Pearl Jam's Anti-Bush Lyrics Jammed by AT&T

But Vandenberg indicated the band might not release the video, saying that only when AT&T addresses Pearl Jam's concerns about censorship and the webcast editing process will the band consider releasing it.

The incident has sparked debate over whether so-called net neutrality regulations are necessary to rein in the power of Internet providers. Net neutrality legislation would strip ISPs of their ability to limit content users' access to certain Web sites, particularly those of their competitors.

Because the webcast in question was on a private AT&T Web site, it would be regulated by net neutrality laws even if they were adopted by Congress.

But Tim Carr, a neutrality advocate at the Save the Internet coalition, said AT&T's censorship is an excellent example of what could go wrong when ISPs control what their users see and hear.

"The censorship of Pearl Jam gives us a clear view of what the problem is: When you allow large Internet providers to also become gatekeepers to content there's too often a temptation to limit what people get to see," Carr said.

But AT&T's spokesman Coe called net neutrality laws "a solution without a problem." He added, "We have said repeatedly over and over that we will not block customers' access to legal content. We've said that in front of Congress. We've stated it as conditions of our merger with Bell South."

And at least one person said Pearl Jam and other activists are blowing this issue out of proportion to push their own personal agenda for net neutrality.

"To say that they're censoring is ridiculous? It's propaganda and it seems to be working," Derek Hunter, the executive director of the Media Freedom Project, said.

"Fifteen seconds of a concert sounds like a mistake to me."

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