For a while now, I've been wondering why no one ever seems to confront Jack Valenti about his claim many years ago that the VCR would be the "Boston Strangler of the movie industry", when just the opposite came true. Finally, someone has done the right thing - and then let Valenti slip right through. This interview at Harvard (yes, found over at Slashdot) confronted Valenti about his strangler claim, and Valenti proceeds to lie his way out of it, by saying that everything he predicted about the VCR has come true. He conveniently ignores the fact that the movie industry is doing many many many times better than it was at the time - in large part due to the VCR. If that's what it's like to be a victim of the Boston Strangler, sign me up. He also denies that "fair use" actually exists (before giving an example of fair use). He also says that DVDs are indestructable (not true), and so no one would ever need to make a backup copy. It's funny because he almost trips himself up here. He points out that no one should ever need to make a backup of a digital copy because it will last forever (though, plenty of articles on data extinction prove this isn't true). What he seems to be missing is the reason digital can last forever is because you can make a perfect copy of it. However, by denying people the right to make the copy, he's guaranteeing that it won't last forever. Though, he has a perfect solution for this: if your DVD breaks, you just buy a new one.
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