Jack Valenti... Misunderstanding The Digital World Right Up Until The End

from the buy-him-a-clue... dept

Jack Valenti is getting ready to retire, but that hasn't stopped him from continuing to give interviews where he says stuff that are clearly false or purposely misleading. My biggest complaint with the interview isn't with Valenti, actually. It's that the interviewer, JD Lasica, who definitely knows better, didn't challenge Valenti on any of his ridiculous answers. Not once does he say anything. Even when Valenti trots out his ridiculous excuses for why you should never be able to back up a DVD, where, in a single answer Valenti confuses the different between digital and tangible items and then insists that there should be no reason to back up digital items because they last forever. Of course, they only last forever... um... if you can back them up. So, there's a bit of a disconnect there, and it should have been hammered home. Also, Valenti continues to insist that there's no such thing as fair use. Or rather, he makes a series of contradictory statements about fair use, none of which fully make sense. He first seems to say that you can only use fair use on content that belongs to you, in which case you wouldn't need fair use (it already belongs to you!). Next, he claims that if someone fast forwards through something in classroom, that is fair use, but follows it up by saying the law doesn't recognize fair use (which is simply false). These are all things he's said before, so there's nothing that new in the interview, but how could the interviewer, especially someone who has written a new book about these things, let Valenti get away with them? That's why he continues to think he's right -- because no one tells him to his face that he's wrong when he spouts this stuff.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Thomas Hawk (profile), 31 Aug 2004 @ 7:34am

    Re: Talking with Valenti

    Personally I think it was nothing short of amazing that J.D. was ever able to get the interview in the first place. Obviously Valenti doesn't know how to use Google because if he'd bothered to Google J.D. and read some of what his interviewer has written about in the past I'm sure he'd have had second thoughts.

    I think the interview actually went fairly well and I think that as an interview it was probably good that J.D. didn't go for the throat as some might be quick to discredit it with bias. No, I think it was better to let Jack hang himself with his own words and let the online community do the after-analysis. The important thing is that by getting the interview in the first place it brings to light once again the problems with the adversarial tactics of the MPAA and their cousin the RIAA.

    Below are my comments from the post at Engadget:

    "What would you say to a mom who wants to make a backup of her kids? DVD movies?

    When you go to your department store and you buy 10 Cognac glasses and two weeks later you break two of them, the store doesn?t give you two backup copies. Where did this backup copy thing come from?"

    Look, either you are selling content or you are selling physical goods -- you cannot have your cake and eat it too. When you buy a DVD you are buying content. The DVD is merely the delivery vehicle for the content. If I buy a tune from itunes and then burn it to my CD and it breaks, should I then also not be able to re burn it? It infuriates me that people like Jack Valenti have no problem gouging the public with expensive dvds and then when the medium is no longer useable try to compare it to a pair of cognac glasses.

    On Thursday night someone broke the window of my car at the West Oakland BART station and in addition to stealing the dvd player in the car stole all of my kids dvds -- about 20 of them which were hidden in the glove compartment. They stole the dvd player even though I had taken the face plate off and it is essentially worthless to them without it.

    Now Vallenti wants to tell me that I'm SOL and why don't I just go out and drop another $500 buying my content all over again -- and he has the audacity to speak about a "moral imperative."?!

    This guy is classic. How about this Jack. How about I just download everything I want for free and use any resource I have to avoid ever paying for another dvd for the rest of my life. How about I just copy everything to my PC and burn it to dvd for play in my car in the future and don't give you or your friends another god-damn dime. There is a reason that you are portrayed as a "villian" in cyberspace. And while you may have a modicum of power based on your previous position with the MPAA, the tide is turning and things like you opening your mouth and saying really stupid things will ony bring about both grass roots political change and technological pirating tools faster.

    You, my friend, are a hypocrite -- someone who talks about the value being the content one day and the form the very next.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.