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Jack Valenti's Views On The Digital Age

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the you-mean-they're-against-otan dept.

Movies 441

ditogi writes "The Harvard Political Review did a quick interview with the lord of darkness himself, Jack Valenti. He gives his thoughts on government mandated copy prevention, fair use, and lobbying. In response to his famous 'VCR is [to the movie industry]...as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.' quote, he responds, 'I wasn't opposed to the VCR.' And what does he think of his current job? 'I think lobbying is really an honest profession.'" My favorite quote: "In the digital world, we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. It is timeless." Update: 02/05 20:05 GMT by T : Derek Slater writes "I'm the author of the Valenti article you guys linked to. I've made some brief comments about it on my site, and figured I'd send them along."

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441 comments

Jack Valenti ROCKS YOUR WORLD! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5232947)

Without him, I'd never have gotten this FIRST FUCKING POST BEEYOTCHES!

If you don't love him, you're a terrorist.

Re:Jack Valenti ROCKS YOUR WORLD! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5232971)

Who's on first? No, who's on second!

Timeless? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5232956)

Spork!

Re:Timeless? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233084)

How is this a troll? It's my genuine comment on the situation. The man is clearly a spork.

IN SOVIET AMERICA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5232959)

Jack Valenti views YOU as a thief, you insensitive clod!

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5232961)

first post

no backups !!! (3, Interesting)

Roadmaster (96317) | more than 11 years ago | (#5232962)

"In the digital world, we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. It is timeless."

Wait till his hard disk dies ;)

Re:no backups !!! (2, Insightful)

rfmobile (531603) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233005)

Yeah, or his prized DVD collection gets scratches, or won't play at all 'cuz he is in the wrong region, or ...

-rick

Re:no backups !!! (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233242)

> Yeah, or his prized DVD collection gets scratches, or won't play at all 'cuz he is in the wrong region, or ...

...the media format changes from 78s to vinyl to CDs to DVD-audio, or film to 8mm to Beta to VHS to SVHS to DVD?

You buy it again! I mean, duh.

Why would anyone want backups of stuff they paid for when they could simply pay for the same content all over again!

Look, let me put it in terms even a Slashdotter can understand. If people could have backups, how would Jack make more money? Next thing you know, people will start thinking movies are about "watching photons bounced off or emitted from a screen and being entertained". Sure, there's that "acting" and "direction" and "plot" and "special effects", but, please, people, don't lose sight of the important part, namely the part about Jack making money.

Re:no backups !!! (4, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233062)

"In the digital world, we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. It is timeless."

Or what about when media changes? Can I simply transfer digital content from one media to another when I have paid for the right to listen to it? For instance, I purchased and repurchased a significant bit of music first on vinyl and then on CD with many of the albums being duplicates. In fact, some of them were purchased as vinyl LP's, cassettes, and then CD's of the same album. Now they are digital and hosted on my dedicated G4 media server, I don't want to have to purchase them again.

Also, what about all of that vinyl I have that is out of print? Old punk and bluegrass vinyl that I want to rip into iTunes as well. Since I have already purchased this stuff, I should be able to digitize it without having to pay any more royalties.

Re:no backups !!! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233116)

" purchased and repurchased a significant bit of music first on vinyl and then on CD with many of the albums being duplicates. In fact, some of them were purchased as vinyl LP's, cassettes, and then CD's of the same album."

"The RIAA, where an ignorant consumer[*] is our best customer!"




[*]sheep, that is

Re:no backups !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233152)

Now they are digital and hosted on my dedicated G4 media server

Why the hell would you buy an expensive-ass Mac to be a fileserver? You could have had twice the machine for half the cost using an AMD processor and Linux/BSD.

Re:no backups !!! (2, Offtopic)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233245)

Why the hell would you buy an expensive-ass Mac to be a fileserver? You could have had twice the machine for half the cost using an AMD processor and Linux/BSD.

Perhaps because it, with OS X is the best solution that allows me to wirelessly stream audio anywhere in my house to laptops or desktops with a minimum of fuss. And I should also mention that iTunes is a sweet music database application. The G4 also serves up DVD's for viewing enjoyment to a large screen monitor and can do this while someone else listens to music and gets their email or surfs the web among other things. As for the hardware, its actually an older G4 that I installed some big hard drives in to take all of the MP3s I ripped from my (paid for) collection.

Re:no backups !!! (1)

Kelt (85402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233111)

An the comment about VCR's? How much money do the pigs make from selling videos? I think in most cases it's more than the theatre run.

I can't believe we have reached such a level of unaccountability across the board. We have *CENSORED* here at work that make up facts and figures too. And you call them out on it. Then YOU get yelled at for not helping to solve the problem. Jack Valenti and his cohorts can make up facts and figures about how the new digital age is fsck'in em in da wazoo, but somehow I don't see him taking a pay cut because of lost profitability.

fsking asshat.

-Kelt

Re:no backups !!! (4, Funny)

levik (52444) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233121)

Following this statement, mr Valenti went on to say that the MPAA is looking into the shady activities of the system administrators worldwide, who persist in regularly backing up untold amounts of data.

"All I am saying," he said, "is that there is currently no oversight over the information that is getting duplicated. In other words, for all we know these people could be backing up my clients' protected material. My clients are simply requesting a reasonable amount of access to this data to verify that it doesn't contain any of our intillectual property."

Mr. Valenti then asked the SysAdmin industry can justify spending so much money on "backing up" untold Terrabytes of content even though the data is in digital, format which does not degrade.

"I'm not accusing them of anything, but I think they are stealing content," he concluded.

Well, it's obvious...Mr. Valenti is on crack. (4, Insightful)

Interrobang (245315) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233258)

We've long suspected as much, but now we know for sure. Is there anything in that article that he says that isn't an out-and-out lie? He was never against VCRs? That's doubtless why he claimed that VCRs would destroy the movie industry. Statistics I hear suggest that movie tickets are now selling better than they have at any time since Jack Valenti was still getting into movies at the "child" price.

Backups aren't necessary? I wonder if, when he was a kid, he ever dropped a record on his bedroom floor and watched it shatter into a million pieces. He obviously really believes that if he scratches a CD, trips and falls and smashes a CD in half, has his cassette player or his VCR eat a tape, or anything like that, he (and we) should all just rush out to buy a new one. No way!

Where does his figure "$3.5 billion a year in videocassette analog piracy" come from? How does he "measure" this loss, being as it's really difficult to measure negative quantities. Is he counting the total street value of large-scale bootleg videotapes, or some sort of hypothetical "if Joe Average hadn't taped Star Trek off the tv, he would have bought the box set" figure?

"What is fair use? Fair use is not a law. There's nothing in law. " Well, IANAL, but I quote

107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.


That looks like there's something in law, all right. In Canada, the similar reservation is called "fair dealing," in case you're looking for it.

Oh, how he do go on. He claims to have been in Vietnam. Was he exposed to Agent Orange? That's the only other explanation I can think of...

Message body (0, Informative)

Huogo (544272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5232967)

Valenti's Views The MPAA president and former LBJ aide opens up on a range of topics By Derek Slater Jack Valenti has led a prolific political life. A decorated World War II pilot, Valenti served as a special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson until 1966. Since then, he has served as the President of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), turning the entertainment studio consortium into a lobbying juggernaut. Valenti helped pioneer the movie industry's voluntary rating system and has tirelessly fought government censorship. He has also headed the Motion Picture Export Association, protecting American film studios' interests in other countries. In recent years, Valenti has become an outspoken leader in the fight against piracy on the Internet. Known for his sharp rhetorical abilities, Valenti always speaks about piracy in calamitous terms, prophesizing the eventual death of the movie industry. To defend its copyrights, MPAA successfully sued publishers of a program that undermined the copy prevention technology on DVDs and is currently suing several file-sharing services. In addition, Valenti has taken his case to Congress, pushing for mandated copy prevention technologies in all digital devices that play movies, music, and other media. But many people have criticized Valenti's hard-line stance, calling it anti-technology and anti-consumer. These critics assert that Valenti's copy prevention mandates will harm innovation, forcing all technologists to ask the MPAA's permission before creating the next generation of amazing gadgets. Copyright holders have always fought new technologies, from Marconi's radio to cable television to VCRs, and in no case have their apocalyptic visions come true. Furthermore, copy prevention technologies will go beyond ending piracy by limiting how consumers can make personal use of their legally purchased movies. After delivering a speech on "Persuasion and Leadership" at Harvard's Institute of Politics, Valenti sat down with the HPR to discuss his side of the digital debate and his life in politics. HPR: You once remarked that "VCR is [to the movie industry]...as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." Even though the movie industry profits from video rentals, the MPAA still fears new technologies like digital VCRs and the Internet. What are the significant differences between the threat posed by the VCR and by today's technologies? Jack Valenti: I wasn't opposed to the VCR. The MPAA tried to establish by law that the VCR was infringing on copyright. Then we would go to the Congress and get a copyright royalty fee put on all blank videocassettes and that would go back to the creators [to compensate for videocassette piracy]. I predicted great piracy. We now lose $3.5 billion a year in videocassette analog piracy. It was a 5-4 Supreme Court decision that determined VCRs were not infringing, which I regret. As a result, we never got the copyright royalty fee, but everything I predicted came true. Now the difference between analog piracy and digital piracy is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. For example, it's very cumbersome to deal in piracy of videocassettes; it costs a lot of money. But in digital piracy, with the click of a mouse a twelve year-old can send a film hurdling around the world. The music industry now is suffering nine, ten, fifteen percent losses in revenue. When you compound that over the next three or four years, the music industry is dead. I don't see a future for it. After awhile, who's going to produce it? It now costs about $350,000 to produce a CD; it costs $80 million to make and market a movie. Big difference. The MPAA could live with the fifteen million homes that currently have broadband internet access. But when sixty million homes have broadband, plus the people on fast connections in universities, making it so easy to bring down a movie in minutes... We're breeding a new group of young students who wouldn't dream of going into a Blockbuster and putting a DVD under their coat. But they have no compunction about bringing down a movie on the Internet. That isn't wrong to them. Why? I don't know. HPR: The MPAA has backed several bills mandating copy prevention technologies. Critics have lambasted these bills for curbing consumer's "fair use" rights, including the ability to make back-up copies. How can we balance the interests of consumers and the movie industry? JV: What is fair use? Fair use is not a law. There's nothing in law. Right now, any professor can show a complete movie in his classroom without paying a dime--that's fair use. What is not fair use is making a copy of an encrypted DVD, because once you're able to break the encryption, you've undermined the encryption itself. HPR: Even if breaking the encryption is for a legitimate purpose, to make a back-up copy? JV: But you've already got a DVD. It lasts forever. It never wears out. In the digital world, we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. It is timeless. The minute that you allow people to break an encryption, you lose all security. If anyone can do it under the rubric of fair use, how can we protect the artists? Today, it's illegal to copy a videocassette. No one has a fair use to copy a videocassette. If you lose it, you get another one, and there's nothing wrong with that. That's what people have been doing for generations. HPR: Why do we need government mandates for copy prevention technologies? JV: You have to have copy prevention mandated by the government sooner or later because otherwise everybody's not playing by the same ground rules. For example, the standards of my cell phone have to be mandated by the FCC because everybody has to operate off the same standards. Also, all railroad tracks in this country are the same standardized width. If you don't have tightly focused, narrowly drawn mandates, either regulatory or congressional, then, if I'm a maverick computer maker in Taiwan, I can say, "Hell, I'm not going to play by the rules. I'm going to do it so everybody can copy." Then Toshiba and Sony and IBM can say, "Well if he does that, then I want to do it." We always operate on the fact that everybody needs to know that there's a 55 mph speed limit. That's called a standard. HPR: You served as special assistant to President Johnson at the formative stages of the Vietnam War. Given your experience, what do you consider most crucial to keeping the war on terrorism, in light of conflict in Iraq, from becoming a quagmire? JV: Nobody realizes that when Johnson became president on Nov. 22, 1963, we had 16,000 fighting men in Vietnam. Nobody remembers that. The problem in Vietnam was that we couldn't get these people to negotiate. Johnson always believed that there was no such thing as victory--only negotiation. He never could get the Vietcong to the negotiating table. A lot of people urged him to go all out, as Richard Nixon did later, to bomb them into the Stone Age; he refused to do that, ultimately to his detriment. I think you need to remember what de Tocqueville once wrote, that "The people grow tired of a confusion whose end is not in sight." If you're going to go to war, you must have the people with you. If you lose the confidence of the American people, you face a terrifying problem. So long as George Bush has the majority of the American people on his side in the war on terrorism and the war against Iraq, he'll be just fine. But if he ever begins to lose that support, he will not do fine. That's what you learn from Johnson. HPR: In an interview with CNN.com, you discussed how costly the lack of censorship was to President Johnson during the Vietnam War. Having fought against the government's attempts to censor the movie industry, how do you think the government should approach censorship during wartime? JV: At all costs, the government should stay out of censorship, except in war. When soldiers lives may be at stake, I think you can. Vietnam is the only war we've ever fought in the history of our country, without censorship. But in any other arena, I'm totally opposed to censorship in any form. I'm a great believer and defender of the First Amendment. HPR: How do you view the influence of lobbyists in government and campaign finance reform? Do organizations like the MPAA have an undue influence because they have money? JV: I think lobbying is really an honest profession. Lobbying means trying to persuade Congress to accept your point of view. Sometimes you can give them a lot of facts they didn't have before. Money, however, is negative--it's corrupting the body politic. Even though money might be the most self-conflicting force in politics today, there are too many loopholes in this McCain-Feingold bill. All these lobbyists in town who are callous to what the bill stands for are going to exploit it. They'll turn to state parties and special interest groups and the money will keep pouring in. It's a tragedy.

Re:Message body (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5232994)

Your unmatched formatting skills make me all hot and bothered. Take me now, you animal.

Fucking Karma Whore... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233073)

...and the harvard review site isn't going to get /.'ed, for chrissake! Anybody who mod's this up should lose the privelege.

Re:Message body (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233254)

Try formatting it next time, you dumbfuck bitch.

Drat... when will I ever be able to get an fp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5232976)

I'm going to have to post only to bsd stories or something away from the front page.

Calamitous terms (1)

Bluetrust25 (647829) | more than 11 years ago | (#5232992)

From the article: "In recent years, Valenti has become an outspoken leader in the fight against piracy on the Internet. Known for his sharp rhetorical abilities, Valenti always speaks about piracy in calamitous terms, prophesizing the eventual death of the movie industry."

"We have been befallen by the great flood of Kazaa, that one of the water of immorality which we hear when we are being told; it has come to us; it has taken us, the great flood of Kazaa..."

Okay, it's not really funny.

a shed (5, Insightful)

Spicy Bisquit (100885) | more than 11 years ago | (#5232993)

If Jack Valenti had his way back in 1982 (he almost did as the Sony BetaMax case went all the way to the Supreme Court) we wouldn't have VCRs today, Blockbuster wouldn't exist and 50% of Hollywoods income wouldn't exist.

The guy is a knob.

Re:a shed (5, Funny)

mccalli (323026) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233012)

If Jack Valenti had his way back in 1982...50% of Hollywood's income wouldn't exist.

Hmmm...

OK, I've switched sides. I'm a fan now.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:a shed (3, Funny)

Spicy Bisquit (100885) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233033)

im not saying that hollywood having more income to produce rapping kangaroo movies is a good thing. just that valenti is a tool.

Re:a shed (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233046)

Blockbuster, and ONLY blockbuster would exist. (We have that now through special deals with BB/Hollywood video, the mom & pops are dead)

They werent opposed to selling you movies to watch in your own home, they were opposed to a free market distributing those movies.

Thats where the whole crap about they sell 'liscenses' to the movies come about. Legally you can lend, trade, give away, or sell a videotape, but since the movie it contains is only liscensed to you for a particular purpose (personal viewing or rental) you cant.

But in the digital age, apparently he feels we should not be able to protect those 'liscenses' we bought. Or he maybe thinks our liscense is only valid so long as the medium the movie came on is in working order?

Is anyone stupid enough to believe a DVD is indestructable? My 8 year old single-handedly destroyed 2 of them this weekend alone. Does she no longer posess the liscense to view 'Shrek' because she stepped on the DVD, or can she watch the backup I made of it?

Re:a shed (1)

MagikSlinger (259969) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233213)

If Jack Valenti had his way back in 1982 (he almost did as the Sony BetaMax case went all the way to the Supreme Court) we wouldn't have VCRs today

That's not what he said in the article. He said he wanted a piracy royalty on all blank videotapes to compensate copyright holders for losses due to piracy. In other words, he wanted the VCR to succede and become a free source of revenue for Hollywood.

Remember: Paying a piracy royalty is being convicted of a crime before you've even committed it, assuming you were ever going to commit the crime in the first place...

An Open Letter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233008)

Dear Mr. Valenti,

Please choke on a bowl of cocks. And die.

Love,
The American Consumer

Costs of Production (4, Interesting)

mrs clear plastic (229108) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233013)

Hi:

I would like to respond to the article's citation
to the costs of producing a CD and a movie.

I believe it cited 250,000 dollars for a CD and
20 million for a movie.

I talked about this with a friend who is doing
a CD for a chorus. He said that the studio
rental and editing costs were about $20,000
to $30,000.

We did not get a chance to talk about the
manufacturing and distro costs, but I strongly
think that the total costs can be done at much
less than the number cited in the article.

Mark

Re:Costs of Production (2, Funny)

elmegil (12001) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233049)

Obviously he was only referring to a CD that he had to pay Clearchannel to push.

My new licensing scheme: (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233200)

  • Listen/watch your commercial : $1/30 seconds
  • Listen to your telemarketing speil : $5/minute
  • Read your print ad : $2/pg
  • Listen to your song: $5 (you pay me)
  • Read your webpage : $2/pg
  • Drink your soda : $1/can
  • Watch your TV show : $5/half hour
  • Wear your shoes : $10/flat fee
  • Watch your movie : $5/half hour
  • Interrupt what I'm doing in anyway : DEATH (yours, that is)

Re:Costs of Production (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233066)

The quote related to production and marketing.


I agree with your comment though: you can
probably produce a moving for much less than
the $80 million Valenti mentioned, but in order
to get anybody to go see it, you've got to spend
that much more on marketing.

Re:Costs of Production (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233148)

You know, in the article they talked about censorship some. I think that in interviews like this they should censor the amounts he claims to lose due to piracy becausy they are absolutely obscene.

"Yea, last wear we lost *CENSORED* due to internet piracy."

Re:Costs of Production (2, Informative)

John_Sauter (595980) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233163)

Depending on how you go about it, a CD can be produced for very little. If I were to record a chorus I would bring my Roland VS-1680 and microphones to their rehearsal hall. I would set up six microphones a few feet in front of the singers and have them go through their selected songs while I recorded everything. I would then, back in my home studio, extract the best performance of each song and mix it down to stereo. I can make small quantities of CDs directly on the VS-1680. When they approve the master I send it to a duplicating house who will make a few hundred for about $1 apiece, including jewel cases and simple jacket art. Total cost is about $2 per CD, less if they want thousands.
John Sauter (J_Sauter@Empire.Net)

They really let anyone be the head of the MPAA (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233016)

JV: But you've already got a DVD. It lasts forever. It never wears out. In the digital world, we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. It is timeless.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
AHAHAhAHAHAHAHAHAH

JV: I think lobbying is really an honest profession. Lobbying means trying to persuade Congress to accept your point of view. Sometimes you can give them a lot of facts they didn't have before.

Yes, Lobbying turns Capitol hill into Capitalism... every dollar has a vote! YAY!

Who gave this guy a chairmans seat?

Re:They really let anyone be the head of the MPAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233155)

Sometimes you can give them a lot of facts they didn't have before.

facts must be some kind of MPAA slang for $$

Re:They really let anyone be the head of the MPAA (1)

captain_craptacular (580116) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233174)

Sometimes you can give them a lot of facts they didn't have before.

I find it easier to get my "facts" accepted when they're written on the memo line of $100,000 checks.

60 Million pirates? (1)

phlack (613159) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233022)

But when sixty million homes have broadband, plus the people on fast connections in universities, making it so easy to bring down a movie in minutes..

And I'm sure those 60 million people (plus university students) will all be watching LOTR huddled around their 17" monitors. Try again, Jack.

Re:60 Million pirates? (1)

martissimo (515886) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233255)

And I'm sure those 60 million people (plus university students) will all be watching LOTR huddled around their 17" monitors. Try again, Jack.

by the time 60 million people have broadband it's not unreasonable to assume that the DVD burners which are really now just starting to take off will be commonplace, and even Joe-Six Pack will be able to watch on his 48" big screen ;)

Thank goodness... (2, Funny)

bytesmythe (58644) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233026)

I am so reassured to know that the future advancements of our society are safely in the hands of visionaries such as Jack Valenti. I hope that he plays a major role in the formation of legistlation related to technological concepts, as he is surely one of the most forward-thinking members of this digital age.

Visionary is as visionary does. (3, Insightful)

nanojath (265940) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233192)

It's easy to slag off these fools but let's face it: they are not going to give up their private candy store, they are not going to give up their lucrative lobbying contracts, they are not going to stand up in front of their shareholders and say, well, hell, we're wrong. Opening up to the realities and efficiencies of digital is not going to come from them or from politicians: it has to come from artists and patrons, the people who stand to gain.


The more serious, non-copyright-infringing projects are cooking, the better defense we have against indefensible legislation.


Wanna talk to a REAL visionary? check out the MAPS project at http://www.kingdomcomeinstitute.com

And by inference (5, Funny)

mcSey921 (230169) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233034)

'VCR is [to the movie industry]...as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.' quote, he responds, 'I wasn't opposed to the VCR.'

From that quote then we can also infer he wasn't opposed to the Boston Strangler. Maybe he is the "Prince of Darkness".

Re:And by inference (1)

Kibo (256105) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233235)

I don't know what he is but it isn't good. I was having lunch the other day with Christopher Walken, Neutron Jack and Kennith Lay, and all agreed, "Jack Valenti? Now that's one scary evil sonuvabitch."

Neutron boasted he almost took Valenti out once. But he only had the souls of 12 fair maidens trapped in lead vials worn around his neck, while Valenti had the full 13.

Let's hear it for the Boston Strangler (0, Redundant)

SiliconEntity (448450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233037)

I wasn't opposed to the VCR.

So I guess he wasn't opposed to the Boston Strangler either?

Orwell fan? (1)

Render_Man (181666) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233038)

Now here is a man that has mastered Double-think if I ever saw one.

I'm wondering if I should start hounding him to replace my DVD when it gets stepped on since it's 'timeless'

My Tron DVD is scratched... (1)

echo (735) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233048)

Anyone got Jack's home number? I'd like to get a free replacement, since digital copies "last forever" and never "wear out"

Royalty to who? (1)

phlack (613159) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233051)

I wasn't opposed to the VCR. The MPAA tried to establish by law that the VCR was infringing on copyright. Then we would go to the Congress and get a copyright royalty fee put on all blank videocassettes and that would go back to the creators [to compensate for videocassette piracy].

To compensate for all those people that made home videos? All those people that copied all those home videos? Are they getting compensated? Come-on Jack! I'm not paying YOU because I want to film my 3 year old!

12 Year olds? (4, Funny)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233052)

[from the interview:]

Valenti: But in digital piracy, with the click of a mouse a twelve year-old can send a film hurdling around the world.


Hey Valenti, what sites have you been visiting lately? Pete Townshend wants to know...

Re:12 Year olds? (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233102)

I just wish I could find that one-click solution! Everything I've seen makes it a real bitch to back up a DVD or just to burn my own video at an acceptable quality.

I love this guy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233059)

Tried to read the interview, but here's the first question and his answer:


You once remarked that "VCR is [to the movie industry]...as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." Even though the movie industry profits from video rentals, the MPAA still fears new technologies like digital VCRs and the Internet. What are the significant differences between the threat posed by the VCR and by today's technologies?

Jack Valenti: I wasn't opposed to the VCR.


oh wow. This guy really needs to do a tough interview with someone. This guy just let the stuff slide. This isn't so much an interview as valenti ansering a questionaire that HPR put together beforehand. Most interviews these days seem to be more like the interviewee just anserin a questionaire.

"sharp rhetorical skills" ?! (1)

Onan The Librarian (126666) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233060)

I suppose so... if you're a thoughtless moron. I'll never read another HPR interview again. Everything about this one stank. But after watching Colon Pole prevaricate in front of the UN today, what should I expect from men of this caliber ? Swine, all of them.

Me, I'm going into the designer body-bag biz.

Why? I don't know. (5, Insightful)

Dugsmyname (451987) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233061)


We're breeding a new group of young students who wouldn't dream of going into a Blockbuster and putting a DVD under their coat. But they have no compunction about bringing down a movie on the Internet. That isn't wrong to them. Why? I don't know.

Nowhere in this article did I find any mention of turning "Bringing down a movie on the Internet" into a viable business model.

People download movies becasue it is easy, convenient, and fast.

Attach a cost.

Keep it easy.

Keep it convenient

Make it fast.

and it could become a viable business model for the future...
The music industry still hasn't gotten the clue, maybe the movie industry still has a chance before it eaten alive by Kazaa, IRC(for the moment), and other file sharing applications.

Re:Why? I don't know. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233114)

We're breeding a new group of young students who wouldn't dream of going into a Blockbuster and putting a DVD under their coat. But they have no compunction about bringing down a movie on the Internet. That isn't wrong to them. Why? I don't know.

HELLO! Because they are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!!

This guy is a MORON!

No backups? (4, Funny)

rd (30144) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233067)

He doesn't have CD eating children running around his house like I do.

Dear Jack (5, Funny)

xXunderdogXx (315464) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233075)

Dear Jack,

I work at the bank where your financial information is stored. We were considering backing up your jillions of dollars but decided after hearing your comments that the information is secure because it is digital.

Have a nice day,
A fan

So to extend the logic... (-1, Redundant)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233076)

'VCR is [to the movie industry]...as the Boston Strangler is to the woman home alone.'

and

'I wasn't opposed to the VCR.'

implies

Boston Strangler in a woman's (alone) house is not a bad thing?

Nice guy, or nice logic.

Lord o' darkness (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233077)

the lord of darkness himself, Jack Valenti.

I was going to make a comment about slashdot, and professionalism, and editorial responsibility to present unbiased viewpoints..

but..

..fuck it. This guy is Satan on Earth, and I hope he goes the fuck out of business.

Timeless? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233081)

"In the digital world, we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. It is timeless."

That all depends on whose posession that 'digital copy' is in.

If it is in MY posession, my dog might eat it. Or my computer/mp3 player/DVD drive might die. And I'll need the ability to make my own backup. When I want, how I want.

If it is in THEIR posession (streaming or whatever), then I'll assume they have multiple copies on various servers. BUT, then they can charge me again to watch it whenever they feel like.

"Fair use is not a law" (5, Informative)

TheFrood (163934) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233085)

From the interview:

HPR: The MPAA has backed several bills mandating copy prevention technologies. Critics have lambasted these bills for curbing consumer's "fair use" rights, including the ability to make back-up copies. How can we balance the interests of consumers and the movie industry?


JV: What is fair use? Fair use is not a law. There's nothing in law.


Bullshit, Jack. It's right here: US Code: Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 107 [cornell.edu].

TheFrood

Re:"Fair use is not a law" (1)

asparagus (29121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233119)

Likewise, while "all railroad tracks in this country are the same standardized width," it's not the result of governmental regulation (I believe), but rather a holdout from England.

Anybody know for sure?

Railroad was designed by a horse's ass (2, Informative)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233244)

The width of a railroad track goes back to the width of horse-drawn vehicles that ran on standardized rutted roads, which in turn was based on slightly more than twice the width of a horse's rear end. Let Cecil Adams explain the rest [straightdope.com].

This guy just doesn't get it .... (1)

YllabianBitPipe (647462) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233086)

Some obvious things I noticed as evidence why this guy is totally out of touch with reality:

He says DVDs are timeless, they don't wear out. Uh, we just had some articles out about "DVD rot". He also asks who will produce the content ... and that an album costs hundreds of thousands to produce and a movie $80mil. Uh, I can name quite a number of excellent movies made for a lot less than $80mil as well as albums that could have been recorded at home for crying out loud. Maybe the industry needs to cut costs.

He wonders why a person doesn't see it wrong to walk into a video store and shoplift a DVD, but would dowload the same movie off the net. Here's a clue for you, because in shoplifting the physical media still exists. When you download something, yeah, it's wrong, but it's a copy. To compare physical theft to copying means you're missing a critical concept. People just don't see "copying" as bad as outright theft for this reason.

This guy is totally reactionary, instead of honestly trying to understand why the music biz is in the situation it's in and work with the consumers. Treating consumers like criminals just legitimizes bad behavior on our part, seriously.

Timeless? (1)

Linuxthess (529239) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233094)

As in 'limited' terms defined as "one day minus infinity?

I mean at least he's honest about what he wants and how he will seek to obtain it.
Bullshit like the CBDTPA and SSSCA which are pushed by Fritz Holling (D., Disney) are just a bunch of hooey.

---------

replacing VHS tapes for generations? (5, Interesting)

Bloodwine (223097) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233095)

My god the VHS tape is barely over 20 years old, but you'd think the way he talks people have been breaking VHS tapes and buying replacements for over 100 years.

Also I never knew it was illegal to copy VHS tapes that you already owned. All the FBI blurb at the begining of almost every U.S.-made movie says is that it is illegal to copy for distribution or showing in front of an audience. I guess he could get the legal eagles to define 'audience' as one or more people or pets.

Definition of public performance (4, Informative)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233176)

I guess he could get the legal eagles to define 'audience' as one or more people or pets.

United States copyright law, 17 USC 101 [cornell.edu] defines an audience as "a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances".

he's right you know.... (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233097)

DVD's won't wear out. They'll just get superceded by another format. I think agent K said it best in MIB when he said "Looks like I'll have to buy the White Album again."

Re:he's right you know.... (2, Interesting)

luzrek (570886) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233225)

"Looks like I'll have to buy the White Album again."

According to copyright law, he wouldn't. He had already purchased the right to listen to the music. He simply has to have the music transfered onto the new medium (should be avalible for a nomial cost). The music industry needs to either admit they are selling us the medium only and cannot lay claim to the content, or admit they are only selling us the content and let us listen to it on whatever medium we want.

Valenti is unaware of copyright statutes (5, Informative)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233123)

Jack Valenti said:
What is fair use? Fair use is not a law. There's nothing in law.

He obviously has not read Title 17, United States Code, the statutes that specify copyright law in the United States. If he had, he would have seen section 107 [cornell.edu], which tells the judge what four factors to look at.

And one of the four factors is commercial exploitation. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing. If a work is out of print or otherwise not being exploited, then it'd probably be possible for a defendant's counsel to argue that by taking the work out of print, the copyright owner has admitted that the work has negligible market value, that unauthorized copying could not possibly diminish the market value, and that the use of such material is more likely to be fair.

Obviously doesn't use a PC. :-) (2, Interesting)

crovira (10242) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233125)

"In the digital world, we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. It is timeless."

I'd like him to play a DVD from Hollywood Video.

Of the last three I rented,
- one had pits and I had to skip a scene,
- one was delaminated, unplayable and I had to eject it before my DVD drive got munged,
-one was outright unplayable on my TiBook because according to the README.TXT "It doesn't play on a Macintosh."

I can MAKE a DVD on my TiBook with iMovie and a video camera but I can't play one of yours Jack.

Bwahahaha. Somebody buy this poor dumb [expletive deleted] a clue.

He probably believes M$ when they say that their systems are "secure now."

Sooo Jack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233126)

Do you ever print out copies of you taxes from the computer or do you just figure that since it's digital on the harddrive it's eternal...

Thoughts on Movie Pirating (1)

mrs clear plastic (229108) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233128)

Here are some random thoughts about movie
pirating.

I recently went to the theater to see a
move (Chicago). I paid $9.00.

For that money, I was given the privilege to
see about 8 commercials and 8 previews before
the show even started. The commercials were not
just those for the snack bar and the gift
certificate for the theater itself. These
were TV type commercials that I thought that
I paid my $9.00 to not to see.

I think that what I am trying to say is if the
movie-going experience is made a little more
pleasent, perhaps maybe the piracy might go
down?

How about this for a far fetched thought. Back
in the olden days (golden olden) you went to
the movies and you had a real experience. A
guy playing a pipe organ as part of the show.
A nice gilded theater. You entered a very special
palace for a very special experience. An
experience that cannot be easily pireted.

Now, I look forward to the experience we have
with Rocky Horror Picture Show. That is something
that you can't easily pirate.

I don't care for the guy but... (1)

DeepEyes78 (551679) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233134)

I agree with his opinion of money and politics:

I think lobbying is really an honest profession. Lobbying means trying to persuade Congress to accept your point of view. Sometimes you can give them a lot of facts they didn't have before.

Money, however, is negative--it's corrupting the body politic. Even though money might be the most self-conflicting force in politics today, there are too many loopholes in this McCain-Feingold bill. All these lobbyists in town who are callous to what the bill stands for are going to exploit it. They'll turn to state parties and special interest groups and the money will keep pouring in. It's a tragedy.


Pure politics are a necessary part of any civilized society. However, throw in large sums of cash and the politicans job becomes diluted. Wanna make it far? Gotta have the cash. Wanna have the cash? Gotta become a spokesperson for someone with that cash. (This step tyically involves setting aside your own beliefs for someone elses.) Nowadays, that "someone" is usually Disney, RIAA and Big Business in general.

Sucks, I know.

He is the reason the industry is in trouble (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233140)

It has little to do with pirates, or poor product.

Its his really bizzare attitudes and desire to restrict 'his' consumers to the point of lunacy..

The man needs to go, while there is still time.

I'm going to his house... (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233143)

and scratching all of his DVDs.

"Hey, what the hell are you doing??!"

"Don't worry, it lasts forever. It never wears out. In the digital world, we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. It is timeless. Bye."

/me dances out front door with cane and striped suit singing "da da da da da da, da da da da da da, da da da da daaaa daaaaa daaaaaaaaaaaa!"

Wrong category! (1)

haedesch (247543) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233144)

"In the digital world, we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. It is timeless"

I think you misplaced it. It should have been an "It's funny, laugh" - story

No backups?!? (4, Funny)

Zone5 (179243) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233145)

"we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out."

Damn, I wish he banked with my company... I'd make sure we didn't make any backups of his bank account - since they're not needed and all that.

And then I'd schedule a disaster-recovery test involving fire, flooding, and lots of sledgehammer blows to the DASD where his data was stored.

So what? (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233151)

What's his point here?

"What is not fair use is making a copy of an encrypted DVD, because once you're able to break the encryption, you've undermined the encryption itself."

So what if I've 'undermined the encryption'?

I do know what the DMCA says about it. But it's absurd and wrong that they can wrap a patent around something that copyright law won't let them accomplish.

Through their own legal battles against used sales and mom & pop rental places, they've made the point that I'm purchasing a liscense to the content. Where is the liscense (if there is a standard one)? Is there a term anywhere that says the liscense is tied to the medium and the encryption somehow?

Also I take issue to this quote:

"We're breeding a new group of young students who wouldn't dream of going into a Blockbuster and putting a DVD under their coat. But they have no compunction about bringing down a movie on the Internet. That isn't wrong to them. Why? I don't know."

This is bullshit. 'Young students' surely do know right from wrong. They know getting a movie (or video game or album) they haven't paid for is wrong. They also know it isn't theft, but a copyright infringement. I just hate his insinuation that we're not only criminals, but stupid.

there was one lucid comment (3, Interesting)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233156)

Money, however, is negative--it's corrupting the body politic. Even though money might be the most self-conflicting force in politics today, there are too many loopholes in this McCain-Feingold bill. All these lobbyists in town who are callous to what the bill stands for are going to exploit it. They'll turn to state parties and special interest groups and the money will keep pouring in. It's a tragedy.

A notable quote (2, Insightful)

cultobill (72845) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233170)

HPR: The MPAA has backed several bills mandating copy prevention technologies. Critics have lambasted these bills for curbing consumer's "fair use" rights, including the ability to make back-up copies. How can we balance the interests of consumers and the movie industry?

JV: What is fair use? Fair use is not a law. There's nothing in law.

If you were prepping someone like JV for a interview like this (you know he had help coming up with answers), wouldn't you tell him not to lie blatantly?

http://fairuse.stanford.edu/

Who is Jack Valenti? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233171)

And why are we supposed to care?

Quote of the day: (1)

Illserve (56215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233184)

"JV: What is fair use? Fair use is not a law. There's nothing in law. "

It gets even better...

" What is not fair use is making a copy of an encrypted DVD, because once you're able to break the encryption, you've undermined the encryption itself."

Breaking the encryption has nothing to do with fair use. The interview astutely follows up and then we get this gem:

"But you've already got a DVD. It lasts forever. It never wears out. In the digital world, we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. It is timeless. "

There you go folks, *we don't need backups*, it lasts *forever*

Straight from the mouth of Sauron itself. Can the debate of whether the MPAA is an ignorant, greedy monstrosity finally be put to rest with a resounding yes?

Summary: (2, Insightful)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233204)

The article could be summed up as follows:

Interviewer: blah blah blah
Valenti: I am a back-pedalling, hypocritical, full-of-shit weasel.

Wait a second... (1)

dagard (14743) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233218)

$350,000 to produce a CD? $80,000,000 to produce a movie? $3.5 billion a year on analog videocassette piracy?

Does anyone know where he's getting these figures, or really, anything even close? (Other than pulling them out of random orifices, of course).

Never wears out? (1)

doppleganger871 (303020) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233221)

Yea, if your DVD was kept in a vacuum, and suspended by an anti-gravity device. But, alas, things are handled by humans, and we're usually pretty abusive to the things we use. There's not ONE company who would promise me a free replacement DVD if I broke/lost/scratched or otherwise made inoperable my copy of LOTR:2T... oops, did I say I had that?

Timeless? (1)

reemul (1554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233230)

In the digital world, we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. It is timeless.


Idiot. The data may be in some rarified technical sense "timeless", but any physical media has certain inherent limitations that cannot be overcome. So a backup will always be a good idea, a matter of sheer prudence. Or is Mr. Valenti is claiming that not only are CDs and DVDs immune to all forms of physical harm, they somehow automatically return to you if lost or stolen? Like Lassie, just, well, smaller. And shiny.

Wow, I'm really dammed impressed by that kind of technology. Good thing Saddam Hussein hasn't caught on yet, or he'll be armoring his secret bunker with an impenetrable shield of AOL CDs. And that RIAA Hilary-class assault vehicle will really be terrifying with those remaindered copies of "Glitter" deflecting anything those vile pirates can throw at it.

What concerns me now are the privacy implications - if the discs are somehow immune to theft or loss, how do they know the identity and location of the legal owner? What aren't they telling us? Where are the chips imbedded? Bastards...

On the other hand, maybe Mr. Valenti is just a lying weasel who is saying whatever he thinks he needs to in order to cover up an indefensibly weak position. Nahh, those CDs are fricking magic!

-reemul

My favorite line: (3, Informative)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233232)

This is great: "The MPAA tried to establish by law that the VCR was infringing on copyright. Then we would go to the Congress and get a copyright royalty fee put on all blank videocassettes and that would go back to the creators [to compensate for videocassette piracy]."

And of course, the MPAA are the "creators," because who else would ever make a movie? And he's also saying this implies that the MPAA own the right to copy movies period?!

This line, too:

"What is fair use? Fair use is not a law. There's nothing in law."

May I point Mr. Valenti to the US Code Sec. 107. - Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.
"Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."
And he thinks no one should be allowed to copy anything, ever.

I don't see how anyone can take this guy seriously.

Why? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233240)

How come nobody has shot this dumb bastard yet..?

Backups...we don't need no stinkin' backups! (5, Funny)

Slightly Askew (638918) | more than 11 years ago | (#5233250)

Local Man Arrested For Violence At Bank

Police Tuesday arrested a local man at a Bank of America branch. Jack Valenti, 46, was charged with assault and attempted robbery for beating the bank president with a spindle of blank CDRs and attempting to take cash from the teller's drawer. According to the teller, Mr. Valenti became upset when he was informed that, due to a computer error, his account had been closed. Due to recent changes in the bank's policies, the IT staff ceased making backups of the bank's data. When asked about the policy change, the IT manager, who appeared to be choking back laughter, said, "We recently changed our backup policies in light of statements made by Mr. Valenti himself that digital information was timeless and, therefore, did not need backed up. The bank president read that interview and told us he could no longer justify the cost of daily tape backups."

Mr. Valenti is being held on $50,000 bond. His lawyer declined our request for an interview. In similar news, the RIAA has filed suit agains Bank of America for copyright violations. When asked what evidence prompted the suit, a spokesdemon replied, "They had CDRs, didn't they? What more evidence do you need?"

Another one of his arguments refuted by the facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5233252)


He used to argue that broadband adoption was slow because file sharing caused the movie industry to shy away from distributing content online.


But now broadband adoption is skyrocketing (in the US at least), despite no changes from the movie industry. Whoops - the chameleon needs a new argument.

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