Culture The Media

As Much as I’d Like to See Wal-Mart Sued…

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…I don’t want to see them sued this, badly. Seems they accidently let a swear word through their censors on an Evanescence CD. “”I don’t want any other families to get this, expecting it to be clean. It needs to be removed from the shelves to prevent other children from hearing it,” said Mr Skeens of Brownsville. ” That’s the sort of quotation you expect in the Onion, not the BBC.

Wal-Mart did rather set itself up for this one, by choosing not to stock CDs with a “Parental Advisory” label, they attracted the sort of people who would sue them over an errant swear word. However, if (and the chances are slim) the lawsuit succeeds, it is setting a distrubing precedent-

“It also seeks damages of up to $74,500 (£38,660) for every customer who bought the CD at Maryland Wal-Marts, and also naming record label Wind-Up Records and distributor BMG Entertainment in the legal action. ”

Essentially, not only distributing but also producing anything offensive is being treated as an infringment onto someone elses rights should they actually listen to what you produce, and moreover, selling such material to anyone is worthy of punishment if one of your customers disapproves. Exactly where does individual liberty fit in here? Granted, it took me the whole of three minutes to look through the lyrics on that particular CD and find the offensive word; god forbid parents do an elementary google search and then actually read through the lyrics of an album before buying it for their kids if they are so concerned.

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The Polish Wolf

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