AT&T to cut off customers’ service in piracy crackdown

AT&T will alert a little more than a dozen customers within the next week or so that their service will be terminated due to copyright infringement, according to sources familiar with its plans.

Why it matters: It’s the first time AT&T has discontinued customer service over piracy allegations since having shaped its own piracy policies last year, which is significant given it just became one of America’s major media companies.

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Between the lines: AT&T owns a content network after its purchase of Time Warner earlier this year, an entity now called WarnerMedia. Content networks are typically responsible for issuing these types of allegations to internet service providers (ISPs) for them to address with their customers.

  • A source said it’s unclear whether WarnerMedia was involved directly in issuing piracy allegations in these instances, although it’s possible.

The details: A now-defunct industry Copyright Alert System used to be responsible for holding ISPs accountable for educating customers about the risks of pirating content.

  • It’s unclear whether AT&T ever terminated a customer’s service when it was a part of that group, as opposed to lesser responses to piracy.
  • AT&T, along with other ISPs, were forced to create and enforce their own policies after the group dissolved.
  • Per AT&T’s policies, customers that AT&T is contacting about discontinuing service would have received at least nine separate notifications with allegations of copyright infringement from content owners prior to taking action to terminate the service.

www.axios.com/scoop-att-to-terminate-service-over-piracy-for-first-time-1541465187-749442e3-7b71-4cc7-a694-865779b6fb96.html

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