Jack Valenti

Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

Mr. Valenti was a special assistant to President Johnson from 1963 to 1966. In 1966, he became president of the MPAA. Where he oversaw the creation of the modern American ratings system (G, PG, R, etc.). This effectively killed the Hays Code once and for all and led to the creation of Modern American Cinema.

In the early 80s, he came down harshly on Videocassette recorders (see below). History seems to have proved him wrong.

In the late 90s, he seems to be pulling out the same theories about MP3s and Napster. Much of the anti- FairUse provisions of the DigitalMillenniumCopyrightAct were probably lobbied for by him and the MPAA.

Judge by his quotes:

"I'm rather jubilant now. What Judge Kaplan did was blow away every one of these brittle and fragile rebuttals. He threw out fair use; he threw out reverse engineering; he threw out linking."

From Variety.com:

Valenti enthusiastically declared, "We are now arming ourselves to use legitimate technology to defeat illegitimate technology." Valenti has founded a new department within the MPA called Digital Strategies "to involve ourselves in digital rights management procedures so we can clothe our movies in a protective shield that would disallow them to be copied by anybody. Sniffers will instantly pluck out anything out there that's unauthorized."

"The growing and dangerous intrusion of this new technology," Jack Valenti said, threatens an entire industry's "economic vitality and future security." Mr Valenti, the president of the Motion Picture Association of America, was testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, and he was ready for a rhetorical rumble. The new technology, he said, "is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman alone."

It was 1982, and he was talking about videocassette recorders.

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