We have touched on technology and music a bit here, but recent developments involving Pearl Jam need to be noted.
According to the band's web site, Pearl Jam's Lollapalooza webcast was censored by sponsor/webcaster AT&T:
Now I don't think an apology by AT&T is going to cut it. Especially, with net neutrality still being an issue.
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."
AT&T, like other telecommunication companies say you can "just trust them" about doing the right thing and keeping everything equal. We need to pass a net neutrality law now. Corporate censorship has always been a part of the American music scene but the internet could bring censorship a whole new level.
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.