Feeds

AT&T to warn online music rustlers

Nag, not throttle

The next step in data security

AT&T, the US's largest ISP, will cooperate with the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) in tossing written warnings at downloaders of copyrighted material.

But it won't cut offenders off - at least not "without a court order," according to a senior AT&T exec as quoted by Cnet News.

Jim Cicconi, AT&T's senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs, made his company's position clear at the Leadership Music Digital Summit, a meeting of music-industry heavyweights held this week in Nashville, Tennessee.

At issue is the RIAA's "graduated response" program, in which the RIAA informs ISPs about naughty subscribers who are downloading copyrighted material, then the ISP sends those subscribers a polite notice that it has reason to believe that they're engaged in an illegal activity.

If that warning doesn't sufficiently frighten the downloading malfeasant, an escalating series of notifications would be sent, up to and including a threat to cut the evildoer's ISP service.

At least, that's the plan. The flaws in the RIAA's scheme are that the ISP has to play along and that the threat of a service cut-off has to be credible.

AT&T is willing to play along - but only up to a point. Notices are are well and good, but according to Cnet News, Cicconi says that "We're not a finder of fact and under no circumstances would we ever suspend or terminate service based on an allegation from a third party.

"What we do is send notices and keep track of violations and IP addresses," Cicconi said. "It's our view that any stronger action has got to rest with the copyright owner...That's what the courts are there for."

Cnet News also quoted Joe Waz, Comcast's senior vice president for external affairs and public-policy counsel, as saying that his company has "no plans to test a so-called 'three-strikes-and-you're-out' policy," although the company has sent notifications of copyright infringement to customers "for years."

It's unclear, however, whether ISPs with less clout than AT&T and Comcast will act as RIAA enforcers - and neither Earthlink, Qwest, nor Speakeasy returned our calls asking what they would do if the RIAA came knocking. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.