HMV has taken the controversial decision to stop selling the music of rock band Lostprophets, following last week’s guilty plea by its singer Ian Watkins in a case involving child sex offences. A spokesperson for the retailer confirmed to NME that staff are removing the band’s physical albums from shelves in its stores, and that they’ll also be scrubbed from its online store. Why is this controversial? Observers on Twitter were quick to notice that if there’s an HMV policy of not selling music by child abusers, it appears to have stopped short of Gary Glitter, whose back catalogue remains available on HMV’s digital store. In the light of that, HMV stopping selling Lostprophets’ digital music risks looking like an attempt to capitalise on the (understandably) negative sentiment around the band, even if removing CDs from stores could be justified as a commercial decision to free shelf space. In any case, HMV’s decision to take moral decisions on behalf of its customers, rather than leaving them to make up their own minds, is curious.

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