AT&T has quietly changed their TOS (terms of service; it looks like the revision is targeted directly at the Sling software that is due out for the iPhone, and also other Sling apps that are currently running on other mobile phones on the AT&T Network.
Here's the nasty little section:
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.
They also added this language:
On the 5GB DataConnect Plan, once you exceed your 5GB allowance you will be automatically charged $0.00048 per Kb for any data used. On the 200MB Data Connect Plan, once you exceed your 200MB allowance, you will be automatically charged $10 for an additional 100MB. Unused data from either your initial allowance or any overage allowance (e.g., the 100MB) will not be carried over to the next billing period; all data allowances must be used in the billing period in which the allowance is provided. On other plans with a monthly megabyte or gigabyte allowance, once you exceed your allowance you will be automatically charged overage as specified in the applicable rate plan information.
This can't be good news for those using Sling or Orb software, or those who were expecting the iPhone app. Other carriers do have similar language, but in my old days on Verizon I was able to use the SlingPlayer software on a Windows Mobile phone without hassle or threats.
After everyone already got pretty mad at Sling for making older SlingPlayers obsolete for use with the iPhone app, AT&T can now be added to the roster of offenders.
A Sling spokesperson, Jay Tannenbaum, told me today via email: "The most cost effective way to enjoy streaming content on any phone is by taking advantage of an unlimited data plan, something that we suggest to all our users. If there is no data cap, there's no problem. That said, we try to have good relations with all the carriers and try to deliver the best quality experience within the constraints of bandwidth and technology."
This quote doesn't specifically address the TOS changes, but at least it's dialogue.
Here's a link to the new TOS from AT&T Wireless. It will be interesting to see how this all sorts itself out.
Thanks to Jason and others who pointed this out.