Fri, Apr 3rd 2009 4:11pm
AT&T has modified the terms of service for its mobile data network, banning "downloading movies using P2P file sharing services, customer initiated redirection of television or other video or audio signals via any technology from a fixed location to a mobile device, web broadcasting, and... any applications that tether the device... to Personal Computers or other equipment." So in addition to banning illegal movie downloads, AT&T's banned things like SlingPlayer that consumers can use to legally view content, services like Qik that let them show live video on the web from their phones. Why would it do such a thing? Well, either it's looking to protect its commercial interests by banning services for which it hopes to charge its customers, or its network isn't up to snuff and can't support all the things its customers would like to do with it. This sort of stuff, sadly, is par for the course for the mobile industry, home of the "unlimited" plan that's actually got lots of limits. In the end, the only ones who end up getting hurt by these things are the operators themselves. By seeking to limit what their customers can do with their phones, they're limiting how valuable they are to their users -- which means at some point, they won't be willing to pay as much for them.
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