In a recent Slate article Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu suggests that the recent proposal by AT&T to monitor internet traffic for copyright violations is the equivalent of corporate seppuku.
Tim notes that the proposal:
1) will be a public-relations disaster;
2) will degrade throughput rates;
3) directly undermines the hard-won ‘common-carrier’ exemption from content liability;
4) arguably will violate AT&T’s fiduciary duty to its shareholders;
5) is technically implausible.
The only rationales Tim can muster are:
1) AT&T’s “master strategy is to try and become more like AOL circa 1996”;
2) Use copyright violation as a lever to beat down Network Neutrality.
Tim recommends that, if the plans proceed any further, AT&T shareholders shed their shares ASAP!