jack valenti is out of touch

I won't miss him. He's so out of touch (or drank too much of his own
kool-aid) that there is no way he could have a positive effect on
technology. Here's some memorable lines from his interview w/Engadget:

Do consumers have a fair use right to remix a few seconds of a Hollywood movie into a home movie project?

There is no fair use to take something that doesn't belong to you.
That's
not fair use. If you're a professor in a classroom, you show “Singing
in the Rain” to your class. You can fast forward it, and there's no
performance fee for that. That's fair use. Now, fair use is not in the
law. People are taking fair use and changing it to unfair use and
claiming that it's fair use.

What a nice way to
reframe something to avoid answering the question. From what I
understand, saying “fair use is not in the law” is technically correct
since it isn't defined in copyright law. However, what he neglects to
tell us fine consumers is that most judges will use the “four factors” to determine if something is fair use.

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? A digital
thing lasts forever. 

Does he really not see
any difference in digital media and hard goods? The “backup copy thing”
came from computers. Digital media has always degraded over
time, although the rate at which it does so is slowing as the
technology gets better. What most consumers probably think with regards
to backups is something along the lines of: I make a backup of my
computer's installation CDs in case they get destroyed or degrade so
why should a DVD be any different?

Most consumers don't trust
data to be reliable so they take measures to mitigate the damage caused
if it becomes unreliable. DVD movies are just data. They aren't hard
goods with a finite lifetime and an expected replacement or retirement
schedule. Movies don't break like Cognac glasses–just the crappy
plastic disk they come on becomes damaged and I can't read the data
from it. The value is in the data, not the media. His argument may
stand if DVDs were indestructib

 

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