Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

Mark Cuban is Funding the Grokster Legal Defense

Just read Mark Cuban’s newest blog entry, “Let the truth be told…MGM vs Grokster” and in it he announces that he is going to be funding the legal defense of Grokster against MGM.

So , the real reason of this blog. To let everyone know that the EFF and others came to me and asked if I would finance the legal effort against MGM. I said yes. I would provide them the money they need. So now the truth has been told. This isn’t the big content companies against the technology companies. This is the big content companies, against me. Mark Cuban and my little content company. Its about our ability to use future innovations to compete vs their ability to use the courts to shut down our ability to compete. its that simple.

This seems like a pretty big deal. Maybe it’s only because Mark Cuban owns a basketball and has more exposure than your average multi-millionaire, but even so, it’s great to see him stepping up to the plate on this. I understand that he is at least in part doing this to protect his own interests, but he deserves to be applauded for standing up for the little guy (and in turn making the little guy much bigger).

He’s right, this issue is bigger than just file sharing, it’s about big companies being able to control innovation. Just take a look at the EFF list of devices that could be banned if MGM wins and you’ll get an idea of the potential impact (and yes, I realize that it’s not entirely serious). The list includes devices from the copy machine to silly putty.

As the EFF writes on its Grokster vs. MGM page, “the case raises a question of critical importance at the border between copyright and innovation: When should the distributor of a multi-purpose tool be held liable for the infringements that may be committed by end-users of the tool?”

Anyway, from my very limited understanding and exposure to this, I believe it could be a very big deal and I just want to applaud Mark Cuban for lending a hand (and some dollars).

March 27, 2005