AT&T is the first ISP to cooperate with RIAA's new ‘spot the copyright infringer’ scheme


The RIAA received some rare “good press” a few months ago when it announced that it would no longer go after individual file sharers. But then, approximately 27 seconds later, we began hating it again when it emerged that, instead of going after individual file shares, it would work with ISPs to weed out file sharers. A distinction without meaning, I say. Anyhow, AT&T is the first big ISP to announce that it’s working with the organization, so now we transfer our angst that-a-way.

AT&T admitted as much at some meeting of the minds, as it were, in Nashville. The ISP has been telling some of its subscribers that, hey, the RIAA has you on its radar, so knock it off, or else! The “or else” could be any number of things, including the threat of legal action.

Anyway, it’s not exactly worth getting freaked out over just yet, since AT&T says its current cooperation with the RIAA is just a trial run. (And I’m the King of Spain!)

CNET makes a good point when it brings up the fact that ISPs have usually shied away from doing the RIAA’s dirty work, as it could be seen as forfeiting their common carrier status. That is, if anything illegal happens over AT&T’s lines it’s not AT&T’s fault, since all it is is a dumb pipe; what people choose to do with that pipe is their own business.

And in the interest of keeping this honest, I type this as I’m seeding hundreds of torrents. What are you gonna do?