Cuban Scoffs at Google, YouTube Rumors

by admin October 7, 2006 at 3:09 am

WASHINGTON — “Should Google buy YouTube?” It was the first question asked of keynote speaker Mark Cuban Friday afternoon at an Online News Association conference.

“They’d be crazy,” Cuban shot back.

The question came amid a swirl of blog and media stories that Google is negotiating to buy the popular online video site for as much as $1.6 billion. The rumor originally appeared Thursday night on the Techcrunch blog.

“Rumors are rumors and just that,” Cuban said.

Google told Friday it does not comment on rumor and speculation. YouTube did not respond to telephone or e-mail inquiries for comment.

Cuban, who made his fortune in the 1990s by founding and then selling MicroSolutions and, is a frequent critic of YouTube, claiming the popular online video site will eventually run afoul of U.S. copyright laws, much like the original Napster.

The closely held YouTube of San Mateo, Calif., claims more than 100 million videos are viewed daily on its site, making it the No. 2 video site on the Internet behind MySpace.

The videos range from home productions to television clips. Even the home videos, however, use copyrighted material such as individuals lip-synching to popular songs.

“Once you go commercial, once you have to monitor for copyright violations, your whole business model changes,” Cuban said. “They [YouTube] are going to get crushed.”

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