Mr. Hurley Goes To Washington

    May 11, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Capitol Hill got a little surreal this week as YouTube CEO and founder Chad Hurley got yanked in font of the House telecommunications subcommittee to discuss the future of video.

Hurley joined other heavy-hitting industry billionaire influencers like HDNet founder and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and executives from TiVo.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass), chair of the committee and sponsor of pro-Net Neutrality legislation, videoed the meeting, an historical first, and put up the video on YouTube.  At another time, Markey interviewed Hurley one-on-one about his sudden success, his hopes for YouTube, and what it’s like be goofy and a billionaire.

Okay, so the last question never happened.

In a video also posted on YouTube, Hurley expressed his desire that YouTube become the Internet’s Town Hall, and a bastion of democracy. Check out the video for more back-patting, ego-stroking, and grandiose delirium.

After all, getting your own audience in front of United States lawmakers, and your behind smooched by a Congressman – on video no less – is bound to inspire some dreamy grandiosity.

It wasn’t all spits and giggles for Hurley though. Cuban and others were present at the committee hearing to rain on his parade a little. Shortly after Markey’s introduction, Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) pressed the young executive about YouTube’s lax copyright enforcement.

Hurley offered up a DMCA defense, to which Cuban let out a terse balderdash! Cuban accused YouTube of ignoring infringements by hiding under a DMCA blanket.

On his blog, Cuban continued the criticism:

Which puts Youtube in a position of acting just like your typical big market radio station or music radio network.

Youtube immediately went from a small, but interesting community for its original content, to basically being just like Clear Channel. Responsible for programming its different "formats" with the "best" possible content that creates the greatest number of eyeballs and maximizes advertising revenue. Its big business, just like Clear Channel

Which leads to the question of who is going to do something about it? Who is going to take the responsibility of protecting that content that Youtube is paying for?

He ends sentences with prepositions because billionaires can do that, and he also doesn’t think any of the pervasive Net Neutrality fears will pan out, because billionaires can think outside the bandwidth. Cuban’s touted fiber as the key to mooting Net Neutrality points as the virtual world evolves beyond coaxial cable and telephone wires.

Both ArsTechnica and CNet have their own creative coverage of Mr. Hurley’s trip to Washington, be sure to check them out too.