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Friday, August 10, 2007 - Page updated at 02:09 AM

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AT&T: Pearl Jam edit a mistake

The Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — Lyrics performed by Pearl Jam criticizing President Bush should not have been censored from a webcast by AT&T Inc., a company spokesman acknowledged Thursday.

AT&T, through its Blue Room entertainment site, offered a webcast of the band's headlining performance Sunday at Lollapalooza in Chicago. The event was shown with a brief delay so the company could bleep out excessive profanity or nudity.

But monitors hired by AT&T through a vendor went further and cut two lines from a song to the tune of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall." One was "George Bush, leave this world alone" the second time it was sung, and the other was "George Bush find yourself another home," according to the band's Web site.

AT&T spokesman Michael Coe said that the silencing was a mistake and that the company was working with the vendor that produces the webcasts to avoid future misunderstandings. He said AT&T was working to secure the rights to post the entire song — part of a singalong with the audience — on the Blue Room site.

Blue Room offers live concerts, sports interviews, video-game advice and other entertainment content that requires a high-speed Internet connection. Although viewing the content is free, San Antonio-based AT&T uses the site as a way to promote its DSL broadband services.

Besides Pearl Jam's show, AT&T showed 21 other performances ranging from Pete Yorn to G. Love and Special Sauce during the three-day Lollapalooza music festival. Coe said no other complaints have been made about censoring.

Pearl Jam said in a posting on its Web site that in the future, it would work harder to ensure live broadcasts or webcasts are "free from arbitrary edits."

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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