Is this BusinessWeek or The Enquirer ?

This is what I said in an interview with CNet when asked whether i was interested in the LA News Service.

” “They are the first company to cover news in high definition in LA,” Cuban said via e-mail. “That’s very valuable to me.”

This is what Businessweek turned it into:

“Verbally bashing YouTube is apparently not enough for billionaire “blog maverick” Mark Cuban. Now the Dallas Mavericks owner and tech entrepreneur is reportedly considering acquiring the independent news agency that’s suing the video-sharing site for copyright violations. The brash move, if it goes through, would undoubtedly escalate Cuban’s war of words with Google (GOOG), which closed its $1.65 billion stock purchase of YouTube Nov. 13. In fact, it could force Cuban to put his money where his outspoken mouth has been.”

“By becoming involved in a Google fight, Cuban risks exposing himself to embarrassment in addition to costly legal fees. After all, with all the noise he has made on his blog, Cuban is already facing a big “I told you so” from Google if YouTube turns out to be wildly successful. The more invested he becomes in seeing YouTube lose a copyright battle, the more vulnerable to bad publicity Cuban becomes if YouTube wins. The headline is almost too obvious: “Cuban, Who Is Crazy Now?””

Now that is reporting at its best isnt it ? No speculation there at all.

and this is the actual email chain with my response to his original email first

” And tell me more about what you can do and what it would cost. I’m
> On Mon, 30 Oct 2006 1:54 pm, Robert Tur wrote:
>> Dear Mark,
My name is Bob Tur (The newsman that’s taken YouTube to Court) and
I’m credited with creating modern helicopter news-gathering. I worked
with Dan Rather on occasion from KCBS TV in Los Angeles.
During my 26 years in Los Angeles as a reporter, pilot, and camera
operator, I broke nearly every major breaking news story there was,
and for the past three years I have been producing HD News from
around the globe for VOOM’s HD News operation. I want to work for you
and Dan. I have a complete HDCAM 750 system and editing here in Los
Angeles. How about a Los Angeles Bureau?

Sounds like serious M&A talk doesn’t it ?

Or as I told Forbes when asked about the topic… ” I dont have anything to say, its too much fun reading all the speculation”

Which actually means, the more they write, the more fun it will be to write this blog post defining the reality of the situation.

I have no interest in buying a company in order to sue Google. If thats something I wanted to do, I would have plenty of opportunity to do so using our movies and TV Shows. We have sent takedown notices. We have gotten email and IP Addresses. We know that Youtube makes a ton of money of the advertising around infringing content. We know how they use their adscripts with doubleclick to serve ads by category and track all ads served by who uploaded the content. We checked the scripts when UFC ads popped up around the WEC videos we found. (cagefights from HDNet.) UFC ads above WEC infringing videos seemed too much of a coincidence Its all right there with a viewsource of a youtube page. Why look ? Because of curiousity about the process. Not because I want to sue.

Im not out to get Youtube or Google. If anytihng I am out to get the DMCA. I think its a terrible law.

As I told CNet. Copyright Law and in particular the DMCA has been something I have been involved with since 1995. Some of my fondest moments in business involve fighting the RIAA and their perspective on the DMCA. My worst moment in business was not fighting the DMCA harder. The last speeches I gave while at were all about how terrible a law it would be.

There is so much stupidity in that law, including the safe harbor acts. You should have heard me back in the day . This is what Webcasters face under the DMCA
“2. Sound recording performance complement. A webcaster may not play in any three-hour period…

• more than three songs from a particular album, including no more than two consecutively, or
• four songs by a particular artist or from a boxed set, including no more than three consecutively.

This limit is called the “sound recording performance complement.””

The same people that brought you the safe harbor provisions brought you the above. Those of you who want to argue about it “being different now” for copyright law. Where are you when it comes to the above stupidity in law ? Do you realize that you cant have an all Elvis, or all Led Zeppelin Webcast ? You cant play a CDin a webcast radio station ? Dumb, dumb , dumb shit like that. Check out the RIAA site for more greatest hits

So my picking on the DMCA and how its applied is old news.

Feel free to check out a search <Mark Cuban DMCA -Youtube> which has a ton of examples dating back years and years. Or you can check out pre Google _ Youtube mentions in my blog

You see, the thing about a blog is that its a great place to write about things you are interested in. Its a great place to generate discussion.
Im interested in Copyright and how the laws around it are enforced and have been for a longtime. I dont claim to be an expert , but its a topic I find interesting. And probably always will.

40 thoughts on “Is this BusinessWeek or The Enquirer ?

  1. Pingback: …and they say bloggers are amateurs — Shooting at Bubbles

  2. Hello, Mr. Cuban

    I am a film maker in Detroit a partner an I shot a film called Envy. We have gone the conventional way in putting the film out but, there method is to take what we have worked so hard to make and give us nothing. We have a young man that has done some work in your studio in Dallas this is why I write you. I am reaching out to you to see if you can help us in the release of our film. It is evident that you are a great buisness man. So if there is some way you can help we would be greatful.

    Comment by Shawnte\'e McCoy -

  3. I love it.

    Comment by izmir nakliyat -

  4. If you make judgement based on one source you are in trouble. You had best gather information from multiple sources and draw your own conclusions. This blog is a great alternative…

    Comment by Jason Brown -

  5. You really never know the whole story. That’s one of the reasons I love reading this blog: Mark has a lot of information and insight that we don’t get from reading the regular media. And he’s interested in sports and the like, so it makes it even more interesting to read. But it’s true: whenever you read a story, you really have to wonder what the truth is behind it, or what the peopl’s motivations are for writing it.

    Comment by basketball tips -

  6. On a separate issue, it seems you were right Mark about aspects of the Google/Youtube deal, and Eric Schmidt was not truthful initially when asked about it, at least according to John Battelle:

    Comment by Soren Gordhamer -

  7. Mark, your take on the sound recording complement is not exactly accurate. The restrictions on the number of sound recordings (you say “songs,” but the restriction actually applies to “sound recordings”; “musical works” have two distinct copyrights not necessarily held by the same person or entity — copyright in the arrangement of the actual words and musical notes, and copyright in the actual sound recording) is related to a “statutory license” granted to certain public performances of digital audio transmissions of sound recordings. It’s called a “statutory” or “compulsory” license because if the transmitting entity complies with the terms of the license (among them, the sound recording complement that you mention), the entity can then pay one “reasonable rate” negotiated between the entity and copyright holders (in this case a non-profit org called SoundExchange, a performing rights organization that essentially negotiates and collects royalties and then distributes the money to the various copyright holders), or if negotiations are unsuccessful, determined by a Copyright Royalty Judge, for the type of digital transmission that the entity offers.

    This is a long way of saying, the digital transmitters follow the terms of the license and then all of the sound recordings are covered under one rate (instead of, in the alternative, having to negotiate each sound recording, and inevitably paying a lot more to publicly perform a sound recording of a widely popular group such as the Beatles than an emerging indie group such as Annuals).

    So. It is true that a digital transmitter cannot publicly perform the sound recording of an entire Beatles album UNDER THE TERMS OF THE STATUTORY LICENSE. However, there is nothing that would prevent the digital transmitter from entering into negotiations with the copyright holder for a separate license that would allow such a performance.

    The DMCA might have its shortcoming, but the system you seem to be suggesting, i.e., allowing a digital transmitter to play LedZep’s entire catalog under a compulsory license, would almost certainly both destroy the digital transmission industry (because the negotiated price would be so exorbitant that only a limited number of players could/would enter the market) or implicate the Fifth Amendment (“no private property shall be taken for public use, without just compensation”).

    Comment by jim -

  8. Hah, last year I cancelled my subscription and started calling them Anti-Businessweek.

    They are nothing but dissembling, scheming socialists.

    Mark, but then again so is your comrade Alex Berenson.

    Sorry, that was a cheap shot. I decided to keep The Number, though it took me a while to tear out every page except the foreword.

    Comment by CaptiousNut -

  9. Hey Mark,

    GooTube works best with GOOGLube. Anal-yst recommended!!

    Comment by Uranus Rocks -

  10. Where new themes?

    Comment by Timir! -


    Comment by tiger vidmar -

  12. i was watching the hbo nfl show the other day, and some guy made a reference to shawn merriman’s steroid infraction with something to the effect of, “wink, wink” to the audience about how widespread steroid use might be in the nfl. It was kind of like saying, “well, I think he and a lot of others are doing it” without actually coming out and saying it.

    i’m interested in the ways that media plays around and with institutionalized forms of information manipulation.

    In other words, while this is of course horrible reporting, it is possible that this is part of a larger plan of business week in general to begin to shine a light on your activities in regard to this transaction, especially in light of the fact that you are a known “short” guy on the market? Google’s stock price is very high and no doubt overvalued – which I can imagine is a dream opportunity to a “short” guy with the cash to have significant holdings.

    I guess what I’m saying is that this article might be a warmup on their part to them shedding further light on your particular focus on this transaction.

    historically, your blog is almost universally focused on issues and businesses you have personal stakes in. I can imagine that this transaction is little different.

    When i was a kid, there was this bully who harrassed me once in the sixth grade. He was bigger than me, but kind of slow and fat, and I knew I could take him, but I needed him to react emotionally and not from a position of strength. Toe to toe would be a problem. So one day I spoke about his mother all day, horrible shit about his mother. At his first opportunity he rushed wildly at me (in the bathroom) and I whupped him silly. He was beaten because he did what I expected him to do, which was respond in a particular manner. He was beaten before we’d fought because he could be manipulated. I thought of that in this instance – When I first saw this article and read it, it sounded so absurd as to remind me of the things I said about that guy’s mother that day.

    to that regard, I wonder how much of mainstream journalism has become like paparrazzi (sp) journalism or wrestling, where things are staged and the targets are manipulated into MAKING NEWS, which a journal can then point back to the starting article and say, “We were the first on this breaking story!” ergo “we are teh gr8”.

    Comment by blyx -

  13. Hey Mark how big is Businessweek? Are they desperate for attention? Anything for a quick buck I guess…

    Comment by Sedu -

  14. Aren’t blogs awesome. I’m sure you couldn’t get a true interview and the real story out in any other media outlet without a spin added. I have referred quite a few people to your blog because of your honesty. Keep it up!

    Comment by Chris Dowell -

  15. I wonder just how large that “I told you so” from Google would be. Ten feet? Twenty?

    There is a fundamental rule of business that goes something like “If you have a valid idea, shut your mouth”. I’m sure that if Cuban actually decided to go after a company, he’d keep it quiet until the deal was green-lighted. BusinessWeek is guilty of not only shoddy journalism, but being off target with their analysis of business tactics.

    Comment by amphibian -

  16. I find the irony in the BusinessWeek article really quite funny. Prior to the aquisition of YouTube by Google, there was almost no legal action against YouTube. Take down notices were issued, but nobody actually sued, because it was obvious that there was really no money out of the deal. Now that Google is the backer, with all its billions, the greedy sharks are circling.

    The irony in the article, to me, is that the author seems less interested in you as Mark Cuban, knowledgable and interested party in copyright law, and more interested in you as Mark Cuban, billionaire. He’s only skimmed your postings enough to properly spell his quotes as he attempts to skewer you personally. This isn’t journalism, it’s a small step above schoolyard name calling.

    I could be an expert on all things DMCA and copyright law, and no one would care, least of all this peon, because i’m just a nobody, an anonymous voice in the greater blogosphere. It’s not good sales to engage someone like me in a meaningful dialogue within the pages of a business magazine.

    It would be great sales to engage someone like you, both a knowledgable person on the subject, and someone widely known. However, this appears to have been too daunting a task for the author, for it would have required him to research the subject, so that he too knew what he was talking about.

    Your blog is spot on Mark, and I hope you continue to expose journalists like this who continue to pass off sensationalized gossip as news.

    Comment by BigPete -

  17. Dear Mr.Mark Cuban,

    I owen sevral patent licenses,one of them is regurding TV-set,which is totally difrent than regular TV-sets,if you are intrested please let me know ,I could submit informations to your attention.


    Mehdi G. Mozafari

    Comment by Mehdi G. Mozafari -

  18. Has the writer for Newsweek been giving you
    physic readings Mark? Or perhaps put you under hypnosis to predict
    your next move?…….LOL

    Comment by Clt_Bobcats Watcher -

  19. I was going to respond: “stupid reporters”.

    But they aren’t being stupid. Just being deceitful to get attention, sell ads, drive traffic, etc.

    And yes, the DMCA is stupid. That’s what happens when laws are written by people who don’t know anything about the subject they are trying to legislate.

    See also: The Brady Bill for an example of knee-jerk reactionary legislation written by the clueless.

    Comment by John -

  20. Yeah, I doubt your grand scheme is to buy this company to sue Google. It’s good spin and a good way to sell more copies. Who said the media ever cared that what they report is true or accurate? Some times it is, some times it isn’t.

    Comment by basketball drills -

  21. Sadly, the use of Dramatic / Artistic license to puff up an article to attract unwarranted attention, is not just practiced by “major” media. It has managed to seep down to even local news. Try this: Go to a local government committee meeting and listen, then read about it in your local news the next day. You’ll find some amazing information – most of which was not discussed at the meeting

    Comment by Jack Merr -

  22. Being a small individual in the big world of entertainment I just LOVE watching reporters and news people come up with the amazing ways to tell a story in their own way. It’s like teaching for me. Some student tells a story about how they got in trouble and no mention of the actual problem that they caused.

    Comment by -

  23. Mashable posted a link about you. Pretty funny.

    Comment by Mike Hedge -

  24. Hey Mark Western PA needs to identify more innovative business leaders…will you be at the Tech Fair at Duquesne on Nov 28

    This is Arthur Gamble JD(former sports Agent and friend of Coach Charlie Parker) we talked a few times at the LA Summer Pro League in Long Beach….I tried to get you to sign an out of shape undersized 2 guard

    I’m a Business Consultant with the Gannon Univ. Small Business Development Center in Erie PA

    Comment by Arthur Gamble -

  25. I’m pretty new to your blog – but I love it. Being interested in Copyright stuff myself, I have to wonder about your take on Lessig. Would you stand with him, next to him, against him?

    The point about the new is dead on. I used to work in news, but got out to save my soul. It’s TERRIBLE now. There’s a great line in the 1989 English film “How to get Ahead in Advertising” when they’re on the train. It’s been a while but 1 guys is reading the paper and says something like “Oh it says here the bag may have contained heroin.” “Yea, but it MAY have contained peanut butter!” The comment from Kevin is right – always question the source.

    Comment by Mark -

  26. News is a Zen concept these days. What is perceived is real. We are working on a concept of The Fourth Estate but it is now the First.

    Comment by StockReply -

  27. What about Google’s “Don’t be evil” philosophy? Where does that stand now-a-day’s?

    Comment by Jim -

  28. Mark-

    Business week is in the same catagory as Time and Newsweek. They are a garbage publication that is completly liberal. Amazing since it has the word “Business” in it’s title. You are successful businessman and its widely know you may be a libertarian. Well that doesn’t mix well with their “common good” philosophy. They will bash you, and slander you until you lie down and quit.

    Comment by Brad -

  29. What bullocks! It’s just another example of news creating in order to gain circulation. News reporting is a thing of the past. I’m ready for the day when people begin to go after these clowns for their blatant misrepresentation of factual information. I don’t understand how they continue fly under the radar of libel and slander laws.

    Comment by dup -

  30. M.C. buys offshore island for Cuban Holdings and a

    NEW Global Media co.,, screw Wash D.C. 😉

    Comment by Ron D -

  31. I’m with ya Mark! Eliminate the DMCA, DRM, the RIAA, MPAA and the rest of the thugs who are using the politicans to get what they want: to screw the people and pass the money bags around. Glad to hear that you’re not out to sue GooTube.

    Comment by Matt Morgan -

  32. So much for unbiased news from Businessweek. Sounds like they are turning nothing into something… Too bad I have a subscription.

    Comment by Sports Bettor -

  33. All we have is the media as a front line of information, then we’ve gotta fall back to what gets corrected in blogs. Only in the last 5 years have we gotten an invaluable resource to combat people who apparently have a wilder imagination than I.

    I don’t have quite the vision of you with a pitchfork and a torch now. The DMCA is a silly law that has some strange provisions for protection, which is something I should pay more attention to.

    It’s more important that you do feel the same way about those issues, something that isn’t readily available (Well, yes if we’d google.).


    Comment by phreaki -

  34. Mark you should know by now that any media outlet will spin all of it’s stories to sell more copies and to get more attention on to them.

    Comment by -

  35. just helped Tur stretch out his hand – making it easier to catch the coins that others might, now, throw.

    anything for a laugh.

    Comment by nonattender -

  36. People still don’t get it. This is 2006, the age of google youtube, digital cameras and ipods. Copyright law and DMCA affects everyone.

    Comment by superdave -

  37. I’ve been reading your blog for a little while now, I agree with some things and not with others. but this was a very good, clear example of well…………poor reporting. I have seen stuff like this before, but dang, thats insane.

    Comment by Neil Thorlakson -

  38. Your blog is awesome Mark – love the details of what you actually said and how that ends up getting “interpreted” – this story has legs as Slashdot just picked up on the Businessweek article, but failed to mention your two cents – oh well!

    How ’bout an update on the how the deal with Bob Tur works out and the next Businessweek piece … 😉

    Comment by alek -

  39. If you’re not going to sue GooTubes, who with money will? It seems that everyone with 2 cents to rub together would rather just negotiate or ignore the copyright infringement.

    Comment by quadszilla -

  40. Hey Mark,

    I really appreciate you giving us some under the surface info about news stories and their development. It’s a good reminder to not take what the media reports at face value. There is always interpretation and perspective shaping the way a story is reported.

    Also, nice subtle jab at people who think you hate Google. You normally link searches to IceRocket (hmm, I wonder why???), but you used Google instead. Very creative!

    Comment by Kevin Rossen -

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