What he said. A lovely rant from the head lemur on Jack Valenti. I’ve excerpted it a bit, so go read the whole thing.
Jack Valenti, the CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America is confused. In a statement released yesterday he said;
‘It s a bit strange that the IT community launches a million-dollar campaign against the movie industry, and their spokesman at a press conference charges us as the enemy. It s strange because the copyright industry has been in good faith negotiations with computer companies and consumer electronics companies for a long time. The MPAA is trying to reach a mutually agreeable conclusion whose aim it is to stop the thievery of films so that a legitimate digital marketplace can thrive.”
“Consumers will be the beneficiaries of a digitally honest world. Consumer satisfaction is our number one objective. We are not the enemy. We are not at war with the IT community. We are hoping that these meetings will produce amiable results. Which is why I am shaking my head in wonderment at this million-dollar campaign to deride us.”
You are the enemy of the consumer and everyone using a computer with an internet connection or a cd or cd-dvd player. From your first notable speech before Congress attempting to get VCR’s off the market, to your continuing support of every restrictive technology from the CSS encryption, Broadcast Flag, the DCMA, the Hollings legislation, and what will come up to restrict consumer choice tomorrow, you have demonstrated that you are anti-consumer. Your members call us thieves and pirates. You continual lobbying efforts to restrict what people can do with their property in their own homes on equipment that allows people to enjoy entertainment in different formats at their leisure on their schedule makes a mockery of anything you have said about freedom.
Solving your problem is easy. Stop offering movies anywhere but in theaters. No VCR tapes. No DVD’s. No Television broadcasting. This will do more to cut down on piracy and unauthorised duplication of your member products than anything else you have tried. It will also render moot such things as encryption chips, broadcast flags, copyright extentions, and other technologies to enable consumers to have a choice in their preferences of using your products. I would beef up the security in movie theaters if I were you. We wouldn’t want another Spiderman episode. You should be able to equip theaters with metal detectors real cheap now as they are the newest thing in public accomodation devices.
The second and far more critical to your members is the loss of revenue by not offering customers movies in a form they are willing to PAY for. See if your members are willing to lose this revenue.
I love movies. …I have over 600 movies in my personal collection. …. I have purchased each and every one of them. Not a single one is a copy that is not in a factory wrapper. …
Make no mistake about this, they are mine. If I want to let my children, friends, or neighbors borrow them, I will. They are Mine. I bought them. I paid for them I own them.
Your problem is control. You want it. You can’t have it on the internet. You can continue to try to legislate around it. You can continue to propose Digital Restriction Monopoly Schemes. Your best bet is to restrict your products to formats that are incompatable with computers. But then you would have to help the theater owners make their venues much more attractive to take up the slack in lost sales, as well as spending more money advertising on the internet to get folks off their computers and into theaters.
Do you ever wonder whether folks like Valenti ever actually use any of the technology they decry? If you are an advocate for one position do you make an effort to understand the other side or dig in your heels? I want to believe in a world that operates with reasoned debate to find answers that work now and work in the future as the world and technology evolves. I realize that I don’t live in such a world, but I still want to believe in it.