Berrett-Koehler Publisher in Fast Company Magazine
Blackberry Hacks

Mark Cuban’s Vision to Eliminate Print Piracy

One of my favorite bloggers, and part-time NBA franchise owner, Mark Cuban, has an interesting post that describes how content owners should wise up and share the advertising wealth to discourage print piracy. I’m not sure I buy into it.

His argument rests on the notion that a blogger/website author would be better off putting a link to the original content (and receiving an affiliate advertising payment) rather than putting the content itself on their blog/site. That may be true, but are the big, successful online content sites really likely to pay out for this sort of traffic generation? If you’re The New York Times, which is his example, do you really feel you need the incremental traffic from the zillions of (infrequently visited) blogs and websites out there? Even if a blogger steals content from one of your articles, aren’t some significant number of those blog visitors still likely to hop over to the Times website to see the content as it was originally presented? I don’t know about you, but I don’t always trust the content I see lifted and posted on the blogs/websites I visit every day.

I like Cuban’s vision on this, but I don’t see it working that well in practice. I think a fellow named Adam summed it up pretty well with his comments:

Good plan, but big media doesn't like sharing revenue. NYTimes, for example, always is a top search engine result because of its content. Most of the cut & pasted text is forums/blogs and most people view it as common courtesy to give a link back to the content creator.

NYTimes and other news outlets have created their own brands, where is the need to share? If you want to make money off syndicated news you can go buy an AP feed and see if you get get ranked in some news search engines, it's very simple.

Even though I don’t think this idea will fly, I do like the notion of him buying my former hometown Pittsburgh Pirates. Now that would make for some interesting baseball!


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