Verizon To Hollywood: We're Not The Piracy Police

AT&T and Comcast may be willing to help Hollywood control piracy on their networks, but Verizon wants none of it, says the New York Times.

Saul Hansell spoke to Tom Tauke, Verizon’s executive vice president for public affairs.

“We generally are reluctant to get into the business of examining content that flows across our networks and taking some action as a result of that content,” Tauke said, then gave three reasons why Verizon isn’t thrilled with the idea of becoming piracy cops:

1) The slippery slope.

Once you start going down the path of looking at the information going down the network, there are many that want you to play the role of policeman. Stop illegal gambling offshore. Stop pornography. Stop a whole array of other kinds of activities that some may think inappropriate.

2) It opens up potential liability for failing to block copyrighted work.

When you look back at the history of copyright legislation, there has been an effort by Hollywood to pin the liability for copyright violations on the network that transmits the material. It is no secret they think we have deeper pockets than others and we are easy-to-find targets.

3) Privacy.

Anything we do has to balance the need of copyright protection with the desire of customers for privacy.

Sounds promising. Also, we like the fact that Verizon’s executive vice president for public affairs is a guy named Tauke.

Verizon Rejects Hollywood’s Call to Aid Piracy Fight [New York Times]