turkey's socialists over the last four decades. Their images often appear on t-shirts, souvenirs and Istanbul's walls in the form of graffiti. All waged an armed war against
Turkish state and were captured and executed as a result. But they have little following in society (radical left parties rarely get more than 0.1% of votes) and like Che Guevara, their names often stand for youthful romanticism, rather than hard
But according to the Malatya court, the enunciation of their names is a direct reference to the outlawed Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP). Tunc, has now been convicted of propagandising for the group.
The singer has said he will appeal and his lawyer, Ercan Kanar announced they would bring the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Lady Gaga has come under nutter fire for her new song about Princess Diana's death.
She premiered the new track, Princess Die , in Melbourne, Australia and 'outraged' royal fans with her lyrics, which appears to reference the Princess of Wales' tragic death in a Paris car accident in 1997. Gaga sings:
And wish that I would go
In my rich boyfriend's limo
Right after he proposed
With a 16-carat stone wrapped in rose gold
With the papparazzi all swarming around
So bob head your head for another dead blonde.
The lyrics have been blasted as distasteful when she says in the song:
I wish that I could cope but I took pills and left a note.
Suicide charities in Australia have slammed the singer's words and are worried about the message she is sending to impressionable fans. Chris Wagner, communications director for Lifeline, said:
We understand artistic license and we get artistic expression, but celebrities need to recognise that they're role models for young people in the community.
GaGa said during her performance that Princess Die may or may not be included on her next album.
TV censors at Ofcom is investigating ITV1's Calendar show over the use of the word 'nigger' in background song lyrics.
On the 22 May Calendar News, ITV1's regional news in the north and east broadcast a video clip celebrating sunny weather. The report featured a montage of pictures of people enjoying the sun and was set to the 1930s song The Sun has got his
However the TV company didn't listen very closely to the lyrics:
The sun has got his hat on, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today
Now we'll all be happy, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today
He's been tanning niggers out in Timbuktu
Now he's coming back to do the same to you
So jump into your sunbath, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today
Ofcom has launched an investigation into whether ITV broke UK broadcasting rules relating to harm and offence.
First she made a joke about buying a fake Rolex. Now Thailand's culture ministry has filed a complaint to police against Lady Gaga for misuse of the Thai flag during her show last month.
The ministry claimed the part of Lady Gaga's performance when she wore a traditional headdress and sat on a motorcycle in a skimpy outfit with a Thai flag trailing behind was inappropriate and hurt Thai people's sentiment .
We are not asking police to prosecute her but it's our normal procedure to file complaints to concerned agencies when we receive them, a senior ministry official, who declined to be named, said.
Madonna flash her right nipple to her audience in Istanbul, Turkey. She made it perfectly clear that she was deliberately flashing the crowd of roughly 55,000.
The singer, 53, was performing a rendition of her 1995 hit, Human Nature , when her dance routine turned into a strip tease. Her fans cheered for her as she began taking off her shirt and undoing her pants. The dance culminated in
Madonna pulling down her bra to briefly expose her right breast.
There's be no sign of any particular 'outrage' reaction in Turkey though
Last week, Madonna also courted controversy on the road after placing an image of a swastika on a picture of French National Front leader Marine Le Pen during a show in Tel Aviv.
Lady Gaga's sold-out Jakarta concert is scheduled for June 3, but police have yet to decide whether Indonesia's 40,000 ticket-holders will be able to see Lady Gaga perform. The planned concert has attracted the ire of extremist Islamists of the
Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), who ludicrously called Lady Gaga to the devil during rallies and warned that her concert will degrade the nation's sense of morality.
The Jakarta Police recommended that the concert be canceled. But, in the end, the decision is not theirs and permits are issued by the National Police who are still undecided whether to allow the perfomance.
We ask the National Police to take into consideration the public's opposition to Lady Gaga's concert, said M. Mahendradatta, board chairman for the Muslim Defenders Team, an organization known for representing hard-line Islamists and
alleged terrorists. Mahendradatta claimed that the pop diva promotes devil worship and that her concert will corrupt the moral sensibilities of young Indonesians. He spewed:
Whether you like it or not, Lady Gaga teaches [fans] to worship the devil. That goes against the teachings of any religion. We don't approve of that.
FPI's leader Rizieq Syihab furthered the devil worshiping claims, adding that the singer was planning to build Lucifer's kingdom in Indonesia.
Indonesian police have banned a concert by US pop star Lady Gaga in the capital next month. This follows follows the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) threats to intercept Lady Gaga at the airport and stop her getting off the plane.
Saut Nasution, a spokesman for the Indonesian police, told the BBC's Indonesian service:
It is better that we don't give permission rather than that [the concert] ends up being stopped by the people. We have already received a letter requesting us to consider the people's plea [for cancellation]. And the Jakarta Police also
refused to recommend a permit for the concert because we don't want people to clash [on the matter].
Habib Salim Alatas, the Jakarta head of the FPI said: She's a vulgar singer who wears only panties and a bra when she sings. He also described her as dangerous for Indonesia's younger generation, and claimed that Lady Gaga had
referred to herself as the devil's messenger.
The National Police has revised its stance on the Lady Gaga concert, saying it might issue the permit the show needs to go on.
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Saud Usman Nasution said that if the promoter could get recommendations from the concert venue and the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, as well as prove it was a legal entity, the National Police would
issue the permit.
As long as it meets those three requirements, [the concert] will be staged, Saud said.
The Jakarta Police said that while it still wasn't giving its recommendation, if the National Police decided the issue the permit, it would comply with that decision and secure the concert.
Update: Police say OK as long as religious extremists agree
The National Police now says it will issue a concert permit for American pop diva Lady Gaga - but only if the promoters achieve the monumental task of getting recommendations from the Religious Affairs Ministry and the Indonesian Ulema Council
Both organizations have shown strong opposition to the singer's concert in Indonesia.
Police also demanded that concert promoter Big Daddy Entertainment have recommendations from the Tourism Ministry, the Home Affairs Ministry, the Director General of Immigration over Lady Gaga's visa and the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry.
A permit from the management of Bung Karno Stadium, where the planned June 3 concert will be held, is also required.
Lady Gaga has cancelled her Indonesian concert, with promoters saying the security threat was too serious after Islamic extremists promised chaos.
The promoters had indicated that a deal was being hammered out to tone down the June 3 concert in Jakarta, but the US star's management had stood firm, vowing there would be no compromise to appease religious nutters.
Minola Sebayang, lawyer for promoters Big Daddy, told reporters:
Lady Gaga's management has considered the situation minute to minute, and with threats if the concert goes ahead, Lady Gaga's side is calling off the concert.
This is not only about Lady Gaga's security, but extends to those who will be watching her.
Lady gaga tweeted before the announcement was made: There is nothing Holy about hatred.
FPI Jakarta chairman Habib Salim Alatas said the cancellation was good news for Muslims in Indonesia.
S ome NBC affiliates apparently didn't like it when host Mick Jagger used some strong language in political song on Saturday Night Live.
Near the end of Saturday's season finale, the Rolling Stones frontman performed Tea Party , a bluesy number featuring guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck. Jagger told the audience he wrote the song, which is about the current presidential
campaign and its candidates who have to strategize a bit. And then something along the lines of: You're gonna end up deep down in the shit.
The word 'shit' led some stations to cut away early to commercials, according to numerous Twitter users. However, other stations, including KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, ran the whole number uncensored.
Saturday Night Live airs during the FCC's safe harbor hours of 10 p.m. to 6 am when broadcasters can broadcast material deemed indecent. NBC was not obligated to censor the song at the national level, but local station managers
could use their discretion.
Religious groups have urged that the Manila concert of American pop singer Lady Gaga be banned to prevent her from supposedly influencing young Filipinos.
Catholic leaders called on followers of the Church to boycott Lady Gaga's concert, which, they claim, would promote godlessness.
Her attitude seems to promote godlessness, offensive to any religion, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, a member of the Permanent Council of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, told reporters. Bastes claimed some of Lady
Gaga's songs were blasphemous:
People have the duty to discern the quality of entertainment. Christians must exercise self-censorship to avoid shows that are harmful to their faith.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo called on the government to follow the leads of South Korea and Indonesia and ban Lady Gaga's concert. (Even if South Korea didn't ban her concert)
Henrietta de Villa, chair of Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) spouted:
We are a Catholic country but look at the way she insults our faith and the way she tramples on our Lord. We should stand up [for our faith]. We should not allow her to have a concert here.
Nutter leaders cited Lady Gaga's songs Born This Way , which they said encouraged homosexuality, and Judas , which they claimed to be making a mockery of their religious beliefs and moral fiber. The
Christian groups also criticized Lady Gaga's skimpy outfits and outrageous costumes.
Other groups opposing Lady Gaga's concerts were The Intercessors for the Philippines, the Philippines for Jesus Movement, the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, Bible Mode Baptist Group, NFS Ministry, Metro Manila for Jesus Movement and
Tribes and Nations Outreach.
Antonino Calixto, mayor of Manila's Pasay district said inspectors will be on hand at the venue to ensure she does not overstep the mark. He said:
We reminded the producers of Lady Gaga's concert that the show and the event as a whole shall not exhibit any nudity or lewd conduct which may be offensive to morals and good customs.
Although we respect artistic and musical expressions, I won't allow anyone or any group to provide acts which may be questionable in (any) way.
Some 200 Christian youths marched in Manila Saturday morning for the second straight day, chanting Stop the Lady Gaga concerts. They held placards urging the pop diva to respect our faith, stop the blasphemy and Stop Lady Gaga,
the mother monster. Another placard praised: Lady GaGa, the icon of perverted values.
The Biblemode Youth Philippines members also plan to hold a vigil starting Sunday near the seaside concert venue. They say they are offended by Lady Gaga's music, particularly her song Judas, which they say mocks the religious character,
IAn Iranian rapper has become the Salman Rushdie of music after clerics in the Islamic republic issued fatwas calling him an apostate, which is considered punishable by death under the country's sharia law.
Shahin Najafi, a Germany-based Iranian singer, recently released a song with references to Ali al-Hadi al-Naqi, the tenth of the 12 Shia Muslim Imams, a senior religious character.
The clip posted on Youtube, watched by hundreds of thousands online, has divided opinions in the country with many finding it 'offensive' and 'insulting' to their beliefs and others defending the song, saying it broke taboos especially in regards
to expressing views about religious characters.
When asked for a religious ruling on the fate of Najafi and his blasphemous music , clerics unanimously declared that such a person must be considered an apostate.
Ayatollah Naser Makareme Shirazi said:
Any outrage against the infallible imams ... and obvious insult against them would make a Muslim an apostate.
Najafi has denied claims that his song Naqi is meant to insult people's religious beliefs, though the song criticises Iranian society. He told Deutsche Welle:
I thought there would be some ramifications. But I didn't think I would upset the regime that much. Now they are taking advantage of the situation and making it look like I was trying to criticise religion and put down believers.
An Iranian religion website, Shia-Online.ir, has offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who kills Najafi.
As announced in the Queen's Speech, the Department for Culture, Media, Sport and Censorship is seeking views about the exemptions in the Video Recordings Act and about how advertisements shown in cinemas are censored.
Consultation Open date: 09 May 2012
Closing date: 01 August 2012
Please send your comments or if you have any queries about this consultation to:
or by post:
Advertising and Exemption Consultation Department for Culture,
Media and Sport
2-4 Cockspur Street
London SW1Y 5DH
Cinema Advertising Censorship
The government is asking whether the BBFC really needs to get involved in the censorship of cinema adverts. At the moment it is mandatory that the BBFC rate such advertising, but the Government is asking if the more general system of advert
censorship provided by CAP and ASA is sufficient.
Option 0: No change
Under this option cinema advertisements would continue to be referred to the BBFC for age rating whilst also being subject to mandatory self-regulation overseen by the ASA.
This regime has been in place for a number of years and it could be considered that it should remain on the grounds that it appears to work effectively to ensure that children are not exposed to inappropriate content via cinema advertisements
and consumers' rights are properly observed. Some may feel also that the statutory backing is an essential element of the regime.
However, as set out earlier in the preceding paragraphs, others may consider that the age rating role provided by the BBFC in relation to cinema advertisements is already adequately covered by the self-regulatory approach of the industry and
that it therefore represents an unnecessary burden on business.
Option 1: Remove the requirement for BBFC classification of cinema advertisements
This option would potentially remove the financial and administrative burdens on the cinema advertising industry of having to submit each advert to the BBFC for an age rating. Arguably, this would also make matters simpler for industry, reducing
the additional time constraints resulting from both BBFC and CAA clearance.
The BBFC has indicated that the current average classification cost is around £111 per ad classified. There is an additional administrative burden for industry attached to this process in supplying the BBFC with hard copies of the adverts
requiring classification. The impact on the BBFC of removing the classification requirement would simply relate to their resourcing of this function.
However, could removing the requirement to age rate adverts shown in cinemas by the BBFC result in a reduction in consumer and child protection? The industry bodies and the CAA believe the existing advertising clearance system as set out in
paragraphs 4.6 to 4.23, underpinned by the ASA's non-broadcast advertising code (CAP Code), is robust enough to ensure there are no regulatory gaps, particularly in relation to child protection, and that suitable consumer safeguards will be
This option would also not place additional enforcement burdens on local authorities
On music censorship the government is nominally considering 4 options:
option 0: Leave the existing exemptions in place and untouched, on the basis that either the present arrangements do not give rise to concerns to an extent that would justify legislative change, or that removing exemptions would place
unnecessary or disproportionate burdens on industry for limited benefit.
option 1: Remove the exemptions from age rating for music, sports, religious and educational video works. This requires primary legislation to achieve. Removing the exemption would mean that producers would have to submit all film material to
the BBFC for classification before making them available for sale in the UK regardless of genre.
option 2: Lower the existing content thresholds for exemption so that more products are brought within scope of the age rating requirement (as we have done recently for video games). This can be achieved by secondary legislation.
option 3: Ask other parts of the video industry to introduce a self-regulatory parental advisory system for the currently exempt genres, similar to the BPI's PAS labelling scheme for the music-themed products.
A group of Christian nutters from South Korea are planning to hold a prayer meeting in protest of Lady Gaga's show in Seoul on 27th April.
AFP reports that 300 members of Alliance for Sound Culture In Sexuality are planning to attend the meeting.
Kang Ju-Hyun, a prayer organiser, told AFP: We will pray to God that the concert will not be realised so that homosexuality and pornography will not spread around the country. The group have accused Lady Gaga of spreading unhealthy
sexual culture through lewd lyrics and performances .
Under 18s have been banned from the concert, after the Korea Media Rating Board deemed the show unsuitable for young audiences.
A small group of Christians staged a rally outside Seoul's Olympic Stadium, where around 45,000 fans saw the singer perform hits like Poker Face and Judas .
The poster for Lady Gaga's Seoul concert said it had adult certification Activists in Seoul have been protesting over the concert for weeks, claiming the singer was obscene and could taint young people.
A group calling itself the Civilians Network against the Lady Gaga Concert said her performance was too homosexual and pornographic .
A popular Iranian singer who publicly defied regime censorship by releasing pro-opposition songs on the internet has been sentenced to a year in jail.
Arya Aramnejad fell foul of the authorities after singing political songs in condemnation of the regime's crackdown against the Green movement. Aramnejad, whose works are banned inside Iran, initially released two songs in support of the movement
during the campaign period before the country's disputed presidential elections in 2009.
In the unrest following the elections, which saw dozens of protesters killed and hundreds arrested, Aramnejad released music that particularly infuriated officials and led to his arrest.
Shortly after the protests, Aramnejad released a song called Ali Barkhiz (Wake-up Ali) , which spoke out against the violent crackdown against the opposition. One version of the song, which made it into a video clip posted on YouTube, has
been viewed more than 80,000 times.
Security forces arrested Aramnejad for the first time in February 2010 after his song attracted a great deal of attention. He spent 45 days in solitary confinement before being allowed to contact his family. He was later sentenced to six months,
a term he served from November 2011 until recently, when he was allowed out of prison for the Persian new year.
A friend of Aramnejad said: Arya has been recently informed that he has been given a one-year jail sentence for his other songs released since 2010. He's been accused of acting against national security and spreading propaganda against the
regime, the friend said.
The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the arrest of rapper and activist of the 20 February movement, Megaz El Haked, by the Moroccan security forces on March 29 claiming that one of his songs is offensive to a public
El Haked was summoned for interrogation on a charge of offending a public authority by a Casablanca Cour. In one of his songs, El Haked criticized the political situation in Morocco, which authorities considered a defamatory insult against public
officials. The activist jailed on remand to stand trial on 4 April.
It is worth noting that this is not the first time that El Haked has been arrested for his songs. He was imprisoned for four months on trumped-up charges before being released in January 2012.
El Haked's arrest for the content of his songs for the second time is unacceptable and is a clear violation of freedom of expression, which includes freedom of creativity and art, stated ANHRI: Freedom of expression is an inherent right
and no one should be punished for expressing his opinions, whether that was critical of the system or not.
ANHRI calls upon the Moroccan authorities to immediately release El Haked and ensure that peaceful free expression is protected.
Moroccan authorities should drop charges and release a rapper who has spent three weeks in pretrial detention on charges that he insulted the police in his songs and a video set to his music, Human Rights Watch said today.
Police arrested Mouad Belghouat, known as al-Haqed (the sullen one), on March 29, 2012, because of a YouTube video with a photo of a policeman whose head has been replaced with a donkey's. The lyrics denounce police corruption.
The offending material cited in the case file consists of a rap song Belghouat composed and recorded, entitled Kilab ed-Dowla (Dogs of the State), and a YouTube video containing a photo-montage set to the song. The song denounces
police corruption with lines like, You are paid to protect the citizens, not to collect people's money and take it to your chief.
It is understood the Prime Minister is considering new rules that would oblige websites hosting such videos to introduce robust age verification systems similar to those used to safeguard children online gambling.
Music videos are currently exempt from BBFC censorship under the Video Recordings Act 2010. There are currently no legal restrictions on children downloading music videos of any kind.
The Prime Minister is understood to be disappointed with the music video industry's response to a Government report that whinged about sexualisation of childhood.
Cameron is to summon leading figures in the music video and social media world to Downing Street for a summit next month and threaten censorial new laws if more is not done to protect children.
Campaigners claim there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of sexual content and explicit language in music videos which can be accessed by very young children on computers and mobile phones.
Around 200 million videos are watched each month on Vevo, a music video website popular amongst the young. Although MTV, and other television channels, censor sexual content before the 9pm watershed the same is impractical for video-sharing
Music videos were singled out for strong criticism in Let Children be Children, a Downing Street commissioned report written by anti-sexualisation campaigner Reg Bailey, head of the Mothers Union, a Church of England campaign group.
The government also remains 'concerned' by the style and promotion of so-called Lads' mags , such as Loaded, FHM and Nuts. This industry is also set to be called in to Downing Street over the summer to be asked what steps they are
taking to protect children.
There is likely to be strong opposition to Government restrictions on accessing music videos online. Rio Caraeff, the chief executive of Vevo, has said that age ratings are unnecessary and would be difficult to enforce. Vevo has claimed the move
would be bad for business and would cut the royalties earned by some acts.
Ten dangdut songs with the titles Jupe Likes 69 Best, Rocking Van, Sorry I Got You Pregnant, Accidentally Pregnant, Anything Goes, Just One Hour, Pimping Love, Breaking Womens' Law, Here's Something Long and Crocodile Hole have been
banned for broadcasting by Indonesian provincial censors.
Dangdut is a genre of Indonesian popular music that is partly derived from Malay, Arabic, and Hindustani music. It developed in the 1970s among working-class Muslim youth, but beginning in the late 1990s reached a broader following in Indonesia,
Malaysia, and the southern Philippines.
The West Nusa Tenggara Broadcasting Commission (KPID) has decreed that radio and television broadcasters are prohibited from airing the songs, which it claims have pornographic lyrics.
The KPID took two weeks to examine 300 of the most popular dangdut songs after receiving a complaint from a nutter group which it said included academics and cultural scientists from the province.
KPID head, Badrun A.M., claimed that the body did not take the step to impose censorship lightly.
In principle we do not wish to curb the creativity of anyone's art, ... BUT ... the KPID also wishes to protect the public from the negative impacts of listening to these songs. There's the potential for children and teenagers to
copy what they hear.
The head of the broadcasting supervisory agency said that the words to Julia Perez' song Jupe Likes 69 Best were delivered in an erotic voice, with lustful sighs and emphasis on lyrics which portrayed intimate relations and the singer's
preferred mode of sexual intercourse.
More vulgar still, according to Badrun, was Rocking Van by Lia M.J. and Asep Rumpi, which he said, promoted sex outside of marriage, and went into details of sex positions.
This is very vulgar, and completely inappropriate to be heard by our community here in West Nusa Tenggara. Not to mention 'Pimping Love' which tells the story of a husband who sells his wife as a prostitute --- this does not represent our
Eastern culture, he said.
Ofcom has made an appeal decision that Ofcom was correct to determine that the MTV online service Viva TV Music is subject to expensive censorship as an on-demand programme service
An appeal by MTV Networks Europe against an ATVOD determination that its web- based music video service Viva TV Music is an on demand programme service and therefore subject to regulation has not been upheld by Ofcom.
The decision means that MTV is required to pay a substantial fee for its own censorship and ensure that the Viva TV Music service complies with a range of statutory requirements .
In order to fall within the scope of the censorship overseen by ATVOD, a service must satisfy a number of statutory criteria, as set out in section 368A of the Communications Act 2003. One of these is that the principal purpose of the service is
the provision of programmes the form and content of which are comparable to the form and content of programmes normally included in television programme services.
In the case of Viva TV Music, the decision turned on a number of issues, including whether the Viva TV Music section of the website constituted a service in its own right, and whether music videos are 'TV-like programmes.
Sri Lanka Ministry of Culture and the Arts says it plans to bring a new bill soon to censor Teledramas and songs on TV deemed unsuitable for all audience.
With the implementation of the proposed act, the Teledrama producers will have to obtain the approval for the production from the Public Performances Control Board before telecasting it through TV channels.
The song writers will have to submit their lyrics to the Public Performances Control Board and the songs will be inspected by the board even after music is composed, the Ministry says.
Currently the Public Performance Control Board pre-censor only movies and stage drama.
A private member's bill, introduced by Liberal Democrat Don Foster, will lift some of the state control and restrictions imposed on gigs by the 2003 Licensing Act.
The changes will mean that a licence will no longer be required for unamplified live music taking place between 08:00 and 23:00, and for amplified live music taking place between the same times before audiences of no more than 200.
The bill passed unopposed and will have to go back to the House Of Lords on the 10th of February before becoming law.
The MP from Bath was steering the bill through the House Of Commons on behalf of his Lib Dem colleague, Lord Clement Jones. The success is a relatively rare example of a House of Lords private member's bill making it into law.
It was said the Licensing Act 2003 was going to lead to an explosion of live music but, in the event, in small venues it was drastically cut.
We saw village halls, school halls, pubs and clubs reducing the the amount of live music, not increasing it.
Hopefully the bill, when it comes into law, will reverse that.
Separate to the private member's bill, the government is conducting its own review of the Licensing Act.
There is always someone campaigning against the allegedly evil lyrics on hip-hop records. Back in the late 1980s, it was Tipper Gore, wife of Al, and her posse of perfectly manicured, perfectly white Washington wives who spent sleepless
nights panicking that hip-hop artists' allusions to sex and violence would warp young people's minds. (This was before the Gores realised that global warming was a bigger threat to mankind than gangsta rap.) Today, the anti-hip-hop baton has been
passed from the prim and well-off arm-candy of politicians to feminists and black activists, who fancy that their campaign to excise words like bitch and ho from hip-hop is radical and edgy, when in fact it is only a spin-off of the
squeamish censoriousness of Tipper and her girlfriends.