Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Mark Cuban: Give Me Five, Yahoo

Advanced Sports Owner Mark Cuban has some pretty intersting things to say about the RIAA on his website:

As Barry Ritholz smartly pointed out in his blog, the introduction of Yahoo’s Music Unlimited Service sets the new marketvalue for all the music you can download in a month…5 bucks. The RIAA can no longer claim that students who are downloading music are costing them thousands of dollars each. They cant claim much of anything actually. In essence, Yahoo just turned possession of a controlled music substance into a misdemeanor. Payable by a $5 per month fine.

Of course, RIAA staffers wont go quietly into the night. They will continue to scream loud and hard about evils of illegal downloading. The question is, will they move the money they are currently spending on court cases and filing suit, towards promoting the new subscription services that are available. Particularly  Yahoo’s dirt cheap service. Will they have the sense to say…”Ok kid, you are about to get sued, which will mean we both spend money on lawyers, and then we kick your butt in court and you pay a multi=thousand dollar settlement, OR, you can sign up for any of the all you can eat music subscriptions, Rhapsody, Napster or Yahoo Music. Your choice. 5 bucks a month. Or thousands of bucks.

Will the RIAA mitigate circumstances and turn their efforts toward promoting legal downloads, or will they still get their jollies from suing their customers ?

...By offering music so economically, Yahoo has changed how the RIAA should and can spread Piraphobia around the country. It should also change the perspective our politicians have about the subject as well. How can the Attorney General divert resources to save the music biz 5 bucks a pop ? How can bills be proposed that try to save the music industry 5 bucks a month ?

Of course it wont happen in a straight line. There are RIAA jobs and political contributions to protect. And although the Yahoo and other sub services are not perfect, they will get continuously better and support more and more devices and have increasing flexibility. This is the low point for subscription services. Which is a good thing. Its going to get better and better every year. Anyone want to show RIAA lawyers how to use Craigslist ?
That Mark Cuban is quite a maverick, no?

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