AT&T has started sending letters to some of its customers, threatening to disconnect them because they've been accused (without trial or a chance to rebut the evidence) of copyright infringement. AT&T is doing this voluntarily. There is no law or regulation requiring them to do this. It's part of the controversial Copyright Alert System, whose overseeing body had its company status revoked last May.
We are sending you this alert as part of our participation in the Copyright Alert Program — an industry-wide initiative intended to help users understand their rights and responsibilities in the distribution of copyrighted content online.
Digital content owners routinely monitor file-sharing networks to determine if copyrighted movies and music are being distributed illegally over the Internet. Through the Copyright Alert System, we’ve recently received a notice from a movie studio, record company, television studio or other company that owns copyrighted material that your AT&T Internet account was used in connection with possible infringement of their copyright protected materials.
A copy of the original notice can be found at att.com/copyright-infringement, but summary information is available at the end of this email.
AT&T Threatens Persistent Pirates With Account Termination
(Image: Halifax Gibbet, Paul Glazzard/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA)