Mark Cuban is a colorful, engaging, businessman and speaker. In a speech yesterday he said "Only a moron would buy YouTube". Hmmm... and only a genius would buy Broadcast.com for $6 Billion. Mark started Broadcast.com back in the 90s, recorded $14M in revenue its best
year quarter, then sold it for $6B. I think Mark just wishes that he owned YouTube so that he could sell it and make another fortune.
UPDATE: Mark sent me an email about the $14M for the quarter versus year. My mistake. Mark pointed out that Broadcast.com went cashflow breakeven the next quarter, and today Yahoo! Sites is a leader in streaming video. I presume Broadcast.com was turned into Yahoo! Sites.
Mark said YouTube will be "sued into oblivion", and isn't worth anything. He is wrong, but it does make for a lively conference speech, and good headlines. I was a VP at Napster when we were being sued by the record labels, so I know a little about copyright infringement. YouTube has "significant non-infringing use" which is a proven legal defense against copyright lawsuits. The Sony BetaMax case was won on the basis that video recorders were used for many other legal purposes that demonstrated significant non-infringing use. Sony could not be held liable for the misdeeds of some of its users. It is the responsibility of the copyright owner to identify infringing material and take action to protect it.
Every photo, video, audio recording, or writing is copyrighted. Even this blog post is copyrighted...automatically. It doesn't matter if it is done by an amateur or professional...it is copyrighted. It also doesn't matter if their is no copyright symbol or notice attached to the work. All creative works, no matter how lame, are implicitly copyrighted. This change happened in 1989 with the Berne copyright convention.
The question is, does the copyright owner care to enforce their copyright? This usually comes down to money. Most times, only professionals who sell their work for money care about enforcing copyrights. However, even professionals sometimes encourage free distribution of their work to gain a wider audience.
You can learn more about copyrights and Internet law here.