May 24, 2024

Valenti Interview

If you’re interested in technology regulation, don’t miss Derek Slater’s interview with MPAA chief Jack Valenti, in Harvard Political Review. Slater asks only four questions about copyright and technology, but in answering those four short questions Valenti manages to display amazing ignorance of both copyright law and technology.

Don’t believe me? Here is Valenti on copyright law:

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

(Somebody should tell him about this law.) Now on technology:

In the digital world, we don’t need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out.

(Somebody should tell him that it is standard practice to back up all digital data.)

Nobody expects a lobbyist to be up on the esoteric details of law or technology. But is it too much to ask that he have at least a rudimentary understanding of the law he wants to change, and of the field he wants to regulate? Why do our representatives listen to this guy?

[Thanks to Copyfight and Ernie the Attorney for links.]


  1. Valenti’s Greatest Hits

    Over at Engadget, JD Lasica interviews outgoing MPAA head Jack Valenti. In the interview, Valenti repeats several of his classic arguments. For example, here’s Valenti, in this week’s interview, on fair use: Now, fair use is not in the law. We heard th…