back to article Hong Kong tries to outlaw uploads of unofficial and anti-Beijing anthem

The government of Hong Kong has sought an injunction to prevent performance and distribution, including online, of a song that has been mistaken for its national anthem. The song is titled "Glory to Hong Kong" and was composed as part of protests against the winding back of democratic freedoms in the Chinese territory. The …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There you are running a National People's Congress

    And some people just want to dick with it.


  2. Paul Herber Silver badge

    Send officials links to the song disguised as something else. Let's call it rickshaw rolling.

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Go direct to jail. Do not collect $200 at start. You must hum the right tones and rhythm 100 times before you may continue.

  3. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    "The HKSAR Government respects and values the rights and freedoms protected by the Basic Law (including freedom of speech), but freedom of speech is not absolute,"

    Indeed, freedom of speech is granted up to the point where it openly, implicitly, or made up by the authorities criticises, questions or belittles whatever the bloody Chinese authoritarian regime deems right.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has Winnie the Pooh song been banned also ?

    Disney version

  5. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Why do totalitarian type governments try and implement such stupid laws ?

    Who are they kidding or fooling ?

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      They do it to put fear in people, and to give them an excuse to "legally" throw any body they don't like or whom they disagree with in prison.

      One of the things I've never understood is why the police in such places seem to go along with it. Now I've known a few cops in my time in different lands (although admittedly only in western democracies) and as a general rule, if they think a law is daft, they'll tend to ignore it, or at least give folks a warning that what they're doing is illegal and to stop it. Unfortunately, this attitude seems to stop when other cops are around (Hence, why cops sometimes get stupid when it comes to protests), but still as a rule. They let things go, a lot.

      Hong Kong police used to be considered very similar to Western cops. What had caused them to switch sides to totalitarian mode so fast, I wonder?

      1. Martin Gregorie

        Hong Kong police used to be considered very similar to Western cops. What had caused them to switch sides to totalitarian mode so fast, I wonder?

        I imagine that the threat of cancellation of one's police pay check would have that effect. In some parts of the world the detective branch also keeps its beady little eyes on the uniformed police branches.

        1. Norman Nescio Silver badge

          Old Soviet Union joke

          Why do policemen travel in threes?

          So one can read, one can write, and the third can keep an eye on the dangerous intellectuals!

      2. BOFH in Training

        There were some articles about some cops quitting or refusing to come on duty during the protests.

        I assume all those who were concerned about freedom and similar concepts are out of the police force and they have recruited from China's own police force to make sure all the current police officers behave patriotically (to China).

        1. IamAProton

          Recently the requirements to join police in HK have been lowered; height, eyesight and language are not a problem anymore. Sounds like they lack candidates (or they need more people to enforce their ssilly rules)

    2. _Elvi_


      .. Look what's happening in the Land of the Free.. Banning books?

      I never would have thought I would see this in my lifetime .. collapse of the most lauded freedoms in a world power, from within, influenced from with-out.

      Sheep to the slaughter.. :(

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: U.S.A

        Note that "banned" books are still legally available, they're just not in school libraries (or in some cases, public libraries). It's a very different situation. In China, humming the wrong song can get you imprisoned.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the song contravenes China's National Security Law"

    I did not know that China's National Security was so fragile as to be put in danger by a song.

    That Beijing wishes to have Google correct the fact that the song is not the national anthem is fine and perfectly justifiable, but to forbid it is just nuts.

    But it's China, so nuts it is . . .

  7. TimMaher Silver badge

    A chink in their armour.

    Is El Reg allowed in the people’s republic?

    Just humming for a friend.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A chink in their armour.

      Last I was there, yes, that was just before covid

  8. Norman Nescio Silver badge

    Слава Україні!

    Perhaps Слава Україні! could be adopted in the disliked song's stead. Wishing good fortune on a country currently beset by difficulties could hardly be construed as unpatriotic.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What counts as "substantially the same" melody?

    Wikipedia notes that the Hong Kong composer credited the state anthem of the Russian Federation as one of their influences. So let's compare.

    Hong Kong protest song: rhythm - | -- - . -- - . | ---- and repeat.

    Russian anthem: rhythm - | -- - . -- - - | -- - . -- etc (substantially the same first 8 notes at least)

    Hong Kong protest song: main degrees of scale 5 *1 1 *7 7 *6 / 5 *4 3 *2 3 *3 / 1 *6 4 *2 3 *5 3 *1 etc.

    Russian anthem: main degrees of scale 5 *1 5 *7 3 *6 5 *5 / 1 *2 2 *4 4 *6 7 *2 / 5 *3 2 *2 7 *1 7 *7 etc.

    The first four important beats are identical, and then two more are basically reversed.

    So if someone was humming badly enough, it would take at least two whole lines for us to be sure which one of these two songs they were trying to hum.

    So if a Hong Konger starts humming this tune into a microphone somewhere, the authorities had better not cut the sound off before two whole lines are completed, otherwise there might not be enough evidence to definitely say they weren't just being friendly to Russians (which is supposed to be a good thing in China right now).

    For more fun and games along these lines, I highly recommend Leonard Bernstein's 1959 lecture "The Infinite Variety of Music" in which he takes 4 notes and shows them popping up at the start of 23 different well-known melodies.

    Presumably the law will be worded in such a way that lets them work out from other factors which song you were trying to hum. And because already-existing laws basically cover it anyway, it seems the new one is more of a public-relations reminder not to protest, rather than a law they actually needed to be on the books to arrest people with.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: What counts as "substantially the same" melody?

      Presumably the law will be worded in such a way that lets them work out from other factors which song you were trying to hum.

      Nope. The law is YAN mechanism whereby an "undesirable" may be jailed in the so-called "peoples' republic". Who is an "undesirable"? It's anyone who anybody in power (that does include the local or state gendarmarie) says it is, or anyone who might have the ear of someone in power says it is. So vagueness isn't a bug, its a feature....

    2. IamAProton

      Re: What counts as "substantially the same" melody?

      I'd avoid messing with the National Security Law in HK, at least if you plan to go there. They are in full-commie mode now.

      Look at Jimmy Lai (Apple daily) he wanted a foreign lawyer, probably to prevent the govt. threatening him or his family if he's doing a good job in defending Lai; HK govt asked 'central govt' to provide guidance on the matter... result: foreign lawyers not allowed for NSL cases because they do nor share 'HK values'

  10. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Arise, those who refuse to be slaves!

    Let us build a new Great Wall along the Sham Chun River!

    Hong Kong faces its greatest peril

    From the Tyrants to the North.

    Arise! Arise! Arise!

    Millions of but one heart

    Braving the repressors! March on!

    Braving the repressor's fire! March on!

    March on! March, march on!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      are you trying to get El Reg banned in Hong Kong? (if it isn't already)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Still reading El Reg and in HK

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