Cuban, Hatch, and Copyright

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.

4 thoughts on “Cuban, Hatch, and Copyright

  1. Sorry I meant to have this comment posted here, I’m blind and I can’t read some of your fonts.

    I believe it is the experience of anyone who has tried to get their voice heard by Hatch, that he is def to the majority of his constituents. I wanna thank you for running against him. Many act like there is no hope of beating him, however I hope that I may give hope I’ve been a fairly stauch Repub since I attended the state convention for the first time when I was 18. My greatest hope for the 2006 election year is to have Hatch out of office, we need someone to represent Utah rather than galavanting to every news camera and petty partisan clash that occurs.

    I’m in So. Utah, let me know where I can help.


    Philliip Bell

  2. Awesome! I was utterly infuriated by Delrahim’s ill-informed, fallacy-riddled article. It’s nice to see you lay the Ashdown and set the facts straight. At least the Star Telegram had the decency to print your letter today.

    I’ll be contributing to your campaign, and that’s despite a grad student’s budget. It’s nice to see a new politician with the guts to sign on to the IPac Statement of Principles (see

  3. Pingback: Free Culture blog » Blog Archive » Laying the Ashdown on Hatch

  4. I think that I am correct that Makan Delrahim was Senator Hatch’s Chief Counsel on the Judiciary Committee during the period in which documents were stolen from poorly protected file directories of the Democratic staff on the Committee. Setting aside the Ethics codes that attorneys follow, the basic rationalization used was that, because the door was unlocked, it was OK to go in and take documents that were clearly not meant to be part of a public dialogue. Makan is smart and has a great sense of humor, but if the way in which his staff was run during his tenure of Senator Hatch’s Chairmanship is any indication of his lack of focus on integrity, it is no wonder that the “facts” stated in his arguement do not fit in the category of proven.

    Partisan spin can be so tiresome.

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