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Update April 3: Five days after the terms of service were changed, and four days after the first outcry in the online community, AT&T has retracted the worrisome language in its TOS that forbid third-party video transfers over its cellular network. Today the carrier issued the […]

Update April 3: Five days after the terms of service were changed, and four days after the first outcry in the online community, AT&T has retracted the worrisome language in its TOS that forbid third-party video transfers over its cellular network. Today the carrier issued the following statement: “The language added on March 30 to AT&T’s wireless data service Terms and Conditions was done in error. It was brought to our attention and we have since removed it. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.” [original story follows]

Along with a new mobile data pricing plan to go with its subsidized netbooks, AT&T has also changed its terms of service in a way that appears to limit video on its wireless network. As the Public Knowledge Policy Blog points out, the AT&T Wireless terms of service now explicitly prohibit “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/or for the operation of servers, telemetry devices and/or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition devices.” NewTeeVee has some good analysis of what this could mean for online video companies and consumers.

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By Stacey Higginbotham
  1. This sounds a bit OTT, even for a former monopoly.

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  2. AT&T is just setting up a test case for Obama FCC to see how much room they will be given.

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  3. I can understand why AT&T would want to limit video usage on their wireless network.

    It’s because their network sucks.

    I love my iPhone but if I could choose another provider I’d be outta there.

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  4. Overloaded mobile network infrastructures is a problem shared by many (or all) mobile operators, however we are fortunate not all operators are headed towards more and more severe use and volume restrictions. Forward looking operators are finding ways to integrate two or more wireless networks into their services offering, ensuring bandwidth is available when and where you need it, and enabling the operator to better manage the cost of carrying that traffic.

    Moves like this one from AT&T only re-enforce the need for these innovative approaches, and will ensure their success.

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  5. Wordsmith9091 Friday, April 3, 2009

    Will this count as a materially adverse contract change? Can users be let out of their contracts for this?

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  6. [...] who dare to use Skype. Nice. Can someone give all these guys some new ideas, please? [Via GigaOm]Filed under: Cellphones, WirelessAT&T tweaks wireless terms of service to forbid video [...]

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