Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Businesses The Internet Your Rights Online

Wal-Mart Ditches DRM, Keeps Censorship 455

Posted by Zonk
from the step-in-the-right-direction dept.
Smiley Face writes "Wal-Mart has hopped on the DRM-free bandwagon with today's announcement that it will be participating in Universal's DRM-free sales pilot. The quality looks good: 256Kbps MP3 for 94 cents apiece, but customers are likely to be turned off by the retail chain's continued censorship. 'It's a bit hard to believe that all the customers who shop at the world's largest retailer want censored versions of music, though, but that's what they get. Only edited versions of albums with parental advisories are available, just as they are in Wal-Mart's offline stores. This isn't a new policy; Wal-Mart's online music store has carried only edited versions for years, but it's worth pointing out to potential new users tempted by the lower prices and lack of DRM.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wal-Mart Ditches DRM, Keeps Censorship

Comments Filter:
  • edited only... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:36PM (#20308271)
    That is the reason I never buy music from wal mart, as much as I may not like the words to some of the songs, the weird noises they replace them with are even worse.

    And worse yet, sometimes they edit out things that aren't offensive at all.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      It's weird what stuff gets edited sometimes. You'd think it'd just be dirty words but a lot of times its some weird phrase of implied violence, like "colt 45" or "can of gas and handful of matches." Sorry but even if you edit out the weapons, I still know someone is getting shot or someone is getting their house burned down.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It's like any other censoring. On TV, people can point their index finger, thumb, pinky, and ring finger. So blurring out the middle finger doesn't hide SHIT.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Firehed (942385)
          And as an unintended side effect, it makes it that much more obvious that the pointer was using his or her middle finger in the first place, in an offensive manner or not.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Hafnia (590482)
        Why do you accept this kind of sensorship in the US ?
        And how did it start ?
        Is it really the majority of US citizens who believe it does any good at all , or is there a wierd technical explanation to why we still have to live with this stupid "parental advisory" warning on the front of US CD's, and the beeps on American TV shows
        I'm not trying to provoke any of you , and i believe most, if not all, readers of slashdot would prefer unsensored music and TV. I just don't understand the reasoning behind it !
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by CastrTroy (595695)
          I live in Canada, and they sell tons of un-edited explicit content CDs. They also sell the "radio-edit/clean" versions alongside them, but you have the choice of which one you want to buy. Just like on iTunes. I've always assumed things were the same in the United States.
      • Re:edited only... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @03:51PM (#20309469) Homepage
        The weirdest instance of censorship I've ever heard was on a radio station that was playing Live's "Lightning Crashes", and they censored the word placenta.

        The mind boggles.
  • so are they bleeping the kid-unfriendly words out like the old days, or have the artists started recording alternate "clean" versions of their songs? I think it was Nickelback that recorded an alternate single with "fucked up" replaced by "messed up" (could be wrong). Not that I care much for Nickelback anyway.
    • by merreborn (853723)
      Watch MTV, or listen to the radio, and you'll have your answer. The exact censorship technique varies by song and artist, long story short.
      • I remember that the "radio edition" of Everlast's "What it's like" was cut by a full verse (the last one). My personal theory is that it was just too embarrassing for the stations to squeak out every other second.
    • Re:censorship (Score:5, Informative)

      by croddy (659025) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:41PM (#20308339)
      There are lots of ways of creating clean versions. The policy of recording alternate lyrics goes back at least fifteen years, and all the way back to the 60's if you consider negotiations between labels and artists over controversial lines. Another common solution is reversing and chopping up contested lyrics, which does not leave a hole in the melody line and does not require re-recording the line.
      • One of the best cleaning of music I have ever heard is done by the Low Fidelity All-Stars. Hearing their clean versions on the radio, you had no idea where explicit material even was, or that it was even there.
  • Is is disclosed? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rude Turnip (49495) <valuation@nOSpAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:38PM (#20308307)
    Does Wal-mart at least label their CDs in retail stores and disclose in their online store that the songs are edited versions? The politics of it aside, as long as they are upfront about selling edited versions of songs, then I have no problem with it. However, if they are not being honest about selling songs that aren't the "real" ones, then that is plain deceptive.
    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:43PM (#20308371) Homepage Journal
      The ones I saw had an edited sticker. This will get modded down but Wal-Mart isn't censoring anything. They have simply told the music companies that they will not carry albums with parental advisory stickers. The record companies don't have to comply. Wal-Mart isn't censoring anymore than you are if you choose not to watch Fox News.

      I do find it a little silly that they worry about "bad" words but sell alcohol, tobacco, and guns.
      I find tobacco a lot more offensive and family unfriendly than most bad words.

      • by croddy (659025)
        The record companies are indeed complicit in this, and so are the artists. Before you sign your rights and integrity over to a label, you should think long and hard about whether they will be doing something objectionable with your work.
      • by oyenstikker (536040) <<gro.enrybs> <ta> <todhsals>> on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:49PM (#20308465) Homepage Journal
        I do find it a little silly that they worry about "bad" words but sell alcohol, tobacco, and guns. Beer is bad? Game hunting with guns is bad? I won't be shopping at your store.
        • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @03:28PM (#20309095) Homepage Journal
          Alcohol in my opinion is bad. It exasperates many social ills and is often abused by minors. If you want to "protect kids by not selling product at all instead of restricting it then yes don't carry alcohol.
          Guns. Well guns to kill lots of people and again if you are going to not sell a product based on it danger factor then guns would be on that list.
          Tobacco is just evil. Selling it is evil and the tobacco companies are just evil. I have watched two friends die from lung cancer that was probably caused by tobacco.
          So yes I find it as dumb for Wal-Mart to not carry records with parental warnings as I do for a town to outlaw topless bars when their are hookers on the main street.

          Yea you probably wouldn't want to shop at a store I ran since I wouldn't carry alcohol, tobacco, or firearms.

          • by qor (1068756) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @06:30PM (#20311569)
            - Alcohol often lets a very shy person open up and talk to people they never would normally, therefore breaking an initial barrier (hell, I know). And I have nothing against minors drinking responsibly, even more so with parental supervision. Nothing better than a son sharing his first beer with his father (oh wait, that would imply a certain level of parenting) - Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Guns are only the means to do it. Otherwise, religion kills people, cars kill people... so on and so forth. - Tobacco is as evil as that spread crap they sell in the US instead of good old butter. The tobacco companies are just as evil as Wal-Mart. PEOPLE decide to smoke, not the tobacco industry. A bit of frigging self-control never killed anyone. But then, we have alcoholics. We have gun-crazed people who think everything can be solved by just pulling the trigger. We have 8-year-old kids smoking. Everything can be solved by just getting rid of those so-called 'evils'? Why don't we get rid of all the science books as well? Then maybe the atomic bomb wouldn't have been invented. People need to get their heads out of the sand, and look reality in the eye. Truth hurts. Deal with it. I might be modded troll for this, but it's sad to see that still today people hide behind preconceived notions of 'good' and 'evil'.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Bassman59 (519820)

            Alcohol in my opinion is bad. It exasperates many social ills ...

            The word you're looking for is "exacerbates."

            You're welcome.

        • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @04:23PM (#20309991)

          Beer is bad? Game hunting with guns is bad?
          yes, but game hunting with beer is good! just ask Dick Cheney!!
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kabocox (199019)
        The ones I saw had an edited sticker. This will get modded down but Wal-Mart isn't censoring anything. They have simply told the music companies that they will not carry albums with parental advisory stickers. The record companies don't have to comply. Wal-Mart isn't censoring anymore than you are if you choose not to watch Fox News.


        I, um, download most of my music. I've found out lately that I've gotten old and really dislike any versions of songs other than the radio-edit. There were 4-5 songs that I like
    • by rob1980 (941751)
      I haven't paid enough attention but I don't think they do. That said... the manufacturer is making the changes to the content here, not Wal-Mart. It should be up to the manufacturer to make sure the albums are marked as clean.
    • by downix (84795)
      Most of the time yes, but I have cought a few occasions where disks were not labelled as such, but when I played them compared to my friends bought-elsewhere disks, there were parts missing. Sometimes the missing parts were odd to select for removal as well. **boggle**
  • by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann,slashdot&gmail,com> on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:39PM (#20308311) Homepage Journal
    "Wal-Mart ditches some crap, keeps other crap."
    From the 'its-crap-anyways' dept.
  • Does anyone know if Wal-Mart censors the music it sells in Canada? I've never heard of any complaints that they do.
  • by bcrowell (177657) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:39PM (#20308315) Homepage
    Why is this under "your rights online," and why is the word "censorship" used in the summary? Censorship is when the government infringes on your free speech. If a private organization doesn't want to sell you a particular item, that has nothing to do with the first amendment. Joe's Bar and Grill doesn't offer any CDs for sale -- does that constitute censorship? No, it just means that Joe didn't choose to offer a particular item for sale at the bar. It seems particularly ludicrous to complain about this at a time when there are so many real and horrible civil liberties problems in the U.S., e.g., the attorney general declaring that there is no right to habeas corpus in the constitution.
    • by nuzak (959558)
      > Censorship is when the government infringes on your free speech.

      No, it's when any third party does. You have a right to be a censor in your own home, as do most private entities. Wal-mart may have that right, but it is still being a censor, and it's perfectly accurate to call it that.

      I'm so sick of the "it's only bad when government does it" argument.
      • by cdrudge (68377) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:57PM (#20308607) Homepage

        I'm so sick of the "it's only bad when government does it" argument.
        When the government does it, it usually means that you have no other (legal) choice but to accept the censored version. When a non-government entity does it, it's their choice and there is almost always an alternative. Yes it may not be as cheap or convenient, but there is still ways for you to get your censor-free music. It's not "bad" when Wal-Mart does it, it's their choice. Just like it's your choice not to shop there.
    • by croddy (659025) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:48PM (#20308441)
      Don't confuse censorship in general with the public freedom of speech. Editing the work of another party to remove something you disagree with is still an offense of censorship against the work -- it is just not a violation of constitutional rights. Wal-Mart is unlike your theoretical bar and grill in that it is offering those works for sale and is making objectionable edits to them. It's not a crime, and it's not a violation of civil liberties. It's just wrong and offensive.
      • by mpe (36238)
        Wal-Mart is unlike your theoretical bar and grill in that it is offering those works for sale and is making objectionable edits to them. It's not a crime, and it's not a violation of civil liberties.

        Are they making it absolutly clear which tracks they have altered? If not then they are at best being misleading about what they are selling. (Even if they take care to avoid selling anywhere which has laws requiring accurate descriptions of goods offered for sale.)
    • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:49PM (#20308459) Homepage
      Village (world), meet boy (slashdot) who cries wolf (censorship) way too often. Think Wal-Mart is doing it out of a genuine interest to promote family friendly music? Hell no. They're just selling the stuff with the highest margins and that don't scare away other customers. Censorship isn't when you grocery store doesn't stack $foo brand frozen yogurt for business reasons. Maybe, if Wal-Mart had a monopoly status on selling music then perhaps you could talk about censorship, but even then it's waaaaaaay of a stretch.
    • by Bacon Bits (926911) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:54PM (#20308543)
      No, censorship is when any person with any kind of authority modifies a work for ethical, moral, or political reasons. Wal-mart has authority over what they sell and the music produces have authority over what they sell, so edited copies of records are censored. Therefore, the music companies and the retailer are in the practice of censorship.

      It's just not unconstitutional censorship, or censorship which impinges on your rights. This is not to say that this manner of censorship is any more or less ethical or moral (although they clearly have less authority over us as individuals comapred to the government) nor that we as the affected group should be any more or less outraged by the censorship. It is simply not illegal for the RIAA to produce such tracks and Wal-mart to sell such albums, and, indeed, they have the right to do so.
      • by Khaed (544779)
        Except it doesn't do anything to my rights.

        I have a right not to shop at Wal-Mart to buy my music. And I don't. I've avoided them for as long as I can remember when it comes to buying music. Wal-Mart has a right to not sell what they don't want to sell.

        The silly part is that they DO sell R-rated movies. I saw Porky's for sale at Wal-Mart, and Slither -- the latter of which has more profanity than most non-rap albums, I'd wager.
    • Censorship is when some party actively tries to inhibit you from buying or selling certain intellectual property anywhere based on content.

      Wal-Mart may choose to not sell you CDs with certain lyrics, but they're sure not trying to prevent the distribution thereof elsewhere. If they were suing anyone who sold Parental Advisory materials, or lobbying for legislation outlawing it, or kneecapping anyone who bought it elsewhere, yes - but they're not; if Wal-Mart isn't selling what you want, you're free to buy i
    • by M. Baranczak (726671) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @03:04PM (#20308727)
      Censorship is when the government infringes on your free speech.

      Bullshit. Censorship is censorship. The government doesn't necessarily have to be involved.

      If a private organization doesn't want to sell you a particular item, that has nothing to do with the first amendment.

      The first amendment is irrelevant here, and nobody even mentioned it, so I don't know why you brought it up. And just because something is legal, doesn't mean I have to approve of it.

      It seems particularly ludicrous to complain about this at a time when there are so many real and horrible civil liberties problems in the U.S., e.g., the attorney general declaring that there is no right to habeas corpus in the constitution.

      So in other words, until we get an AG that actually respects the Constitution, we can't complain about all the other petty bullshit that goes on around us? That might take a while.
    • Actually, as a parent, I like that Walmart does not put everything there. My kids are far too long to be into pop music, but I still do not like the idea of their being exposed at age 10 to a lot of what I hear in rap or hip/hop.
  • "Censorship"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:42PM (#20308351) Homepage Journal
    How is this censorship? Like any other store, Walmart chooses what they will and will not stock. Regardless of what you personally think of Walmart, they got where they are by making smart (perhaps sometimes ruthless) business decisions. I know this might be hard for some Slashdotters to believe, but what about people who want censored, or a 'radio edit' of a song? Besides, nobody is forcing you to shop at Walmart, and if you want to buy music there then you get what they sell. I don't see how the "censorship" issue is news at all.

    Hurrah for dropping DRM though. Be interesting to see how long this will last and if there is any repercussion. One nice thing about Walmart is that it's big enough to just smile give the bird to the RIAA.
  • Apples and Oranges (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pickyouupatnine (901260) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:42PM (#20308355) Homepage
    At issue was weather WalMart would sell DRM-free music. Yes they will. Now what kind of DRM free music users will find is a completely different story - that is for the consumer to decide. Atleast they aren't being conned into buying something and then finding out that there are large imposing restrictions on what they can do with what they've purchased.
  • Value Add (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jumperboy (1054800) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:44PM (#20308377)

    The important distinction is that, in this case, censorship adds value for some consumers, while DRM does not.

  • Considering the type of music that typically has two versions, I can only assume that parts of it being removed can only be an improvement.

    Wait a minute, I wonder if that CD of Beethoven Piano Sonatas I bought the other day from Wal-Mart was censored... *then* we would have something to complain about.

  • I really don't care if Walmat only carries "clean lyrics" since little music I listen to has any distinction between "clean" or "explicit".

    The technical specs look good though, and I think music companies need to see that people will buy DRM free music if it is offered. So, I'll probably try to find a few tracks to buy...

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:46PM (#20308413)

    'It's a bit hard to believe that all the customers who shop at the world's largest retailer want censored versions of music, though, but that's what they get

    I doubt all customers want any particular product or service. The more important question is whether or not enough want this product in order for it to be worth offering.

    Speaking for myself, I do want this service. The absence of crude songs is completely irrelevant to me because I wouldn't want them anyway. Your mileage may vary, of course.

  • Cost for Quality? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chew8bitsperbyte (533087) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:49PM (#20308453)
    Ok, so Walmart is selling MP3s @ 256kbps for $0.94 and Apple is selling AACs @ 256kbps for $1.30. I like Apple and all, but is the quality of AAC _really_ that much better than MP3 to warrant an extra $0.36? I can barely tell the difference between 160kbps and 256kpbs MP3s, but maybe it's just me... ~B
  • The future of the music industry is going to be subscription based. You'll have internet access everywhere you go at some point in the near future... in your car, at work, everywhere.

    You will pay $10 or $15 a month to play all the music you want.

    Last.FM is one of my best bets in this market too... personalized music stations, international hits, etc.. it's going to be a lot of fun to see the next few years. Personally I use Last.FM and Yahoo LaunchCast on a daily basis -- people ask me all the time how I fi
  • by Future Linux-Guru (34181) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:49PM (#20308467)
    MP3 vs AAC
    256kbp vs. 256kbp
    "censored" vs. "non-censored"
    94 cents vs #1.29

    For those who care about the "clean" tracks, it's still 3 of 4.

    Of course Apple still has the edge with the iPod community, and perhaps ease of use. But no one should be fooled: this is very good for the digital music marketplace.
    • by timster (32400)
      I see two points to Apple, one to Walmart, and one tie. AAC is a superior format to MP3, and you have to be digging pretty deep to find a recent device that doesn't support it. It's also just as open as MP3 (and created by the same people).
      • I'd disagree. Grab any random person off the street and ask if their MP3 player will play MP3 files.

        Then ask them if it will play AAC.

        Truth is, most don't care. They just want it to work, and MP3 has way greater recognition out there than AAC does. The benefits of having better sound are negligible...and probably only applicable to the sorts of folks who spend time on websites like this one.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by timster (32400)
          Your average person on the street will say "uh, I dunno, it just plays what's on my iTunes"

          Most of the rest of them will have no clue what formats their 'MP3 player' plays, but most of them do in fact support AAC. The older el-cheapo devices that didn't will mostly be in a drawer collecting dust. The tiny minority with an MP3-only device are likely to be less interested in (purchased) online music, since they figured out years ago that none of the major online music stores were selling something that woul
    • by VP (32928)
      That is 2 out of 4 - i.e. tie. AFAIK, at the same bit-rate AAC files sound better than MP3 files.
  • by ftobin (48814) * on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:52PM (#20308513) Homepage
    The most important change with Wal-Mart offering DRM-free music is that it is clear customers will see music as having one of two different types of labels, WMA vs MP3. Customers tend to know that MP3's can be used technologically unrestricted, but WMA can be restricted; having this choice makes them aware that music can be sold legitimately under MP3's.

    Given no direct benefit but only impediments for customers with WMA or DRM, they will attach negative connotations to DRM systems. As long as this negative connotation is implanted long enough, they will come to expect that things should only get better over time, and that WMA and DRM will eventually go away.

    In this manner, the societally expected norm will change, and the anti-DRM side will win the war of minds.
  • Its been years since I have bought a cd at Wal-Mart, but I did manage to get Coal Chamber there unedited(though the Korn CD I bought was edited...bleh). So at least some Wal-Marts sell some unedited songs....

    Amazing, they can poison our dogs and children no problem, but if somebody should utter the word "fuck" then Wal-Mart has a hissy fit.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:58PM (#20308631) Journal
    The correct word to use is bowlderize, not censored. That word is an eponym named after Thomas Bowlder. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowlderize [wikipedia.org]

    That dude thought the Holy Bible has sections too racy for children and young people and so he brought out an edited version.

    Censorship is when the Govt uses its power to silence an expression. As others have noted, Walmart is not preventing the record companies from selling profanity laden songs in other places.

    • by dilute (74234)
      Bowdlerized
    • I hate this frakking bowlderization going on in our society.
    • by Nasarius (593729)

      Censorship is when the Govt uses its power to silence an expression
      For fuck's sake, does anyone on Slashdot look at a dictionary? From M-W, censor (verb):

      : to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable ; also : to suppress or delete as objectionable
      • by toriver (11308)
        I think there is an implied "as covered by the First Amendment to the Constitution" after "censorship" in the debate here.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      That dude thought the Holy Bible has sections too racy for children and young people

      By "the Holy Bible", you mean "The Works of Shakespeare"?

      Did you even read your own link?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @02:59PM (#20308647)
    "We're sorry, your operating system is incompatible. To provide the best download experience, we can no longer support Windows 98, ME or NT. Please visit again after you upgrade to Windows 2000 or XP. Visit our Help section for complete system requirements information."

    If they're gonna start selling MP3 files, maybe they should first start by allowing web access to their download store to systems other than Windows.
  • an activist would see a free speech political issue to harp on

    an entrepreneur would see a business opportunity

    and me, a realist, would see that the entrepreneur has a better chance of changing the world, or walmart's opinion, than the activist does
  • ****ing **** ****mart!!

    Should I check this is OK with my parents?
  • Moe,"When you say I wanna I wanna put it in you, can you change that to I wanna I wanna hug and kiss you?" Red Hot Chilli Peppers,"Yah, that's even much better than the original."
  • How big a barrier is this censorship to most consumers? Walmart is not the only major store to restrict their merchandise to avoid offending major market sectors. Porn vendors have always prospered selling material that larger vendors choose not to carry. To the extent that artists try to offend cultural mores (or appeal to consumers who want to offend cultural mores), they restrict the venues that will carry their wares - but they may increase the demand, depending upon the balance. I have always gone to s
  • Some PRIVATE concern sells what they see fit and people bitch.

    Hey of you don't like it buy somewhere else.

    While I don't agree with censorship and don't sanction it, I am not too worked up over not being sold music that blares on about "niggers" "'hoes" and "busting a cap in your ass".

  • Hey everybody! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by east coast (590680) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @03:16PM (#20308919)
    My local Christian book store doesn't sell Hustler! That's Censorship! Those Nazis!

    My local adult bookstore doesn't sell the Bible! That's Censorship! Those Nazis!

    My local country radio station refuses to play "Tooling for Anus" by The Meatmen! That's Censorship! Those Nazis!

    And on and on...

    Can we get over this "Store X sells items that are profitable since they're desirable to their target customer" and stop calling it censorship for once and for all? Because a business uses their legal right to choose what they do and do not sell hardly fits into the definition of censorship. On the most technical level, yes. But the word has long overgrown it's Webster dictionary definition in modern society.
    • by toriver (11308)
      If the Christian book store sold a sanitized Hustler with no sexual content, or the adult bookstore sold a version of the Bible with all the boring non-sex edited out (and called it The Bible), you would have a point.
      • Re:Hey everybody! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by east coast (590680) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @03:45PM (#20309375)
        No, I have a point without this since the "clean" products that Walmart is selling is being put out by the producer, they're not "censoring" anything. No one is twisting anyone's arm. Stop acting like someone is being oppressed here.

        Once again this is the classic case of people mistaking inconvenience for oppression.

        WalMart has the right to pick and choose what they carry. Why is it if they don't choose to carry something that you like because of their own self-imposed moral standards that you feel like you're the one being put off?

        Maybe you'd like it if WalMart could dictate what you have to buy from them?

        They have the right to choose just as much as you do. It's not censorship in the modernly acceptable term.

        I've noticed more and more how much people hate having other people exercise their right to choose if they're not choosing the most outrageous choices. Just another sign of the decline of civilization.
  • 'It's a bit hard to believe that all the customers who shop at the world's largest retailer want censored versions of music, though, but that's what they get.

    The vast majority of people likely don't want censored music, or, more likely, don't care if Wal*Mart is selling uncensoring music. However, there is a loud moralistic minority that annouces Wal*Mart boycotts etc. if they hear about something they don't like. The majority never chimes in with a counter-opinion, so the minority wins.

    Another analog

  • Instead of rerecording 'clean' versions of their songs they should use their creative abilities to make fun of censorship.

    I like what Nirvana did with Nevermind. Apparently some nut jobs were offended by seeing a naked baby in a swimming pool and they wanted the album cover censored. Kurt Cobain said "Sure, but only if there is a small stick over the baby's penis that says 'If this offends you, you are a closet pedophile.'" The cover remained intact.
  • I got rights! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @03:38PM (#20309293) Homepage Journal
    Yelled while pounding my desk, in a passable Bela Oxmyx imitation: "I got rights!"

    I got rights! On one side of the street is a Rasputin's Music. On the other is the Evil Rapacious Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart doesn't sell CDs with vulgar lyrics, Rasputin's does. This is censorship! My rights are being violated! I am being oppressed because I have to walk across the street to buy an albumn where someone says "fuck"! Think of the children!
  • I can't go to Wal-Mart and get an unbowdlerized copy of a CD...I guess because "it's for the children", meanwhile, said "children" are over at the movies picking up Saw VIII: the "We-Cut-Titties-Off-In-This-One-Double-Secret-Unce nsored-Director's-Cut" edition double-packed with Jackass III with the uncut scene of Steve-O eating his own nuts.

    Somehow that's okay to Wal-Mart.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.

Working...