AT&T: Self-Appointed Copyright Police

Brian Zick

AT&T, the proud providers of illegal and unconstitutional warrantless wiretaps on completely innocent citizens, apparently enjoys the job of spying on its customers. James Granelli for the LA Times reports: 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 risk AT&T faces is fighting the last war by spending money and energy plugging an old hole in the wall when new ones are breaking out," said Fred von Lohmann, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Freedom Foundation. The San Francisco digital-rights organization has sued AT&T, alleging it illegally released customers' phone data to the federal government. Technology is putting unlimited copying power in the hands of consumers, Von Lohmann said, so the answer to piracy can't be trying to stop them from making copies. "The answer should be to figure out how to turn them into paying customers," he said. AT&T's decision surprised Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge, a digital rights advocacy group. "AT&T is going to act like the copyright police, and that is going to make customers angry," she said. "The good news for AT&T is that there's so little competition that where else are the customers going to go?" via John at AMERICAblog

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