Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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The protest song Glory to Hong Kong has been taken down or is unable to be played on popular music services iTunes, Spotify and Taiwan’s KKBOX even before the High Court decides whether to grant the administration an injunction order to ban it.

A music video of the song is still available on YouTube, but it is now unavailable for playing on other streaming platforms.

The administration yesterday asked people who opposed an injunction banning the song to file grounds for the opposition in writing by next Wednesday.

National security judge Wilson Chan Ka-shun on Monday adjourned the hearing to July 21. It will start at 10.30 am and is expected to take three hours.

Glory to Hong Kong snatched all top 10 places on the Apple iTunes song chart in Hong Kong on June 7, a day after officials revealed the move for an injunction.

But a search for the title in Chinese and English on iTunes yesterday afternoon found only a Hokkien version of the song by Taiwanese rock band The Chairman.

Various versions of the song were unavailable under page creator ThomasDGX & Hongkongers on Spotify yesterday, including Cantonese and instrumental versions.

Switching the IP address to locations outside Hong Kong produced the same search results.

While the search on YouTube Music’s streaming app showed only the Hokkien version, an orchestral version remained accessible on YouTube last night.

The Department of Justice last week applied to the High Court seeking to restrain anyone from broadcasting, performing, printing, publishing, selling, offering for sale, distributing, disseminating, displaying or reproducing Glory to Hong Kong in any way – including on the internet.

The administration yesterday uploaded copies of the writ of summons, the summons for an interim injunction and the court order relating to the injunction order application to the websites of the government, the Department of Justice and the Hong Kong police. Individuals can download the documents or scan the attached QR codes.

Assisting or allowing others in any of the stipulated acts will be illegal, according to the writ, which covers 32 YouTube videos relating to Glory to Hong Kong, including instrumental clips and versions in different languages, adaptations, melodies and with variations of lyrics.

The injunction also seeks to identify anyone who defies the restraints as inciting others to separate Hong Kong from China – a seditious act besides insulting the national anthem March of the Volunteers.

Violators can be seen to be in contempt of court.

A statement issued last week pointed to Glory to Hong Kong having been circulated widely since 2019, with its lyrics containing a slogan that has been deemed a call for secession.

During the previous injunction hearing at the High Court on Tuesday, Judge Chan required government lawyers to specify the defendant, while the lawyers said the injunction was not targeting “the world at large” but “persons who have been conducting” the distribution of the song to incite secession, sedition or violating the national anthem law.

Chan questioned whether the injunction was targeting “a person who had previously engaged in those acts” or “a person who is doing so.”

Lawyers responded that it should be “a person who is conducting now and intending to conduct the prohibited acts.”

The lawyers also said they would post Chinese and English versions of press releases regarding the injunction on the government, police, and DoJ websites, with QR codes of documents for public access.

Chan advised placing an advertisement in local newspapers as some defendants might not go to the police station or the official websites, but lawyers said the media would report widely on the government press release, which would produce a better effect than placing ads.

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