China cuts off iTunes, likely over 'Songs of Tibet'

China is blocking iTunes, apparently over the album "Songs for Tibet," a benefit for The Art of Peace Foundation. The album features songs by Sting, Alanis Morissette, Garbage and others, and a 15-minute talk by the Dalai Lama.

China is blocking iTunes, apparently over the album "Songs for Tibet," a benefit for The Art of Peace Foundation. The album features songs by Sting, Alanis Morissette, Garbage and others, and a 15-minute talk by the Dalai Lama.

In an AP story, Michael Wohl, executive director of the foundation, said:

"We issued a release saying that over 40 (Olympic) athletes downloaded the album in an act of solidarity, and that's what triggered it. Then everything got blocked," Wohl said by phone.
Wohl said the foundation offered free downloads of the album to several Olympians and athletes from the United States, Canada, Britain, Spain, France and Australia did download.
Most got the album before entering China, but "some in Beijing did download, and I think that's what spooked the Chinese government," Wohl said.
No comment from China. Apple doesn't have a direct Chinese presence for iTunes. Chinese users must connect to servers in other markets. Wohl dismissed the AP reporter's question of whether Apple was upset that the album had caused the cut-off.
"They're incredibly supportive people. They wouldn't do anything like that," he said. "They support freedom of speech and freedom of expression."

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