AT&T Alters TOS -- Kills SlingPlayer for iPhone Dead?

When it rains it pours. Just the other day we reported that if you wanted to use the soon to be released(?!) SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhones you may have to upgrade your home SlingBox first. Not a wise move if you ask us, especially since it seems to be no reason but greed. Well now PublicKnowledge.org is reporting that AT&T last week went in and changed their TOS (Terms of Service).

<

blockquote>This means, by way of example only, that checking email, surfing the Internet, downloading legally acquired songs, and/or visiting corporate intranets is permitted, but 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 is prohibited.

So what does this all mean now for SlingPlayer Mobile? Is AT&T the the reason for what seems to be a delay of this application hitting the App Store? Maybe, maybe not...

Thoughts anyone?

[Via PublicKnowledge.org]

Jeremy

Community editor. Tech enthusiast. All-around geek.

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There are 55 comments. Add yours.

Guinness0514 says:

Ugh! This makes me so mad...

Stephen says:

Since SlingPlayer will work on WiFI how does this kill it?

Guinness0514 says:

Well rumor was said it to support 3G too...guess not anymore

Guinness0514 says:

wonder if this kills Orb too??

Mike says:

**Good. -- slingmedia really pissed me off when they decided to not support older slingboxes, now they wont get people to needlessly upgrade and wont make any money off the app. thats what you get.
**Bad. -- this effectively kills live tv on the iphone for anything other than U-Verse.

MANGU says:

I called this like two months ago! AT&T with it's U-Verse and all is not going to allow it!
It's even if it's on your WIFI.
I hope I'm wrong
cause this is bad!

Mike says:

orb doesnt redirect tv, you are accessing stored content, right?
plus is there even any way for them to tell if you are watching video from orb or youtube?

matt hall says:

What about orb? You can already watch live tv on your iPhone over 3g...

matt hall says:

Orb certainly does redirect tv

Guinness0514 says:

Yeah My guess Orb flew under the radar, but Sling has had much more media hype

Jeremy says:

It is important to remember these changes to the TOS just recently took place while Orb has been in the App Store for some time now. Should be interesting to see if it disappears...

Virgil says:

Even if orb gets banned, you can do it via myorb through safari.

Docnesh says:

This is very sad news indeed... I hope at the very least the sling player app will be released and support wifi.
I am very frustrated with ATT, and all the wireless providers for that matter. It seems as though net neutrality just doesn't apply.
The biggest problem with the iphone is you have apple hampering creativity to avoid cannibalizing its own offerings, and you have the networks crippling the device so they can charge you for DATA they deliver over their network....
I would LOVE to see a provider simply charge for bandwidth and nothing else.
Let's hope this gets sorted out, if sling ends up supporting the new palm pre I may end up jumping ship for one of those.... or if I must a blackberry... honestly I got an iPhone knowing that eventually sling media would support it...
the million dollar question now is does this TOS change by ATT kill sling player for blackberry and windows mobile phones currently on their network? if it doesn't I will be even more upset at the fact they are targetting iphone owners.
--Jeff

OmariJames says:

one after the other I see !!

Guinness0514 says:

Looks like a more compelling reason to jail break...this is just STUPID...

Poptart says:

WOW! i just went out and bought a brand new Sling PRO-HD for nothingggggg!

ryrycalguy says:

Does this mean I can also get out of my contract with AT&T since they're changing their TOS?

Docnesh says:

I highly doubt this will stick...but if it does, there needs to be some serious mobilization and possibly litigation.... AT&T has the right to adjust it's TOS but the fact that slingplayer was available on MULTIPLE devices that they offer for quite some time, had the "reasonable expectation" that if made available it wouldbe permitted on the iPhone as well.... This whole thing is questionable, if you ask me.
--J

ryrycalguy says:

.....get out of my contract without an Early Termination Fee.

Guinness0514 says:

Well let's see in the days to come. I am sure the details will come out due to the hype on this product. I can't see them not allowing one platform to allow it on others. If they won't allow the app on iPhone, then it would seem that they would have to disallow it on all the other phones...

PC says:

The TOS should ban Pandora, iheartradio, AOL radio and other mobile radio apps. This is stupid. AT&T needs to stop limiting people and allow people to use the network (fastest 3G network?) that we pay for, not them, we pay for it.

Al says:

That is an interesting question. Can they change the TOS with out us who are already under contract consenting to the change. Isn't that like changing a contract after it is signed by all parties? I don't get it :(

PC says:

That also means that Slingplayer on AT&T Blackberrys are banned too?

Mike says:

i forgot about the tv tuner option with orb, but again can they tell if its orb or youtube? i dont watch live but have over 200 movies and over 30 television series' i access with orb and love it!!

Jeremy says:

For anyone interested here is the link to the ToS right on AT&T's website.
http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/legal/plan-terms.jsp

iRoc says:

Hmm I could have sworn that I got an unlimited Data plan when I bought my 3G, but almost daily it seems AT&T finds ways to restrict what data I can and can not access over their network. Even to the point of denying iPhones access to certain things that are allowed on other AT&T phones.
This falls under the same lines as Apple telling you what you can and can not do with YOUR iPhone. Truely sad part is that it's so not fair, but people are jsut taking it. Stand up for your rights people! Band together and be heard, or shut up and take it. Those are you choices.

Matt Sawyers says:

@Guinness0514 I am thinking Orb might find themselves stuck in this boat as well.
Yes the Orb app redirects TV. However, while the app might get the boot, their web interface is still usable. Still a bummer none the less is Apple follows with it.

Wyatt says:

I've been so disenchanted with all the cellular providers that I don't even care any more. It's not like I didn't think something like this wouldn't happen which is why I no longer purchase equipment for any "pre-announced" service hoping to use it in the future. Maybe everyone on AT&T should call them and announce they will cancel their service at the end of their contract due to the change of the TOS if not sooner.
The strangle hold cellular carriers have over customers is just ridiculous. Now they want to interfere in everyone's fair use of media they already own or paid for. Just incredible isn't it.

Jimm says:

What does that do to MLB audio feeds?
Watch for massive defections from ATT and another change in the TOS from them

Faith says:

Yet again AT&T ruining the iPhones full potential again!

lgreenberg says:

Yeah or the March Madness App, or the upcoming Masters app......
WTF!

Guinness0514 says:

@Jeremy Sikora (or anyone)
Speaking of Orb and the TOS. If an app is already downloaded. Is it possible to render is useless? I understand Apple had a "kill switch" for apps, but do you think they would use it?? How could they stop this app and other apps from working when they have already been downloaded and in use?

Jeremy says:

@Guinness, the worst they can do is remove it from the App Store. If you have it, you have it and it is yours to keep. It's no different than any app that has been stripped to date. That is my opinion.

Guinness0514 says:

Well at least there is that...It will be interesting to see how much of an influence the AT&T has on Apple to block this app from using 3G. They allow some to use, so they will have a hellstorm of iPhone users if they continue to allow some of their phones on 3G to use and iPhones to not....

Matt says:

it will still come out... Slingplayer is already on the blackberry!

jasondeno says:

I'm very confused here...
Why is the installed default app of YouTube OK, but Sling is not?
If I read this correctly, then 'redirection of audio from a fixed location via ANY technology' would include phone calls to/from non-mobile users... uh, what?
But if plunk down my Sling at my office and connect to it over the Intranet, then its OK?
This is worded very vaguely.

Nick says:

This also prohibits Pandora, and all the other internet radio apps.

David says:

It all boils down to two words BULL ****!!!!!

muck says:

I think all ISPs want to get to a billing model that charges you per data used. Like tier usage on energy. No more flat rates for unlimited data. That's where this is heading.
ATT is trying to limit your bandwidth with this move, and they'll give it back to you via usage fees.

taylorh says:

Well, I'd still like to use it on Wifi. That's where I use Slingbox mostly anyway.
Oddly, this clearification of the ToS is akin to adding a new "no texting while driving" rule. Something that was always illegal under "distracted driver" traffic laws.
AT&T has always forbid streaming in their ToS. This just specifically calls out Slingbox type streaming

lgreenberg says:

AT&T retracts new terms of service, apologizes
by Nilay Patel, posted Apr 3rd 2009 at 7:08PM
Looks like the uproar over AT&T's recently-tweaked wireless terms of service has caused some hasty rethinking in Dallas -- the company just sent us this 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.
Well, that settles that, at least for now -- high fives all around, Internet friends.

ryrycalguy says:

Yeah, AT&T really did need to fix that. I'm glad they did. For now.

ryrycalguy says:

"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."

Guinness0514 says:

Ahh. I'm having a little of a braveheart moment... I can sleep now :-)

IphoneLuvr says:

I really would like to know just WHEN this darn app is going to be released in the app store for purchase. I check the appstore 2x daily atleast to see but have not seen anything or found any more information on the web.
Does anyone have an idea of when we can or should expect to see this released by apple?
Thanks!

svp123 says:

AT$T are control freaks and A-Holes, but, it serves Sling right.
There IS justice in the Universe! Screw Sling and their greed.
Now it's Apple's turn to deny them too!
Do your stuff Apple!
Get rid of the Greedy Scum. Don't let Sling tarnish your good reputation!
I bought 3 sling box classics, beta tested for them, spread the good word of Sling to eveyone, and this is how they repay me (us)? Corporate greed?
No appreciation for the folks who helped get them where they are?
They lost a faithful client and will continue to do so one client at a time!
By the way, for all you people who chimed in on Orb, it doesn't work (yet) on a Mac.

Gary Byrd says:

Well, this is really sorry of AT&T, but I would imagine that they would make an exception for the Sling simply because other carriers allow Sling players on their devices.
IMO, this would cause a severe backlash to AT&T as the Sling Community is a fiercly loyal community.

Guy Mayhew says:

Well it doesnt kill it for UK customers as the iPhone is for O2 customers. No AT&T influence here...

CptnCrunch says:

I purchased slingbox pro hd a couple months ago. I've waited long enough. If these companies dont stop all of this bs im going to ban all of them and get Boost Mobil.

Mikhail says:

Enough of the fuss, and forget slingplayer. I waited long enough. If your pc does not have a cable tuner (card), buy one for $50. Then download the Orb app for $10 and follow instructions. I now watch tv on my iphone, all my cable channels work. You can also 'see' all of your music photos and videos that are on your pc, so it kicks slingbox's a$$ and is a fraction of the price.

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