Mark Cuban

Gelf Magazine has an interesting interview with outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on the current Grokster case before the Supreme Court. I think I saw a lot of his views on this issue:

GM: You say that software doesn’t steal content, people steal content. So what do you think of the RIAA’s strategy of suing individual file-sharers?

MC: I have no problem with it at all. If you steal, you are wrong. You should have to deal with the consequences. We have plenty of laws on the book to make sure that happens.

I agree. While file-sharing and copyright infringement intersect, the problem spaces are entirely separate. I do, however, think the RIAA is an iron-fisted tyrant.

GM: Does the Betamax precedent apply to the Grokster case, even though people are using digital technology like Grokster to amass libraries, not just to tape shows and enhance viewing convenience?

MC: Yes. People amassed libraries on tape as well. You can pick up any movie-collector mag and see the ads to buy a VHS or DVD of any TV show ever made. That’s a big library, and those ads have been there for at least 10 years. The industry doesn’t care.

Again, he’s right.

Say what you will about Cuban and his management style, but you can’t deny he’s smary guy.