Dan Gillmor
Valenti, Right and Wrong, Is a Man to Respect

How I wish Jack Valenti had been on our side in the copyright war.

Valenti will soon retire from his decades-long post as president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the industry's enormously effective lobbying arm. I'm going to miss him.

I recently met Jack at a conference last year but I first met Jack when I was working in Hollywood and was a translator at a meeting between him and the chairman of NHK, the Japanese public broadcasting company. I also worked with Jack's son, John, on Indian Runner. Jack always struck me as smart and charming and I have the same impression of him that Dan does. Jack gave Creative Commons a video message endorsement when Creative Commons launched. I agree with Dan that although I disagree violently with many of the things Jack stands for, I will miss him and wish all of our opponents were so gracious.

2 Comments

Jack's "Boston Strangler" testimony is a xenophobic, anti-Japanese rant that turns my stomach:

http://cryptome.org/hrcw-hear.htm

And I might add, Mr. Chairman, it is the single one American-made product that the Japanese, skilled beyond all comparison in their conquest of world trade, are unable to duplicate or to displace or to compete with or to clone...

...a piece of sardonic irony that while the Japanese are unable to duplicate the American films by a flank assault, they can destroy it by this video cassette recorder...

Now, again, citing the fact that 100 percent of these machines are made in Japan and 85 percent of all of the blank tapes are made in Japan, and I say that, Mr. Chairman, because I. have to keep coming back to this trade asset because if the Congress doesn't act, then what we are going to be doing is exporting our jobs out of this country to another country, beyond the real of our own shore...

...this United States had a $5.3 billion trade deficit with Japan on electronic equipment alone. We are going to bleed and bleed and hemorrhage, unless this Congress at least protects one industry that is able to retrieve a surplus balance of trade and whose total future depends on its protection from the savagery and the ravages of this machine...

...Now, I think it is quite intemperate -- I hope they don't make this argument tomorrow because of the answer I am about to give you -- to charge the Americans with greed when the Japanese companies are swollen with profits....

Contrast that with the TDK automated tape plant in Japan that has no production workers. Profits in Japan by the manufacturers of VCR's and blank tapes are soaring. You heard testimony to that effect. We don't think it makes sense to export profits overseas at the expense of jobs at home. It is not fair and it is not right...

...Contrast that with the TDK automated tape plant in Japan that has no production workers. Profits in Japan by the manufacturers of VCR's and blank tapes are soaring. You heard testimony to that effect. We don't think it makes sense to export profits overseas at the expense of jobs at home. It is not fair and it is not right...

...The Japanese already say this -- and this year they sold 2.5 million. They are probably going to sell 3.5 and then to 4 and then to 5 and then to 6 and pretty soon you got 40 million of those bloody machines out there and then you have a whole new universe...

Those heathen Japanese with their robot factories and their America-threatening VCRs. My stars and garters. BTW, when asked a couple years ago if he wished to repudiate any of these remarks, Valenti said absolutely not, he stands behind them 100 percent.

are you stupid?

none of those quotes are even remotely xenophobic or "anti-japanese". he is stating facts and arguing his point, which is that sending profits/jobs to japan will hurt the american economy. and it seems (knowing movie industry execs) that he is arguing that the proliferation of VCRs will destabilize the movie industry and drive down profits.

his comments simply show that the man has little to no understanding of economics and/or free trade and a very limited view of the future.

pointing out bonafide racism is a worthwhile endeavor, but your comments are simply ridiculous. if you think Jack's comments are racist or xenophobic, you should also charge "Wired" magazine and several other IT publications, since many journals have recently began publishing articles discussing the exportation of IT related jobs to India and Asia as a whole.

your sarcasm doesn't mask the fact that your argument is ridiculous.

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