A statement was made recently that circled w's were
intentionally omitted from budget labels so as to avoid paying W.E.
I assume that was a speculation and that it's not
documented. At that time AT&T (which owed Western Electric)
was massive, omnipotent company. The group of
which Columbia and its budget labels was a puny corporate entity. I
suspect that IF they considered perpetrating a breach of contract, that the
record company's executives would've ultimately chosen not to risk the ire
of the liscensor.