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Valenti’s Views. What is fair use? Fair use is not a law. There’s nothing in law .. It lasts forever. It never wears out .. An Interview with Jack Valenti.

“In the digital world, we don’t need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. “  Apparently Mr. Valenti has never actually owned a DVD.  I have children, and as a result, I have mountains of scratched CD’s here at home.  I could send you a few, Jack, if you’d like!  And who hasn’t experienced renting a DVD, bringing it home, and discovering that it’s unplayable because the previous renter scratched it?  No, the difference between the digital and the analog world is NOT that the digital media never wears out.  It’s precisely the opposite.  When digital media is damaged it becomes unplayable, but when analog media became damaged you lived with a few pop’s and clicks. 

The real issue here is that the recording industry and the MPAA is paranoid about proliferation of copies.  The answer isn’t onerous copy-protection regimes. They don’t foil the real pirates, and they do inconvenience the legitimate consumer. We learned that in the software industry years ago.  The answer is education, education, education.  Mr. Valenti is right – theft is theft.  Copy protection, however, isn’t the saviour of the motion picture industry.  Teaching kids that stealing bits is the same as stealing physical objects is the only way to deal with this.


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