๐ŸŽต Glory to Hong Kong: A Vanishing Tune? Government Puts Spotify, iTunes on Mute ๐ŸŽง

TL;DR: ๐Ÿšจ Glory to Hong Kong, the controversial anthem of the city’s pro-democracy movement in 2019, has started ghosting from major streaming platforms ๐Ÿ“ฒ just as the government is trying to enforce an internet-wide ban. ๐Ÿšซ๐ŸŽถ DGX Music, the rights holders, have said it’s technical issues, not censorship. The songโ€™s fate now hangs in the balance, with a court hearing scheduled for July 21st. ๐Ÿ‘จโ€โš–๏ธ๐Ÿ’ผ

To ban or not to ban? That seems to be the question at the heart of a digital tug-of-war in Hong Kong over the unofficial protest anthem, “Glory to Hong Kong”. This catchy, politically charged tune, which thundered through the streets during the pro-democracy movement in 2019, has mysteriously started disappearing from various streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple’s iTunes. Is it a simple glitch, or is Big Brother tightening his grip on our playlist? ๐ŸŽต๐Ÿ”

DGX Music, the creators who own the rights to the anthem, insist it’s due to “technical issues unrelated to the streaming platforms,” and have apologized for the “temporary impact.” But let’s ponder a bit: could it be mere coincidence that these technical hiccups happened just as the Hong Kong government decided to apply for a court injunction to block the song’s distribution? ๐Ÿง

The government, invoking the need to protect national security, is aiming to prohibit broadcasting of the song โ€“ be it melody, lyrics, or any adaptation โ€“ online with a seditious intent or to incite secession. The verdict on this order, dear readers, is yet to come on July 21st. ๐Ÿ˜ฌโณ

Despite the authorities’ attempt to pull the plug, the song continues to resonate, having mistakenly been played as Hong Kong’s official anthem at international sporting events, causing a bit of a stir. In fact, when the attempt to ban the song was announced, it shot to the top of Apple’s iTunes charts as people rushed to download it. Talk about a rebellious act of harmony! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐ŸŽต

As the situation evolves, Hong Kong’s tussle with digital giants like Google for hosting such material is also escalating. Will these internet biggies bow to pressure and make the song vanish, or will they stand their ground, upholding the freedom of expression? Eric Lai Ho-yan, a fellow at the Georgetown Center for Asian Law, warns that if the injunction is granted, these companies will face this very dilemma. ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ’”

But wait, here’s the question we all need to ponder – what does this mean for the future of music and freedom of expression in Hong Kong? As Lai points out, this move by the government “tells us that the HK government is relentlessly weaponising the laws and courts to create a chilling effect in society.” Is this a battle of a song, or a broader fight for democracy and freedom? ๐Ÿค”

So, as we wait for July 21st, the question that we’d like to leave you with is this: if a song can shake up a city and its government, what does that say about the power of music and the spirit of rebellion? Can you think of other instances where a song became a symbol of resistance and change? ๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ’ช