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Sony Entertainment Games News

LittleBigPlanet Delayed Due To Qur'an-Sampling Audio 995

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the always-check-your-sources dept.
Several readers have pointed out that Sony's much-awaited LittleBigPlanet has hit a snag and will be delayed worldwide. The delay came after it was discovered that a song licensed for use in the soundtrack contained audio samples from the Qur'an. All advanced copies sent to retailers for the target release of October 21 in North America, 22 in PAL territories, and 24 in the UK and Ireland, have been recalled. "The post, by user 'Solid08', indicates of the specific references in the composition: 'In the 18th second: "kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: "Every soul shall have the taste of death' ... almost immediately after, in the 27th second: "kollo man alaiha fan", literally: "All that is on earth will perish."'"
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LittleBigPlanet Delayed Due To Qur'an-Sampling Audio

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  • ANd? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `dnaltropnidad'> on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:24PM (#25416381) Homepage Journal

    So what if it has that there?

    • Re:ANd? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DanTheManMS (1039636) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:31PM (#25416503)

      So what if it has that there?

      Perhaps they merely do not wish to anger potential customers now that it's been discovered and publicized. This isn't the first time it's happened or anything. For example, look at Zelda Ocarina of Time: original versions of the cartridge contained Muslim chanting in the background of the fire temple music, which was taken out of later copies. Later re-releases of the game on the Gamecube also changed some symbols in-game that resembled the crescent moon. No real reason to remove these things other than to prevent conflicts among the audience.

    • Re:ANd? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Somegeek (624100) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:35PM (#25416571)

      Sony is pulling it to avoid offending anyone who would not like phrases from the Qur'an used in association with such a game.

      In my mind Sony is actually going above and beyond to do the correct thing here. (Never thought that I would find myself typing those words.) I still believe they have a long way to go to make up for all of the DRM crap that they have pulled in the past though.

      • Re:ANd? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by geekoid (135745) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `dnaltropnidad'> on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:41PM (#25416703) Homepage Journal

        Cowering from bullies is not the right thing to do.

        • Re:ANd? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Somegeek (624100) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:48PM (#25416821)

          I have to see this as Sony paying respect, not as them knuckling under to threats. I would like to think that they would do the same thing if it was a passage from a Buddhist text which had offended Buddhists with its inclusion. (ashamed that I can't name a Buddhist text without looking it up)

          • Re:ANd? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by randyest (589159) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:07PM (#25417165) Homepage
            Which would be odd, since there are no such passages. In fact, the only other religion I can think of that has a problem with their religious text being reproduced is Scientology.

            Neither deserves to get their way just because they want it, yet some followers of both use terrible means to try to enforce their way. Pretty sad, eh?
          • Re:ANd? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by geekoid (135745) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `dnaltropnidad'> on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:15PM (#25417323) Homepage Journal

            Everything offends someone.
            freedom of speech means you can say what you want. Of course, nobody has to stay an listen.

            • Re:ANd? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Jesus_666 (702802) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:59PM (#25418133)

              Of course, nobody has to stay an listen.

              And that's the thing. Assume Squaresoft released a game that happens to offend many christians, for example by having the bad guy have an uncanny similarity to popular depictions of Jesus. Do you think that game or subsequent Squaresoft games would still sell well in countries like the USA? At the very least they'd get lots of negative PR in mainstream media. Lots of negative PR means lots of lost sales. Lots of lost sales means lots of lost money. Lots of lost money means the shareholders want to have a word with whoever's responsible for making the bad guy look like Jesus (and not catching that before release).

              Free speech is nice and dandy - if you're a real person. If you're a corporation you can speak freely all you want as long as it doesn't negatively affect sales. If removing Qur'an chants from the game makes it more likely that the game will sell better in muslimic regions then removing Qur'an chants is most probably a good idea.

          • Re:ANd? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Otto (17870) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:46PM (#25417897) Homepage Journal

            It's not paying respect, it's being a coward and knuckling under to idiotic demands. I don't care whether somebody believes in something or not, to demand something like this is completely out of line and should be ignored by all right-thinking people.

            Just because it's "religious" does not make it also not stupid.

            I will absolutely not be purchasing this game because of Sony's actions on this matter.

      • Re:ANd? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Talderas (1212466) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:53PM (#25418045)

        Sony could have had a patch released for the game, which is what the Muslim group that complained suggested.

        You know, save the ton of money wasted recalling, reprinting and reshipping the product and not piss off the fans that weren't offended.

        I'm sorry, but recalling was not the smartest or best choice. Instead of offending a religion, they've pissed off those that wouldn't have been offended. They would have ended up with fewer people with negative opinions on the game with a patch.

    • Re:ANd? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ian Alexander (997430) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:56PM (#25418079)
      I wondered the same thing, too. From the article:

      The post, by user 'Solid08', indicates of the specific references in the composition: "In the 18th second: "ÙfÙ ÙÙØ ØØئÙØ© ØÙÙ...ÙØ" ("kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: 'Every soul shall have the taste of death')... almost immediately after, in the 27th second: "ÙfÙ Ù...Ù ØÙÙSÙØ ÙØÙ" ("kollo man alaiha fan", literally: 'All that is on earth will perish')." It also comments: "I asked many of my friends online and offline and they heard the exact same thing that I heard easily when I played that part of the track. Certain Arabic hardcore gaming forums are already discussing this, so we decided to take action by emailing you before this spreads to mainstream attention. We Muslims consider the mixing of music and words from our Holy Quran deeply offending. We hope you would remove that track from the game immediately via an online patch, and make sure that all future shipments of the game disk do not contain it."

  • So what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:24PM (#25416391) Journal

    The Qur'an is out of copyright by now, so what's the problem?

    • Re:So what? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Moryath (553296) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:34PM (#25416553)

      The problem seems to be worry that you'll get the same sort of reaction from a group of people whose religion tells them to burn effigies over cartoons, or stick knives in people's chests, for "offending" them.

      Just look at what happened to Theo Van Gogh and Salman Rushdie, to name just two.

      Now ask yourself whether that's really a "religion of peace" or something else. I can understand why the Little Big Planet studios were afraid of this.

    • Re:So what? (Score:4, Funny)

      by couchslug (175151) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:39PM (#25417775)

      "The Qur'an is out of copyright by now, so what's the problem?"

      Fanbois, with big knives.

      Just be happy the RIAA hasn't discovered their methods.

    • Re:So what? (Score:4, Funny)

      by afabbro (33948) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:51PM (#25417999) Homepage

      The Qur'an is out of copyright by now, so what's the problem?

      It was out of copyright, until the Sunni Bono Copyright Extension Act was past.

  • by Cheeko (165493) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:25PM (#25416397) Homepage Journal

    I thought writing the lines in text was a reproduction just as much as the audio? Yet /. just posted them?

    Or maybe I'm just confused and there is a difference between writing them and the audio copy.

    • by eln (21727) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:34PM (#25416563) Homepage

      Why would reproducing a work that has long since been in the public domain be a problem? If it is, hundreds of publishers are in deep shit.

      From what the article says, it seems some Muslims got offended at their holy scriptures being put to music. So, Sony is bowing to a few fundamentalist Muslims to keep from generating any bad press about how they offend Islam or whatever.

      Personally, I think if they're going to start bowing down to any fringe group that complains on the Internet, they're going to have a hard time releasing any games ever again.

      People are so scared of "terrorists", and associate Islam so closely with those terrorists, that they are scared to death of offending anyone that calls themselves a Muslim. This just makes it much easier for the radical wing of Islam to not only be heard, but to wield influence out of proportion with their numbers. Of course, you could argue the same thing has been done with regard to the more radical wings of Christianity in other spheres as well.

  • Uh Oh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flitty (981864) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:25PM (#25416403)
    Delayed PS3 game + angry gamers + Anon. internet forums + Western distrust of Islam = A lot of wasted /. Moderator points slaying trolls.
  • by Wireless Joe (604314) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:27PM (#25416429) Homepage
    It's not like some militant Islamic sect would burn down the distributor's house... oh, wait.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:27PM (#25416439)
    So I can publish games that include demons, prostitutes, foul language, and abhorrent levels of bloodshed and violence--just as long as it doesn't piss off a Muslim somewhere?
  • by qbzzt (11136) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:28PM (#25416445)

    I don't see the big deal here, since Muslims are supposed to want to distribute the Qur'an. But I can see how people would be extra paranoid about offending Muslims, since some of them take offense violently.

  • by einer (459199) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:28PM (#25416451) Journal

    Yeah? And? So? What?

  • by igorthefiend (831721) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:30PM (#25416471)
    Not the same Sony who didn't see anything wrong with Manchester Cathedral being used in Resistance, despite the church itself complaining? Not that I think either should be grounds for a game to be pulled, but there is the faint stench of double standards...
  • by eddy (18759) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:31PM (#25416513) Homepage Journal

    the radicals and the terrorists win acceptance of the idea that they alone get to dictate how the world handles their pet delusion.

  • Big Deal! (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheNecromancer (179644) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:32PM (#25416517)

    My pvp guild in WoW says that EVERY DAY!!!!

  • by a whoabot (706122) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:39PM (#25416663)

    Eno and Byrne had a song called with Quran verses in the 80's and they were told by some imam that it was blasphemy to put the words of god to "grooves" (Byrne's word I think), so they took the song off the album.

  • by Detritus (11846) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:51PM (#25416879) Homepage

    There is no right to "not to be offended". Especially when the group in question, or at least its more vocal components, respond to satire and criticism with riots, bombs, and assassination. In some parts of the world, all it takes is an ill-founded rumor that someone interprets as a slight to Islam to trigger riots and mob violence. The solution isn't to appease the mob. If people act like thugs, they should be treated like thugs.

    Give us a call when you get tired of living in the dark ages.

  • by The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) on Friday October 17, 2008 @02:51PM (#25416889)

    Would that be the original release or the digitally remastered 5.1 version from just a couple of years ago? Personally, I prefer the vinyl version because digital just can't carry the warmth of Allah's vocals and that sweet guitar.

  • by Rand Race (110288) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:02PM (#25417067) Homepage

    ... the licensed LBP soundtrack song 'Tapha Niang' by Muslim artist Toumani Diabate's Symmetrical Orchestra uses voice excerpts from the Qur'an in its musical composition.

    ...

    We Muslims consider the mixing of music and words from our Holy Quran deeply offending.

    What's this "we" shit?

  • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:03PM (#25417081)

    I'm convinced that this sort of thing is a last gasp amongst the extremists to hold onto the old ways. The fact is that the world is changing and nobody can stop it. The Middle East is being exposed to the outside world via the internet and other media. The religious hardliners are realizing that they're losing their hold on the people and I suppose like most people they don't like change.

    I realize American imperialism is brought up as the reason for this violence. But I'm convinced that's bullshit. The widespread dissemination of foreign cultures is the more real and subtle threat.

    I think it's similar to certain Christian groups in this country coming out trying to denounce evolution and force creationism on people. Deep down they realize their religion is being marginalized and are grasping at straws trying to make it relevant.

    The problem is that they're confusing a crumbling power structure for faith when the two aren't connected. There's no reason whatsoever why a person can't be devoutly religious and still accept science and progress.

    The key difference, however, is that Muslim extremists are more likely to blow things up to get their way, or at least threaten to do so. Sure, you get the occasional Christian nut who tries to shoot an abortion doctor or something, but that's the extent of it. But Christians consistently denounce the act. On the other hand, at best Muslims won't say anything at all and at worst will run into the streets in celebration.

    But ultimately these small victories are insignificant in the long run. And having heard some guys complaining about how Middle Eastern is growing increasingly liberal the days of religious extremism are numbered.

    Political correctness has crippled America. By no means am I endorsing bigotry and racism, but we should be able to have open discourse about issues without it devolving into claims of racism.

    The percentage of the Muslim population in the US is .6% to 1%. The last time I checked we still had free speech and the presence of this passage in a game is not intentionally offensive from what I can tell.

    When Andres Serrano dumped a crucifix in urine and photographed it he wasn't banned from displaying his work. Hell, a nun actually stated in an interview that the work was not blasphemous but rather an example of what people have done to Christ.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:14PM (#25417311)

    ... and I know a lot about Islam. I teach it to other Muslims. Yes, the religion teaches that the Quran must not recited in conjunction with music. It must be vocal only, although most of the reciters inflect their voice so that it is beautiful to hear, much like music is. The musician that Sony licensed it from should be contacted about it. I wouldn't blame Sony for it. But I can see why some Muslims might be offended by it. Grow up. It's only two phrases, not an entire passage. I personally think it is kind of cool to have it in a game, as long as it is innocuous and not used to promote an anti-Islamic agenda (other posters here have cut and pasted text for that). "Bismillah" ("in the name of God") is in The Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and I love it everytime I hear it. And then Beelzebul shortly thereafter takes me back to the D&D days...

  • by Ngarrang (1023425) on Friday October 17, 2008 @04:23PM (#25418477) Journal

    The Noodly appendages of FSM command you to rise up and slay with Prego sauce anyone who offends His Noodliness by including words of wisdom from his Great Cookbook in their songs or slashdot posts. Unless, of course, proper accrediting is given, including a sprinkle of oregano and paprika.

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