State Officials Stop Delivery Of Rap, Rock CDs To Libraries

Kansas, Indiana attorneys general object to lyrical content of free albums.

The attorneys general for the states of Kansas and Indiana have withheld the distribution of more than 7,000 CDs, including music by Outkast and Rage Against the Machine, to state libraries because they have deemed the music objectionable.

The states are among 40 receiving free CDs as part of a 2002 settlement with the major record labels over claims of price-fixing (see "Labels Owe Consumers $140 Million From Inflated CD Prices, Settlement Says").

In Kansas, Republican Attorney General Phill Kline rejected 1,600 CDs out of an allotment of 51,000 because the state did not want to distribute materials to public libraries that promoted violence or otherwise offensive behavior, according to Kline's spokesperson, Whitney Watson. The rejected CDs represented about 35 titles out of 1,000, including music by Notorious B.I.G., Stone Temple Pilots, Lou Reed, Devo and Concrete Blonde.

Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter, also a Republican, removed about 5,300 CDs from his state's allotment of 110,000, according to spokesperson Staci Schneider. She said Carter did not feel it was right for a public official to distribute lewd or objectionable material that may not be appropriate for all ages. She added that individual libraries were given the option of requesting copies of the rejected CDs on their own.

Several other states have also suspended their allotment of CDs, but not over objectionable content — they were concerned that they were getting warehouse leftovers.