No iPhone for me, thanks to AT&T!

No iPhone for me, thanks to AT&T!

Summary: Not content to simply spy on Americans without a warrant, AT&T has taken a bold move forward and decided to work with the MPAA and RIAA (two of the most hated organizations on the planet), to eliminate copyrighted materials being transmitted between parties on their network.Tip o' the hat to Doc Searls suggestion...

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TOPICS: iPhone, Mobility, AT&T
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att1.jpg Not content to simply spy on Americans without a warrant, AT&T has taken a bold move forward and decided to work with the MPAA and RIAA (two of the most hated organizations on the planet), to eliminate copyrighted materials being transmitted between parties on their network. Tip o' the hat to Doc Searls suggestion... why not drop AT&T right now and send them a message that this isn't okay. Before I go to far into this story, let me just go back a little bit personally. Recently I had come to the conclusion that Comcast was the worst company in the world, if not the dumbest. They've been over-billing me for five months, regardless of how many hours I spend on the phone with them...and the countless times they tell me it is fixed...only to receive another over billing that I have to pay or get disconnected. Good times. I was about to make the leap to AT&T because they offer pretty competitive rates bundling Internet with VOIP, and whatnot. Plus I've recently become less skeptical about the iPhone and thought about switching from T-Mobile to Cingular...which is now AT&T. But I've changed my mind and I suggest you do the same. From the LA Times piece (requires registration):
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.
If only I had Cicconi's email address so I (and by "I" I mean "we") could voice my great displeasure. Steve Jobs, perhaps you could chat with your new AT&T buddies about this, since you've just lost one iPhone sale and likely more to follow? I mean who knows more about dealing with piracy and the value of copyright than you folks at Apple and Disney? Could you possibly give them some insight into how stupid this move is? ----- Technology-wise I just don't see how this is feasible. In fact I think it is likely impossible, so it could just be empty rhetoric from one company trying to appease the companies who they are in bed with for their fledgling cable TV operation. However, this isn't just a black eye for AT&T now, but imagine the vitriol that will come from the inevitable mistakes they'll make. We saw this back when YouTube was "forced" to remove thousands upon thousands of videos that Viacom had claimed were a violation of their copyright. However, what actually occurred was that YouTube removed tons of legitimate content from their servers that Viacom did not own the copyright to, pissing off countless users. With all of the pressure the RIAA/MPAA are feeling of late, this new AT&T strategy was likely conceived in some dark room full of the media illuminati to get some other company to do their dirty work and take the heat off of them. Great idea RIAA/MPAA! Apparently you've been watching more Sopranos episodes of late (legitimately I hope). ----- But before you judge AT&T too harshly, they aren't completely heartless. They are donating 10,000 prepaid phone cards to military families. From their press release:
In the coming weeks, the USO will help AT&T distribute the phone cards to troops throughout Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, South Korea and Japan. Each donated phone card will provide 20 minutes of free talk-time from Iraq to the U.S.
Wow...20 whole minutes!!! That's super cool! Wait...that snippet isn't very clear...do you have to go to Iraq to use them or can you use them in any AT&T military calling center? Don't worry though...if those 20 minutes run out, they still let you call collect. Sorry...did that come off sarcastic and cynical? It's just that I kinda think it would mean more if they kept their silly little 20 minute calling cards and just gave our military families free calls all the time between Iraq/Afghanistan and the U.S. They've built all these AT&T calling centers on military bases...can't they just give free phone calls? I think our soldiers deserve free phone calls don't you?
I mean considering that AT&T has received billions of dollars in government contracts over the years ($1 billion in the past 4 years alone). And hey look...once again they've made the Top 100 in government contractors. BTW...go read the press release...it reads like gibberish. ----- Well Comcast and T-Mobile...looks like yet another marginal year together! sigh

Topics: iPhone, Mobility, AT&T

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25 comments
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  • Don't sweat over pipe dreams

    Oh please, like they'd ever actually be able to do something about it. This is all just empty rhetoric, wishing for some magical tech solution that will never exist.

    Remember also with the iPhone that you'll be able to join Wifi networks, so you can do all your pirating that way (as the AT&T stuff would be too slow anyway).
    tic swayback
    • Are you seriously suggesting

      that we just look the other way? Just totally ignore the behavior of AT&T so we can continue to praise Apple, who chose them as a partner?


      Makes all your comments about MS and how 'bad' their behavior is sound hollow.
      "Because I like this company, there is nothing to see here, move along"

      Is there anything Apple fans can't excuse away?
      mdemuth
      • No, that's not what I'm suggesting at all

        ---Are you seriously suggesting
        that we just look the other way?---

        Not at all. I am suggesting that we ignore empty promises. If AT&T actually does something to restrict the flow of material on its network that is bad for consumers, then yes, by all means, do something about it. But why do something when the company has done nothing? Read the article. They're working with the **AA's to develop magical technology that can tell who owns the rights to any particular one or zero. It's nonsense, and it will never bear fruit.

        So why worry about it? If AT&T announced they were going unicorn hunting with the intent to wipe out the species, would you boycott them?
        tic swayback
        • OK, so we now like

          MS as it makes patent claims against linux? I mean, they can't really do anything, can they? They haven't.

          So we be cool?
          mdemuth
          • Don't believe the hype

            If you get upset over such things, you're falling into the trap they're setting. Neither has any power to do any such thing. It's best to just laugh at such idiocy.
            tic swayback
  • Message has been deleted.

    gtvr
  • Welcome to the club

    At&T is no longer a legitimate company and join the rank of super vilain like: MPAA, RIAA, Sony, Macrovision and the rest.

    unless the USA goverment stop accepting bribe from those openly criminal organisations. Nothing will be done...

    i think only a massive civil revolt will get the attention of the USA puppet goverment and shutdown the MPAA/RIAA once and for all. As they server no legitimate purpose.


    Make the world a better place, shutdown the MPAA/RIAA

    Kill the beast (MPAA/RIAA) stop paying for any enterteiment products (not paying does not mean not enjoying) until the MPAA/RIAA is destroyed and members punish for they countless crime again humanity.

    And remember DRM, by its very nature, is illegal as it punish peoples for a crime they did not commit and illegally depriving you of your LEGAL RIGHTS.
    Mectron
    • Uh,hello, where have you been?

      ---At&T is no longer a legitimate company and join the rank of super vilain like: MPAA, RIAA, Sony, Macrovision and the rest.---

      How old are you? You're just figuring out that AT&T aren't good guys? Guess you missed this whole deal:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Telephone_%26_Telegraph#Break_up.2C_spinoffs_and_restructuring

      Sheesh.
      tic swayback
  • RIAA/MPAA

    Let's not let RIAA/MPAA obscure the fact that AT&T is offering a competitive service and more choice.

    [url=http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070614-boston-u-student-fights-riaa-attempt-to-discover-names-behind-ip-addresses.html]This article[/url] shows the core issue:

    Privacy

    If lawyers representing the defendant in the Boston U case succeed, then it will be a president for further action, if not class action lawsuits filed against RIAA/MPAA.

    AT&T is not being sued but acting as proxy in passing judgement (prima facie) at the expense of forsaking privacy on users who are presumed to be engaged in illegal activities

    It's not going to go well in the long run for RIAA/MPAA.

    I'll stick with AT&T and my N95/N800 combo (3G coming soon), thank you.
    D T Schmitz
  • one for AT@T

    That's why I going with AT@T
    bileaux
  • I'm lucky that I live in Cablevision's territory.

    I have good to great customer service, easy month-to-month contracts and somewhat reasonable pricing. This is combined with the best bleeding edge technology in the cable business. My internet speeds usually run 13.5Mb/S download and about 1.8Mb/S upload. If I wanted to pay another $10/month I could double those speeds.

    When I get offerings from AT&T I am always amazed by their footnotes and small print. They cannot seem to just make me an offer without taking away what the large print promises. I do as little business with them as is possible. Ed Whittacre created a truly evil company and the new guy continues in the same vein.
    RickyF
  • You're obviously not a content provider

    So wait-- the biggest network services provider on the planet wants to help copyright holders enforce their rights-- and you all are angry? Did you spend the billions it took to create that stuff?

    Honestly, I'm pissed b/c I loved downloading MP3's-- but after finding out the legalities of it-- fact is fact. People want content and if someone has it-- they have a right to sell and profit from it. If you don't like the prices-- don't buy it! If the stuff is still selling, that means others don't care and are willing to pay-- and there is nothing that whiny rhetoric about not being able to steal is going to do about it!

    It's theft-- it sucks because I love my music too and I also don't believe that grannies should be sued over it, but if granny backs a car over a kid, it doesn't affect the fact that she broke the law. At the end of the day that's the bottom line and while it sucks for the average joe, we have no one to blame but ourselves for allowing our country to take this shape.
    kckn4fun
    • Sigh, vocabulary lesson again

      ---It's theft---

      It's not theft. It's a different crime, copyright infringement, covered by different laws. The laws for illegal infringement are much harsher, much more strict than the laws for theft. You're much better off being caught shoplifting 20 copies of a cd in your local store than you are being caught downloading 20 copies to strangers on the internet.
      tic swayback
      • Arguing semantecs does not change ...

        ... the illegality of the situation. You know what he meant.
        ShadeTree
    • The rules have changed

      [i]"So wait-- the biggest network services provider on the planet wants to help copyright holders enforce their rights-- and you all are angry?"[/i]

      Yes - because copyright holders are not playing by the rules.

      The copyright deal was this - we (the copyright holder) get exclusive rights for a set period and after that it lapses into the public domain. You (Joe Public) respect our licencing rights during that period.

      Except that what is now happening is that every time something major, like Mickey Mouse, nears the end of the copyright period then the lobbying starts and the copyright period goes up and 20 years. It is just not american companies either. Many large corporations do not want to relinquish the copyright. They want to keep it forever.

      So, from my point of view, they are breaking their side of the agreement. Why shouldn't I be free to break my side of it too? Grant me the same freedoms that MegaCorp Inc. wants for itself.
      bportlock
      • Your own post proves they are playing by the rules.

        "Except that what is now happening is that every time something major, like Mickey Mouse, nears the end of the copyright period then the lobbying starts and the copyright period goes up and 20 years."

        This would imply that they lobby Congress and have the rules changed. That is working within the laws, (rules) and is the way things are suppose to be done. The ones that are breaking the rules are the ones posting copyright material they do not own the rights to on the Internet for anyone to download. If you don't like the rules then lobby Congress to change them. Your point of view is promoting criminal behavior.
        ShadeTree
        • Stop shilling

          Let me state it in simple terms. The copyright holders entered into an agreement for a specific time period. When that period was due to expire they had it extended so that they did not have to give up their rights.

          So they have used a legal process to alter the law. They are within the *letter* of the law but they are violating the *spirit* of the law. That means that the copyright users - you, me, others - will have considerably less respect for the copyright law and will be less worried about breaking it. Our rights are being abused.

          Moving the legal goalposts to benefit yourself on a continuous basis has a corrosive effect on how the law of the land is viewed by the populace.
          bportlock
          • Stop justifying!

            They are excersing their rights within the Constitution and the statutory laws of the U.S. That does not justify breaking the law nor does it change my opinion of those laws. Your rights are not being abused. What rights do you think are? The right to other people's work for free? It does not change your right to view material you have payed for and received. Your arguement is specious.
            ShadeTree
      • A clarification...

        Mickey Mouse was never copyrighted, so its copyright never needed to be
        extended. The Mickey Mouse character is a trademark, which has protection as
        long as it is used for commercial purposes by Disney.
        msalzberg
  • No, I must get bent out of shape

    No, I must get bent out of shape over every corporate indescretion or ethical offense and deem them all unworthy to practice commerce. I don't care if Microsoft's employees give more to charity per employee than any other company, or that Bill Gates has given billions in aid to other countries. He is an evil man who is trying to control the desktop and must be stopped.

    All Corporations must come to an end and Mom and Pop shops should rule the earth!!!

    Spread the love!!!
    nucrash