UK music distributor takes down protest song ‘Glory to Hong Kong’ following court injunction News
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UK music distributor takes down protest song ‘Glory to Hong Kong’ following court injunction

UK digital music distributor Emubands Ltd. removed the protest song “Glory to Hong Kong” from music platforms such as iTunes and Apple Music in many regions, DGX Music said on Friday. The move follows an interlocutory injunction by the Hong Kong Court of Appeal to restrain any activities associated with the song on May 8.

In the statement, the music producers expressed their disapproval of the song’s removal:

We have expressed our opposition to Emubands, pointing out that the injunction does not have extraterritorial jurisdiction. More importantly, the song itself is not banned by the injunction. We hope to have the song reinstated as soon as possible. According to the latest response from Emubands, the likelihood of them reinstating the song is very low.

In its injunction, the court argued that national security concerns are a priority, with the Secretary for Justice Paul Lam stressing that it balanced the interest of national security and freedom of speech by narrowing the scope to activities with seditious intent and providing exemptions for academic and journalistic purposes.

“Glory to Hong Kong” has been the object of a long legal battle as the government has been seeking to ban the song, which is associated with Hong Kong’s 2019 anti-government protests. The Hong Kong Department of Justice (DOJ) applied to the High Court for an injunction in June 2023 under assertions that it insulted the Chinese national anthem and that broadcasting the song potentially violates laws in Hong Kong, such as the National Security Law and the Crimes Ordinance. The court rejected the application the following month, finding that the injunction would be ineffective since Hong Kong already had “a robust criminal regime” in place and that it might create chilling effects and undermine freedom of speech.

The DOJ filed an appeal to contest the refusal in August, claiming that their application to ban the song aims to prohibit acts that plainly or potentially constitute criminal activities. Activist Chow Hang Tung applied to be declared a party to the injunction appeal. The application was rejected because Chow did not engage in the activities that the injunction seeks to restrain.

DGX Music called for the support of music distributors or legal professionals to assist with reinstating “Glory to Hong Kong.”