As a requirement of its price-fixing settlement with the Feds, the RIAA is obliged to give thousands of CDs to public libraries. However, as has been noted, the CDs they're sending around are worse than shit: hundreds of copies of the years-old Whitney Houston single of the Star Spangled Banner, that species of kidney.
Jenny Levine (AKA the Shifted Librarian) works at a library where the RIAA care packages have started to come in. She reports on the contents thereof:
Several of the boxes are literally cut on the side, and the cut goes into the jewel cases themselves. Hence my declaration that we received a ton of "cut-outs." Some of the boxes even have dates of 2001 and 2002 posted on the labels, which I hope doesn't mean the date they were boxed up and put into storage. There is no way these boxes were packed by mistake as the result of a computer glitch. Some of the labels very clearly say 30 copies of this or that title, and I highly doubt the labels were supposed to cut the boxes after boxing and labeling them.
Update: Thom sez, "Since the feds were notified that the RIAA was sending out boxes of crap there has been an effort to ensure that the shipments were indeed relevant. I work for a public radio station and we received well over a thousand CDs in boxes last month as a part of our end of the settlement. I was expecting to unpack Whitney Houston, but was shocked to find tons of great jazz, opera and classical. There was about 7% crap, but hey it's free crap."