dslreports logo

story category
AT&T, Microsoft, NBC Form Anti-Piracy Supergroup
Lump illegal P2P in with viruses to push filter ideology...
by Karl Bode 06:21PM Wednesday Sep 24 2008
AT&T, Microsoft, Cisco, Viacom, and NBC Universal have joined forces to create a new lobbying coalition named "Arts & Labs," tasked with taking aim at piracy. The group is co-chaired by Mark McKinnon, former media advisor to the Bush and McCain campaigns, and Mike McCurry, who until last week was Chairman for the telecom-industry funded anti-net-neutrality group "Hands Off The Internet." McCurry outlines the group's purpose in today's press release:
"We want consumers to have exponentially greater opportunities to access creative content in a variety of formats, and with confidence that they are safe from viruses, hackers, malware, illegal file trafficking and other net pollution that puts them at risk," McCurry said.
Click for full size
There's no doubt the kids need to be protected from all the free TV shows they could possibly eat, but Consumer group Public Knowledge has a different take. "Combining the power and influence of AT&T and the entertainment industry means only that both are going to wage an all-out war for the right to filter every bit of data anyone sends across the Internet," says Public Knowledge's Gigi Sohn.

Public Knowledge did have one nice thing to say about the new coalition. "We are pleased to see that Verizon continues to resist the incessant and misguided pressure from the entertainment industry," says the group. Verizon has consistently been one of the only major incumbent ISPs who've been very wary about the inherent dangers in becoming Internet content babysitters.

Not coincidentally, most of the new group's members strongly favor ISP filtering of pirated content and apparently, lumping this content in with spam and viruses is the opening salvo of a new PR campaign on this front. AT&T has already stated they're testing piracy filters, while NBC Universal has gone so far as to suggest that piracy filters should be embedded in home networking hardware, something Viacom also agrees with.

86 comments .. click to read

Recommended comments

Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Tulsa, OK

1 edit

2 recommendations

reply to swhx7

Re: Piracy will kill the internet

said by swhx7:

If anyone doubts the parent post, look at the press release (again) and instead of the bits about piracy, notice the language. The whole concept of the internet assumed there is a totally commercial one. Citizens are called "consumers" and expected to pay for all the "content" they "consume", buying it from profit-oriented vendors. There is no room in this vision for any non-commercial communication, public interest, or non-exploitive human relationships.
They are very very careful in their choice of language. Notice, they can't call it "Information" or "Data" because then they would be saying "We need to filter and block information" which is 100% what they are actually TRYING to do, but it sounds very, VERY bad (and well it would be) so they refer to it as "content". The Internet was never about "consumers" being spoon-fed the content they WANT you to see. That's what TV, radio, etc is for. The Internet has always been about networking and sharing. THE VERY ESSENCE OF A NETWORK IS TO SHARE DATA, FILES, INFORMATION. Sure, it can be used to provide entertainment, but that's only a secondary concern.

However, for some people, everything is always about money, and how much more of it they can get, by any means. If the Internet is becoming a medium in which content can be distributed and sold for profit, then they want not a share, but control over all... they want to be able to block competition, and ensure all such content comes through them. They wish to be the gatekeepers, holding all the keys to the Internet, controlling all access, and only allow people to proceed if they approve of, and can charge a suitable fee for, said access.

Free market capitalism can produce good outcomes, but the for-profit corporation with legal status of a person and power to influence government is a toxin to society just as HIV or asbestos is to the body. They are sociopaths, and their press releases are always deceptive advertisements. A pretence of civic-minded motives on the part of a business is a sure sign of lying for profit.
It's sure heading that way... and it appears they want to "upgrade" the toxicity to the level of oh, say ingesting Cyanide.

This brings up an interesting related issue; That of Metered billing or overage charges. Once such a model is in place, their goals will have been greatly advanced, as "Consumers" will now be paying for information.... no matter who created it. In effect they will be able to profit off the works of everyone out there, without having to compensate anyone. They will make money by forcing you to pay for access to information. Even information you don't want. Man, what a cash cow that could be. The Toll-boothes on the Internet.

Doctor Four
My other vehicle is a TARDIS
Dallas, TX

2 recommendations

reply to chRoniX10
ninjatutle See Profile is a well known anti-piracy/p2p troll around here. It has already been demonstrated time after time that it is impossible to stop p2p in any way, shape, or form. Yet the MAFIAA which he and others of his ilk seem to support keep spending millions of dollars on so-called "technology" like Audible Magic's Copy Sense, only to have them fail epically and utterly.

Filters will not stop copyright infringement online, nor can they differentiate between "legal" and "pirated" content, no matter what anyone may say to the contrary.

And losses to the industry from p2p are a drop in the bucket compared to those from bootlegging, which is far more common.
"The trouble with computers, of course, is that they are very sophisticated idiots." - Doctor Who (from Robot)