In Sunday’s Dallas-Fort Worth Star Telegram, Mark Cuban weighs in on copyright law, while Makan Delrahim takes the counterpoint. Unfortunately, Mr. Delrahim’s response was lacking in research. What follows is my response to the editors of the Star Telegram.
Makan Delrahim’s op-ed of December 11th was short on truth. First, my Democratic campaign for U.S. Senate has not received one red cent from Mark Cuban.
Second, Mr. Cuban has not contributed any policy assistance to this campaign. Third, and most importantly, I have never personally met Mr. Cuban and my total correspondence has been limited to three emails which consisted of a total of 42 words from him.
Portraying me as a political foe of Hatch running with Cuban’s money is not only false, but insulting. Mr. Delrahim should at least pick up an FEC report before spewing such accusations.
Senator Hatch’s stands on copyright have been repeatedly one-sided; protect the recording and motion picture industries. In doing so, he has caused immeasurable harm to technology. My own Internet Service Provider business, XMission, has had to deal with being the media companies’ unpaid copyright police since Digital Millennium Copyright Act became law. Every week, we handle hundreds of spurious complaints with no compensation from these entities for doing so. We’ve also seen the DMCA levied by third parties attempting to thwart the business of their competitors.
Crediting Senator Hatch with the creation of iTunes is laughable when you consider his comments introducing the INDUCE legislation. What the Supreme Court upheld was existing copyright law, not preventing any technology able to infringe on copyright. Peer-to-peer networks and the iPod have legitimate legal uses, but to the recording and film industry lobbyists pushing Senator Hatch, they have none.
In addition, the DMCA criminalizes such sensible “Fair Use” actions as parents making copies of childrens’ DVDs so originals are not damaged. This favoritism towards the industry is not because Senator Hatch has an agenda against the Internet and technology, its because he listens to one side of the argument. As a constituent who attempted to write Senator Hatch to represent the technology side, I found that the only way to make my voice heard was to run against him.
Mr. Delrahim should realize there are people in the technology industry who feel the problematic effects of Senator Hatch’s legislation every day.