Gold'en Rant : AT&T's fuzzy approach to DRM

You've got to hand it to AT&T, the US carrier that has the monopoly on sales of the locked-down iPhone as O2 does in the UK. It really knows how to publicise the Apple premium handset.

Unlike O2 in the UK, however, AT&T is more than a little hypocritical on the subject of DRM - digital rights management - on music tracks.

Whilst most of the world now seems to acknowledge that DRM-free music tracks are what consumers really want on their portable devices, AT&T is still clinging to its guns when it comes to locking music tracks to the device they are downloaded on.

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona recently, Ralph de la Vega, AT&T's president of mobility, seemed to go against company policy by admitting that DRM is a real issue for consumers.

"Right now there are separate policies for the same content whether it's on my phone, on my TV or from the Internet, and that model is not going to work," he said in his keynote speech.

According to de la Vega, the industry needs one DRM policy to cover every screen so we don't become mired in endless complexities.

Pardon me ?

Is this the same AT&T that made around three and half billion pounds last year from its mobile data services, including a wide range of DRM-locked mobile music services?

Is this the same AT&T - the former state telco in the US - that is reportedly pushing Apple to release updated firmware to keep the iPhone locked to its network and keep punters downloading DRM-locked music tracks?

Talk about hypocrisy. At least O2 is honest about its iPhone and mobile music offerings in the UK...