China's Karaoke police, and dogs dancing jazz

An extraordinary piece in the LAT, (via John Bracken), on the crackdown on free expression in China. The story’s lead, written by Mark Magnier, goes like this:

“BEIJING — With their control over newspapers, television, magazines and the Internet secure, censors in China are now turning their attention to the dim recesses of the nation’s karaoke parlors.

“The state-run Beijing News reported Wednesday that the Ministry of Culture has issued new rules to prevent ‘unhealthy’ songs from ringing forth in the singalong bars, which are so popular here that people joke that overseas, Chinese join church choirs only because they miss karaoke so much.”

It reminds me of Lawrence Lessig’s famous example of Sony and the Aibo. Sony did not want you to teach your Aibo to dance jazz, which a site called Aibopet told you how to do.
This story also joins the topics of our work on the OpenNet Initiative (looking at censorship and surveillance on the Net) with the Digital Media Exchange (the idea of an alternative compensation system for digital expression).

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