Wednesday, March 25, 2009

AT&T Working for RIAA

According to a report in, AT&T has become the first ISP to agree to act as enforcer for the RIAA.

[Ed. note. What can I say except (a) those of you who are using AT&T, please stop, and (b) those of you who are not using AT&T: good. And if you want to write them and let them know how you feel, all the better. -R.B.]

Keywords: lawyer digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property portable music player


Scott said...

I at present use both AT&T and Sprint network cards for my notebook PC. I was planning on canceling my AT&T account anyway because their backbone in the NYC area sucks -- high connect speeds but low, low data transfer rates, especially at lunchtime -- and they price gouge for over-limit above 5gb (like 10 times more than Sprint). By contrast Sprint's data network has never been balky when I've used it, and their over-limit fees are reasonable.

Now I have another reason to switch. Definitely avoid AT&T.

Anonymous said...

I somehow expect that AT&T will somehow justify applying this only to their Residential customers while exempting their Business customers.
I used to be involved with Internet access at Hotels. Many had multiple AT&T T1 circuits and were paying well over $ 1000 / month for them. If AT&T were to cut them off, they would not only lose that revenue, but any voice circuits would follow shortly thereafter. Since the Hotels in a chain frequently talk to each other, they could eventually lose everything they had with that chain.
T1 suppliers rarely have the monopoly advantage that ISPs may have in a residential area. Another ISP may cost a little more, but if you can get a T1 you have a larger lists of ISPs available to you than you do with DSL or Cable.

Anonymous said...

As this man sees it, the problem is that AT&T does other good things.

Their U-verse fiber optic to the node/curb service - along with Verzon's FIOS all-fiber service - have proven to be the only check against, and competition for, the cable monopoly. It's a reason to cheer when U-verse arrives in your neighborhood because suddenly your cable Internet provider will magically become a whole lot more reasonable and accommodating since there's suddenly real competition and a viable alternative at the speeds most homes actually need.

These decisions are seldom black-and-white simple.

{The Common Man Speaking}

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with competition in the ISP market, and might be an AT&T customer if they serviced my area.
I see this cooperation with the RIAA as a precursor to a voluntary 3 strikes situation.
If my ISP showed such a willingness, I would be working on a contingency plan to replace them.

I can avoid downloading music. I can avoid uploading music. I can even remove anything that remotely resembles music from my system.
I cannot avoid a false identification by the RIAA or the ISP, nor can I prevent someone else from spoofing my IP address.
I will still be vulnerable to a malicious software attack, and I refuse to monitor my wife and kids 7x24 to ensure they comply.

Trying to find a new ISP with no Internet access or my VOIP phone does not sound like a good time.

just a biased observer

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

I currently use AT&T. AT&T and Time Warner Cable currently hold monopolies on DSL and cable, respectively, in my city, and those are the only two choices for broadband. AT&T is a bit more palatable than TWC at the moment, given TWC's ridiculous caps. One city over (less than 2 miles away) they have Verizon and FIOS, with 10x the speed and no caps (and thus far no intent to file RIAA notices).

Scott said...

If you haven't already done so, I would strongly encourage you to investigate what your city offers in HD over-the-air television. I'm currently running my antenna into a Panasonic DMR-EZ28K DVR, which has an ATSC-HD tuner and an HDMI output to the flat-screen TV. Digital image quality is fantastic, and in my area there are dozens of channels to choose from.

The thing I like the most is not getting a $100+ cable bill every month. I miss not getting Food Network a little, but as for the rest, eh.

Anonymous said...

AT&T was one of the first to accept government money to add equipment to spy on the people. AT&T working for the RIAA is no different except the lawyers greasing the wheels now have government positions. At least we have what our president promised, a government that does not try to conceal perceived corruption.

Oldphart in Kansas

Scott said...

"At least we have what our president promised, a government that does not try to conceal perceived corruption."

So corruption is okay as long as you don't hide it.

Wouldn't it be even better to have a government that doesn't engage in corruption in the first place? Is that too much to ask for?