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The Reeler Blog

Google This: Magnolia Subpoenas User Names

The Hollywood Reporter's intrepid New York correspondent Gregg Goldstein (along with Andrew Wallenstein) has news today of Magnolia Pictures' laying down the law with Google -- literally. The NYC-based/Mark Cuban-owned distributor subpoenaed the Web giant earlier this week in Texas federal district court, seeking the identities of YouTube and Google Video users responsible for uploading the company's copyrighted titles to both online services; the subpoena evidently cites Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and The Host as the illegally uploaded films in question, while Magnolia boss Eamonn Bowles namechecked the recent Oscar nominee Jesus Camp as well.

As per usual, Cuban upstages all with his uncanny blend of showman and savant:

Reached via e-mail, Cuban, who has been an outspoken critic of YouTube, explained that Magnolia is not preparing legal action against offending users.

"We aren't out to sue end users," he said. "We are trying to learn more about what encouraged them to use this platform as opposed to others and where and how they sourced the content."

"As opposed to others"... like the ones that cost money? Not that I'm excusing it, but still. This guy doesn't need a lawyer; he needs an economist.

Posted at March 8, 2007 4:23 PM

Comments (1)

"We aren't out to sue end users," he said. "We are trying to learn more about what encouraged them to use this platform as opposed to others and where and how they sourced the content."

Mark Cuban has way too much money to be worrying about some punk uploader. Anyone can answer the above question, however. Youtube is popular for uploading content others want to see. It's fast, it's easy, it's free. Not much thought involved in choosing a platform. If you want to maximize the amount of people that view your content, go to the website that has the most viewers. Simple.

By the way, Jesus Camp was awful.

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