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"We're fighting our own terrorist war,"
January 17, 2002 12:12 AM   Subscribe

"We're fighting our own terrorist war," says Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America. David Rocci conters: "There's a huge difference in what people think copyright is and what the corporations think copyright is. I'm not so sure it's morally wrong for someone to go [see] 'Lord of the Rings' in the theater two or three times and then download it because they like it." (NYT link)
posted by muckster (11 comments total)

 
Jack Valenti of the MPAA is reputed to have said, in 1982, that the video cassette recorder ''is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman alone."

Fast forward two decades and Hollywood makes as much from video technology as it does from cinema. So why haven't they been ahead of the game in producing Internet-based downloadable or streaming movie services? Then they would have justification to close down illegitimate services like Morpheus and an alternative to send the wAreZ d00dz to.
posted by skylar at 12:32 AM on January 17, 2002


I love how he makes it sound like some 14-year-old in Denver (or Miami, or L.A.) is as dangerous to the American way of life as a psychotic subset of Muslims with machineguns and (possibly) nuclear weapons. Who does Valenti think he is, an oil company?

It's just another case of the media companies failing to keep up with emerging technologies, and getting screwed over by all us tech-savvy internet users who think that $9 is a wee bit too much to pay for a second viewing.

The other thing that gets on my nerves is that they're starting to drag in the TV redistibution people. Many of these shows (Enterprise, for instance) are either unavailable to some consumers, or are episodes that were missed. In both cases, the video is being broadcast on free air stations, and the company that broadcasts/records Enterprise is losing nothing (hehe, except the few mil that they're dropping on a terrible series). Cable is a little different, but is also (in the cases I've witnessed) usually missed episodes downloaded by paying customers, or unavailable shows (I download episodes of Ab-Fab, because the bogus cable company gives that portion of the day on channel 58 to another network.) As for the advertisers... That's when we get up to eat/defecate/get away from the TV anyway.

So... Who likes pancakes?
posted by phalkin at 3:45 AM on January 17, 2002


true.true.
posted by Hypnerotomachia at 4:11 AM on January 17, 2002


I like pancakes
posted by a3matrix at 4:25 AM on January 17, 2002


Mr. Valenti's implacable and brilliant enemy is Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig - his new book The Future of Ideas is the best justification that "information wants to be free" that I've read yet.
posted by theplayethic at 5:05 AM on January 17, 2002


Mmmmm.....maple syrup and buttah....
posted by adampsyche at 5:23 AM on January 17, 2002


I was highly amused to see a review of Lord of the Rings over at Pakistan's Friday Times. (The story is probably gone, as they seem to be publishing next week's edition now, and have no archives.) The review was as gushing as any you might find in the west, and ended by explaining that he was watching it on VCD on his kick-ass home theater system. For a film enthusiast, he explained, though some movies were meant to be seen in a theater, he lived in a corner of the world where the wait for movies to arrive could be intolerable, so going digital pirate was really his only option.
posted by dhartung at 6:16 AM on January 17, 2002


Well, if Morpheus is so damn hot, then why can't I find any connections any more? I want my pirated video as much as the next guy!

BTW, Jack Valenti, whatever it is you've been smoking for the past twenty years, you'vre really got to cut back. Video piracy != murder of innocent civilians.
posted by RakDaddy at 10:45 AM on January 17, 2002


IHOP's annual Pumpkin Pancakes.... :o)
posted by alumshubby at 12:45 PM on January 17, 2002


On copyright issues, it is also worth reading Digital Copyright, by Jessica Litman.
Litman is a law professor who discusses how insanely counterintuitive current copyright law really is. She gives a history of how it got that way, and proposes reforms that would make it less arbitrary and restrictive. Basically, copyright used to be based on a balance between the interests of the creator and those of the public, but in recent years it has become an excuse for the copyright owner not just to gain legitimate commercial profit from the work, but also to totally control use,
posted by Rebis at 1:15 PM on January 17, 2002


Notice the comment about broadband in there? They really are trying to hold it back. Bleh.
posted by Foosnark at 10:44 AM on January 18, 2002


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