Inside Move: Cuban backs P2Ps

Billionaire funding efforts by cyberliberties group

At the same time he’s building businesses in partnership with Hollywood, Mark Cuban is funding the fight against the studios and labels in court.

Billionaire owner of HDNet, 2929 Entertainment, Landmark Theaters and the Dallas Mavericks disclosed on his blog over the weekend that he’s been directly funding efforts by cyberliberties group the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of defendants in MGM v. Grokster.

Case, which is being argued in the U.S. Supreme Court today, pits peer-to-peer networks Grokster and Morpheus against MPAA and RIAA members in a fight over whether companies can be held responsible for piracy their software enables.

With his roots in the tech world, Cuban has always been a supporter of those who claim Hollywood is restricting “fair use” rights in its efforts to protect copyright.

Cuban wouldn’t disclose how much his support would add up to.

Cuban told Daily Variety he’s not worried about the impact his support may have on his business, saying he has found the MPAA to be “open-minded” and that many execs in Hollywood quietly support his position. “Most don’t fall in with the company line,” he said. “It’s the RIAA that has been engaging in digital McCarthyism. They want to cut off their nose to spite their face.”

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