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Should Wal-Mart Censor Artists?


It seems fair for a store to make decisions about what it wants to sell. For example, if an owner of a small business opposes vulgarity, she might pass on selling CDs with explicit language.

When Wal-Mart, the largest record store in the country, refuses to sell an artist's record because it contains bad language and insists that it will do so only after the band has released an edited, "clean" version — this is de facto censorship, and, in my opinion, an abuse of corporate power.

Green Day's album "21st Century Breakdown" won't be sold in Wal-Mart because the band refused to edit it for language and content, and knowing their reputation, probably never will. Basically, Wal-Mart is preventing a large portion of an artist's audience from enjoying the artist's authentic work.

Do you think Wal-Mart should be allowed to dictate these standards to artists? Should Green Day suck it up and release a Wal-Mart friendly version?

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