John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

AT&T. Your World, Delivered … to the MPAA

Looks like AT&T may give the content cartel the same deal it gave the National Security Agency. The company began collaborating last week with Hollywood studios and recording firms to develop a technology that would target piracy at the network level. “We do recognize that a lot of our future business depends on exciting and interesting content,” AT&T senior VP James Cicconi told the Los Angeles Times, noting that the company’s interests are more closely aligned than ever with the content industry’s these days. Yeah, I’ll say. Not aligned with those of its customers though, are they?

The announcement makes AT&T the first major Internet carrier to pursue a network solution to copyright enforcement and begs a number of questions: Will AT&T police the Internet traffic of its customers alone? Or will it police traffic over all its backbones and peering points? And why even bother when so many technological solutions to piracy have already failed. Why not try something different? “The only successful, robust way to address problems that involve personal responsibility and behavior is with social rather than technological tools,” Greg Jackson, CIO of the University of Chicago, told the House Committee on Science and Technology last week. “If we instead try and restrict behavior technologically… the only result will be an arms race that nobody wins.”