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According to the band's web site, Pearl Jam's Lollapalooza webcast was censored by sponsor/webcaster AT&T:

When asked about the missing performance, AT&T informed Lollapalooza that portions of the show were in fact missing from the webcast, and that their content monitor had made a mistake in cutting them.

During the performance of "Daughter" the following lyrics were sung to the tune of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" but were cut from the webcast:

  • "George Bush, leave this world alone." (the second time it was sung); and
  • "George Bush find yourself another home."

But really, who cares, right? Just a bunch of DFHs whining about the fact that the world is at the mercy of the worst president in American history. Boo hoo!

But yes, there are larger implications. Even for you. Clean-cut American, working-class hero that you are:

AT&T's actions strike at the heart of the public's concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media.

Aspects of censorship, consolidation, and preferential treatment of the internet are now being debated under the umbrella of "NetNeutrality." Check out The Future of Music or Save the Internet for more information on this issue.

Most telecommunications companies oppose "net neutrality" and argue that the public can trust them not to censor.

That's right. AT&T, like other telcos who say you can "just trust them" not to censor content in the absence of mandatory net neutrality, just did exactly what everyone who's worried about net neutrality always believe they would do.

What'd that take? About ten seconds?

Why don't people just laugh in the faces of industries that claim they can self-regulate?

(h/t: Down with Tyranny! and Save the Internet.)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 06:36 AM PDT.

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