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Only a 'Moron' Would Buy YouTube 178

Posted by Zonk
from the moronic-like-a-fox dept.
ColinPL writes to mention a News.com article about some harsh words from Mark Cuban, on the possible purchase of video-sharing site YouTube. According to Mr. Cuban only a 'moron' would buy the site, because of the obvious possibility of lawsuits over intellectual property. From the article: "Cuban, co-founder of HDNet and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, also said YouTube would eventually be 'sued into oblivion' because of copyright violations. 'They are just breaking the law,' Cuban told a group of advertisers in New York. 'The only reason it hasn't been sued yet is because there is nobody with big money to sue ... There is a reason they haven't yet gone public, they haven't sold. It's because they are going to be toasted,'"
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Only a 'Moron' Would Buy YouTube

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  • Mr. Cuban (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    He sounds like a communist.
    • Re:Mr. Cuban (Score:5, Insightful)

      by beckerist (985855) on Friday September 29, 2006 @04:55PM (#16252557) Homepage
      Isn't this the guy that started broadcast.com, that was later bought by Yahoo! for billions of dollars? I'd think he'd probably know a thing or two about this.........
      • by russ1337 (938915)
        >>>FTA: "because there is nobody with big money to sue"

        Does he mean that nobody has had enough money to sue Youtube?? WTF?? Once the RIAA get their head out of Mrs Jones' dial-up records, they might like to have a crack.

        Its another story if he thinks there isnt much money to go after...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by abandonment (739466)
          it's obviously because there is no one behind YouTube worth suing. Of course this hasn't stopped the RIAA or MPAA from shutting down thousands of other sites that host copyright material.

          Not quite sure why Youtube is allowed to exist, when anyone else that sets up something similar would just get shutdown. It's very strange.
          • Google have an almost identical service to YouTube, they've got cash to burn, yet I don't see them being sued.
            • Re:Mr. Cuban (Score:4, Informative)

              by edmudama (155475) on Friday September 29, 2006 @06:39PM (#16253869)
              google aggressively removes copyrighted material as well
              • Re:Mr. Cuban (Score:4, Interesting)

                by stunt_penguin (906223) on Friday September 29, 2006 @06:48PM (#16253957)
                Well yea, so I don't see the grounds for a lawsuit against YouTube, as they remove copyrighted material as well..... if the music companies have a problem, they need to make a complaint through the official channels first before launching a lawsuit.
                • by joshetc (955226)
                  I have to agree with the guy somewhat. Not because they are going to be sued but because youtube doesn't actually have anything. Their architecture could easily be built for the cost of the company. With the way the internet is these days it doesn't take much to make a good and free service extremely popular.
              • by aussie_a (778472)
                google aggressively removes copyrighted material as well

                You mean they only allow public domain work on their site?
          • by edmudama (155475)
            Youtube doesn't have money, they have the promise of money. Unlike trademarks, copyright enforcement is allowed to be selective, therefore, any copyright holder can just sit back, wait for someone with deep pockets to buy youtube, then go sue them for the 440,000 downloads of "my cat bill barfs a hairball" or whatever at $150 per infringement.
      • Re:Mr. Cuban (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Artifex (18308) on Friday September 29, 2006 @05:08PM (#16252747) Journal
        Isn't this the guy that started broadcast.com, that was later bought by Yahoo! for billions of dollars? I'd think he'd probably know a thing or two about this.........


        Actually, he started Audionet, which became broadcast.com. I will never, never, never live down the fact that I interviewed with him personally, along with one of his engineers, in the spring of 1996 for a tech job here in Dallas, and I expressed disappointment that the pay was going to be meager, though there was a lot of stock being offered. My only defense is that the bubble hadn't even come to Texas yet, and nobody thought stock was worth the risk of working for a little startup. When the interview ended, he politely said he hoped I would consider them anyway. By the time I got home, I realized I'd made a blunder, and tried to call back to salvage things. I was shut out; I couldn't even get the secretary on the phone any more, or a reswponse to email. I was probably doomed when I walked in, though, because I wore a suit.

        Secret fact/verification: the original Audionet building was a warehouse in the Deep Ellum area with a roof so bad I think it was rotting. There were dishes on the roof. They had a swing hanging from the rafters in one corner.
        • Lesson learned: Never wear a suit.
        • On one hand, you probably lost out on a lot of money, on the other hand, you can know that that you didn't profit from a scam.

          Broadcast.com was just that, a scam. I remember the Cuban road-show where he and Mary Meeker (who was an equity advisor at Morgan Stanley) both tried to pitch the sale of Broadcast.com. Not only was the presentation full of exaggerations and outright lies, Marky Meeker was grossly breaking the law and directly working for Morgan's IBanking side as an equity analyst (Equity analysts
        • Choosing to not gamble requires no defense.
        • by greg_barton (5551) *

          I will never, never, never live down the fact that I interviewed with him personally, along with one of his engineers, in the spring of 1996 for a tech job here in Dallas, and I expressed disappointment that the pay was going to be meager...

          Oh, I've got one up oin you there. A startup company I'd been with for two years was bought by broadcast.com. I got some stock, and a few more options, but I quit because I thought I'd been screwed in the deal.

          The broadcast.com IPO was two weeks later. And then it was

        • My only defense is that the bubble hadn't even come to Texas yet, and nobody thought stock was worth the risk of working for a little startup.

          Employees routinely get screwed even if they have good stock options. It's very common for the company - just before sale/IPO - to unilaterally change the terms of the deal so that employees are locked in for much longer than they agreed to be.

          FWIW I once had options for 1% of a company which was later valued at (sticks pinky in mouth) 1 billllion dollars. I l

    • He sounded more like a capitalist to me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by RKBA (622932)
      The politically correct word these days is "terrorist" rather than "communist."
  • Uninformed (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 29, 2006 @04:50PM (#16252443)
    Here at Slashdot we don't tolerate bombastic remarks from people who feel compelled to draw attention to themselves by showcasing their opinions unsolicitedly.
  • The problem is that they are supposed to be protected because they take down videos when they get a take-down notice. They also have a system that tries to prevent similar files from being re-uploaded.

    Maybe that won't stop some jokers though.
    • The problem is that they are supposed to be protected because they take down videos when they get a take-down notice. They also have a system that tries to prevent similar files from being re-uploaded. Maybe that won't stop some jokers though.

      I'm guessing that is a somewhat workable strategy unless some major player wants to buy it... then the content providers that are in competition with the buyer will swoop in and not only want a take-down but some real money just to make them bleed. And suddenly it's

      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        they can want real money, but according to the DMCA they can't have it
        • they can want real money, but according to the DMCA they can't have it
          Guessing it's harder (but not impossible) to do against YouTube... but OTOH YouTube has to help with identifying infringers which would put as much of a wet blanket on things.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Peyna (14792)
          The question is whether YouTube qualifies for the DMCA Safe Harbor provision.

          (A) As used in subsection (a), the term "service provider" means an entity offering the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for digital online communications, between or among points specified by a user, of material of the user's choosing, without modification to the content of the material as sent or received.

          I'll let you decide. There's a little bit of case law on the topic out there as well.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by D-Cypell (446534)
      Maybe that won't stop some jokers though.

      Actually, I tend to feel that the copyright holders have an advantage that the 'jokers' are (currently) localized to a few sites. At least yourtube has a policy to remove disputed content... clone #10001 may not.

      Home users are getting access to faster and faster internet lines and streaming AV is becoming as common as browsing HTML pages, it can't be too long before there are many many more 'yourtubes', some may be more reluctant to remove content based on a simple l
    • This is correct. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides for safeharbor to those that obey. By posting notices when you upload videos that you may not upload copyrighted materials and having a mechanism for copyright owners to request a video to be taken down, they are abiding by the DMCA. They also take an extra measure in that they do not allow videos longer than 10 minutes to be posted. They go the extra mile to abide by DMCA and would not be liable. Also, many companies like NBC have realize
  • Not to mention... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Un pobre guey (593801) on Friday September 29, 2006 @04:52PM (#16252463) Homepage
    Not to mention the fact that their business model seems to lack a revenue stream.
  • by okvol (549849) on Friday September 29, 2006 @04:52PM (#16252473)
    So, Mr. Murdoch, here's another web site for you to buy.
  • Funny... (Score:2, Funny)

    by NineNine (235196)
    Funny... I thought that only a moron would buy Youtube because they can't possibly be making money by paying for gobs of bandwidth and hardware and taking in pennies at a time from Google ads. But hey...

    1. Come up with an idea.

    2. Find stupid VC's

    3. ????

    4. Profit!
    • Funny... I thought that only a moron would buy Youtube because they can't possibly be making money by paying for gobs of bandwidth and hardware and taking in pennies at a time from Google ads. But hey...

      1. Come up with an idea.

      2. Find stupid VC's

      3. ????

      4. Profit!


      I don't even think the ??? are nessacary. The Vc pays you, you scram to jamaica and yoru done. The VC scams some retirement funds and the only losers are the end investor.
      • by NineNine (235196)
        Very true. The founders have already made their money. They couldn't care less what happens to the business at this point.

        It just pisses me off to no end (on a personal level) that I busted my ass to make a real, profitable, debt-free, brick-and-mortar business, and no investors are interested. If I had some flaky, money-losing idea, then they'd be knocking down my doors.
         
        Fuckers.
    • What makes you think Murdoch wants YouTube to be profitable?

      It just has to be a lesser expense than any other advertising outlet.

      One of the reasons networks spend big money on sports leagues is to get people to see their ads for their other programming during the games.
  • Damn.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by xx01dk (191137)
    We won't even get to enjoy this as long as Napster...

  • by davecrusoe (861547) on Friday September 29, 2006 @04:54PM (#16252505) Homepage
    Wow. Disclaimer on my old BBS: If you point out any illegal files on this BBS, please point them out and we'll take them down. Feds didn't like that too much, on the other boards that got nailed... sigh...
  • I use to sound like that in high school when somebody totally whooped my ass in a competition I felt was important.

    Take down all the copyrighted stuff, hire a bunch of lawyers, relax. Sounds easy enough to me. Perhaps I am a moron.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Cuban [wikipedia.org]

      FYI: Cuban sold broadcast.com to yahoo for $5 billion in 1999. Sour grapes is when you don't actually acomplish what you set out to do.
  • risk taking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Phantom of the Opera (1867) on Friday September 29, 2006 @04:54PM (#16252525) Homepage
    If you want to really succeed, you have to take risks.

    Anyone suing U-Tube would be taking the risk of losing the lawsuit and setting a precident.
    • by Agrippa (111029)
      Uhhhhh

      The precedent is already set, man. Its called Napster, LimeWire, BearShare, MP3.com - want me to go on? The courts have already laid down the law - you cannot build your company off content you do not own. Anyone with wishful thinking that YouTube is going to stick around because they have a system for letting copyright infringments be taken down after much work by the copyright owner is utterly and totally deluding themselves. There are sooooo many copyright violations it'll either be death by bl
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MisterSquid (231834)

      Anyone suing U-Tube would be taking the risk of losing the lawsuit and setting a precident.

      Elsewhere [slashdot.org] on /. I pontificated that YouTube was going to get taken down. While YouTube may still get slammed, I'm starting to rethink my position, especially with regard to how things turned out for Napster.

      That is, the RIAA took a fairly big risk going after Napster because the music industry truly believed Napster to threaten their bottom line. Without getting into nitty gritties, many people today believe th

  • Advertise movies. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AlzaF (963971)
    I posted a comment in Hollywood and piracy about the use of technology. . YouTube and their likes are another example of generating interest in movies. Why can't Hollywood and the entertainment industry embrace rather than fight them? http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6651916009 965516351&q=bronson+death+wish+body+count [google.com]
  • Yes and no. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wfberg (24378)
    On the one hand, he's probably right.
    On the other, you've got examples like paypal.com - they've basically been enronning their ways around banking laws for years and no one has sued them to oblivion for not having a license, stealing money, etc.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tx (96709)
      On the other, you've got examples like paypal.com - they've basically been enronning their ways around banking laws for years and no one has sued them to oblivion for not having a license, stealing money, etc.

      Ah, but that's just messing with the banks and the government. With YouTube it's much more serious, they're messing with the MPAA & RIAA.
    • Re:Yes and no. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mixmasta (36673) on Friday September 29, 2006 @05:37PM (#16253129) Homepage Journal
      because they steal from the little guy, rather than the big guy.
  • It'll be the same morons who bought shares in a web concept on back of a laundry list that went through the roof during the roaring 90's and crashed with the rest of them at the turn of the century. Fool's gold never goes out of style.
  • Let's see...Fox owns Myspace, so another media conglomerate (say, Universal or whoever) could buy YouTube, or a group of them can get together and share it. Then, each company enters into a reciprocation agreement with the other, agreeing not to sue each other when users post videos that are in violation of copyright. Hell, if that isn't the YouTube founders' exit strategy, then it should be (and I'll take my consulting fee now, please).
    • by Jerf (17166)
      OK... so you end up with a site where user can post otherwise-illegal videos for free and won't be sued by any of the big companies.

      I can see why this is in the interests of the users. I can see why this is in the interest of YouTube. But this is in the interests of the copyright owners because...?

      Not gonna happen with YouTube ceasing to be the YouTube we know. If they weren't interested in defending their copyrights we already wouldn't have a problem.
  • Am I the only one crazy enough to think someone with that kind of money could just buy YouTube, move it to sweden next door to ThePirateBay and throw some more ads on it?
  • The only people I can see who would really be interested in this would be someone like ClearChannel.
    Low quality public access broadcasting with the already prepared royalty payment scheme (radios pay per play).

    Let people upload whatever they want, if its putting views and people notice its a violation it just gets handled (for 99% of the cases)
  • Who says that they have to get sued? They can always devise a method of allowing copyright-holders to easily remove infringing content. Even though many of the things that I look at on YouTube are copyrighted, a good portion of them are not. As much as I would like YouTube to stay as it is, I would rather see it crippled than dead. Plus, as a business, wouldn't it be good policy to NOT get sued?
  • Nevermind learning and devising a new business model.
  • by DeepCerulean (741098) on Friday September 29, 2006 @05:22PM (#16252925)
    Let's see. News Corporation [newscorp.com] is a publicly traded company. News Corporation owns MySpace [myspace.com]. Rupert Murdoch says one of MySpace's goals isto take the market lead in online video from privately held YouTube in the next 60 to 70 days [cnn.com]. Granted, I'm not a Murdoch fan, and I'm not going to contend that he's not a "moron", but do you really think News Corp. would push this if they thought they were going to get the pants sued off of them?
    • by sokoban (142301)
      The difference is that Myspace and News Corp. are attempting to beat Youtube by making deals with record labels and other content providers, but Youtube relies primarily on user submitted work.
    • by _iris (92554)
      Murdoch and Cuban are both content producers. The difference is that Murdoch sees MySpace as another way to market his content, in a fashion that prompts the users to ask for the advertisements. Cuban just sees lost revenue.

      P.S. Don't forget who Cuban's audience was: advertisers.
  • Mod Cuban -1 Troll (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wampus Aurelius (627669) on Friday September 29, 2006 @05:23PM (#16252949)
    "Somebody puts up something really good and you get, what, 60,000 viewers?" Cuban added during the event at Advertising Week in New York.

    Well, according to this [youtube.com] the all time high is 33 million views, with dozens of others in the one to ten million range. I know these aren't all unique viewers, and I'm not an advertising expert, but that sounds like a lot of people to me.

    Cuban cautioned advertisers against investing heavily in so-called viral campaigns that are spread by users beyond their initial point of distribution on YouTube or other video-sharing sites. But he touted opportunities to run commercials on high-definition television such as his HDNet network.

    So he's basically bad-mouthing Youtube in order to promote his own network. To paraphrase Cuban himself, only a moron would believe everything this guy says.
    • by rm999 (775449)
      "I'm not an advertising expert, but that sounds like a lot of people to me."

      It's a lot of people not being advertised to. This is the most obvious problem with youtube - no good advertising model has arisen. The longer youtube remains ad free, the more angry people will be when ads do come around (when I talk about ads I mean video ads, I have adblock so I don't see traditional ads).
  • Against US interests, anyway, YouTube is protected by the DMCA's takedown notice procedure. As long as they continue to comply with DMCA takedown requests, they don't have any more to worry about than any ISP that provides web space to its users.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mcuban (807897)
      you can bet the takedown rule is going to be challenged. YT can check for porn, but cant check for copyrights ? Plus, they dont just host for others, they host for their own financial benefit. Then there will the argument that they induce people to break copyright laws by not doing the obvious. Now the DMCA doesnt say you have to do the obvious, but judges and courts usually do. Then the question of why is it that other videohosting sites have no problem preventing copyrighted materials from being uploade
      • by nsayer (86181) *
        YT can check for porn, but cant check for copyrights ?

        No. They can't do either in an automated way. They depend on such abuses (if you call pr0n that) to be reported to them, then they take action.

      • "Now the DMCA doesnt say you have to do the obvious, but judges and courts usually do."

        Ummm, things are bit different on this planet.
      • by pipingguy (566974) *
        "mcuban" [cough-cough], couldn't you get one of your paid assistants to at least break your thoughts down into paragraphs for you? This is a site with high standards for concise writing and adherence to grammaticle conventions.

        Thanks.
  • OB Simpsons quote (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hans Lehmann (571625) on Friday September 29, 2006 @05:56PM (#16253351)
    "Only a moron wouldn't cast his vote for Monty Burns"
  • by mugnyte (203225) on Friday September 29, 2006 @06:05PM (#16253479) Journal

      Commercials.

    As soon as YouTube places commercials in front of their vids, even if they cookie them to just 1 per hour per viewer, the money will be flooding in.

    Here's why: YouTube's content review and tagging system for searches, plus their popularity and "stars" rating systems are perfect metadata for targeted ads. Not "somewhat fuzzily targeted" based on collected trends but directly. That car. That skateboard. THAT song. Learn THAT trick. Go to THAT place. All for sale "HERE".

    People won't stand for too many, but tuned right the loss of viewers from annoyance versus the revenue from commercials' simple brainwashing techniques (think of commercials as competing social memes) will balance.
    • Because it worked so well for iFilm.

    • Better idea: release commercials as regular videos, and let your users rank and tag them as usual. Put some on the front page as featured content, etc. This will do 2 things: 1) Your users automatically "target" their own advertising. 2) The company who placed advertising can track how well the ad did, then refocus future ads to their audience. YouTube could offer more detailed statistics for "advertising" accounts.
  • Um, No. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nsayer (86181) * <nsayer&kfu,com> on Friday September 29, 2006 @06:27PM (#16253727) Homepage
    The DMCA actually has one bright spot. It defines a take-down procedure for copyright holders to use. YouTube complies with such takedown requests as they get them (I have actually sent a few of them, so I know), which means that they are not liable to claims of infringement or contributory infringement.
    • by Illserve (56215)
      But sites like youtube effectively exploit this "loophole" in the DMCA (if you can call it that), by hosting dozens of simultaneous copies of the same content. And as soon as one goes down, another comes up. A media conglomerate would need a team of full timers patrolling YouTube to keep it free of infringing content.

      I'm not saying it should be otherwise, just that I don't think this defense is going to get YouTube very far. When the media conglomerates aren't happy, the laws get changed, or the judges
  • Because he got the morons at Yahoo! to buy broadcast.com/Audionet which is no longer around.

    That's not to say that Cuban is a moron, quite the contrary.
  • Ed T. Rush, NBA manager of officials, announced plans to buy YouTube along with a group of referees and sports writers, including Jim Gray, Sam Smith, and Chad Ford.
  • Microsoft launches its own video site, and a week later we read scare stories about how YouTube is doomed.

  • The only reason it hasn't been sued yet is because there is nobody with big money to sue

    Does it mean that the less money you got in that kind of business the higher above the law you are?

    • by binkzz (779594)
      That kind of lawsuit isn't for enforcing the law, it's to make money. If you can't make money, you're less likely to sue. Especially if you're waiting for someone with money to buy it out so you can make some.
  • Didn't Mark Cuban get rich by stealing other peoples content and putting it online. How far he has come from his humble beginings.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcast.com [wikipedia.org]
  • Just type "greater fool investment" into Google and study the results...
  • by g8oz (144003)
    Who wouldn't want to buy YouTube and get the chance to monetize the hosting of content like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx-NLPH8JeM [youtube.com]

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