June 14, 2007

Earned Nicknames

To paraphrase the husband: There's a reason why AT&T's nicknamed "The Death Star."

AT&T Inc. has joined Hollywood studios and recording companies in trying to keep pirated films, music and other content off its network the first major carrier of Internet traffic to do so.

The San Antonio-based company started working last week with studios and record companies to develop anti-piracy technology that would target the most frequent offenders, said James W. Cicconi, an AT&T senior vice president.

The nation's largest telephone and Internet service provider also operates the biggest cross-country system for handling Internet traffic for its customers and those of other providers.

As AT&T has begun selling pay-television services, the company has realized that its interests are more closely aligned with Hollywood, Cicconi said in an interview Tuesday. The company's top leaders recently decided to help Hollywood protect the digital copyrights to that content.

"We do recognize that a lot of our future business depends on exciting and interesting content," he said.{...}

{my emphasis}

So, basically what we have here is an ISP saying they're going to start patrolling their pipes for copyright infringers. This means not only will BitTorrent whores be singled out for their bandwidth hogging ways, but could, conceivably, extend to anyone who looks at a clip from a tee vee show on You Tube. AT&T is doing this because they value their relationship with Hollywood more than they do the customers who fork over God only knows how much per month for internet service, and who, essentially, keep their business in business.

Ironically, they're doing this so they have access to future content to sell to said internet subscribers.

Who won't be able to download it without thinking long and hard about whether AT&T could potentially cut off their internet service if they do.


The only funny bit about this is that Cingular, which as the commercials incessantly remind us is "now the New At&T" is launching the iPhone at the end of the month. It's not clear what, specifically, this means for iPhone suckers users, but I don't suspect it'll be anything good when it comes to providing content for that nifty little screen you're supposed to be able to watch movies and tee vee on.

See also: Tech Crunch and Tech Dirt

Posted by Kathy at June 14, 2007 11:00 AM | TrackBack