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Jack Valenti (1921 – 2007)


Influential American lobbyist and a long-time president of the Motion Picture Association of America.
Jack Valenti
We want to tell American parents that they and they alone have total power to control every hour of television programming that comes into their home.
Valenti quotes
I invite all of you to work with me to strengthen our copyright laws in all of the ways available to us. As you know, there is also Jack Valenti's proposal for term to last forever less one day. Perhaps the Committee may look at that next Congress.
Valenti
Nothing of value is free. It is very easy, Mr. Chairman, to convince people that it is in their best interest to give away somebody else's property for nothing, but even the most guileless among us know that this is a cave of illusion where commonsense is lured and then quietly strangled.




Valenti Jack quotes
Fair use is not in the law.
Valenti Jack
The basic mission of the rating system is a simple one: to offer to parents some advance information about movies so that parents can decide what movies they want their children to see or not to see. The entire rostrum of the rating program rests on the assumption of responsibility by parents.
Jack Valenti quotes
The only group in America that ought to be the final arbiters, the only group in America that deserves to scrutinize what we are doing, and then judge its worth... are parents.
Jack Valenti
I donít care if you call it AO for Adults Only, or Chopped Liver or Father Goose. Your movie will still have the stigma of being in a category thatís going to be inhabited by the very worst of pictures.
Valenti Jack quotes
Mostly, filmmakers complain that they must work against muddled or moving boundaries. And parentsí groups grouse about ďratings creep,Ē a perceived tendency for a category like PG-13 to permit ever more violence, sex and profanity over the years to reach impressionable youth. Yet it was Mr. Valentiís genius to have devised an apparatus that is not bound by precedent, changes its definitions at will and, ultimately, serves the motion picture industry by becoming, at any given moment, as permissive or restrictive as the prevailing climate seems to demand... for nearly 40 years, Mr. Valentiís raters have largely kept politicians and busybodies out of the film business, even if that meant playing somewhat unpredictable busybodies themselves. They havenít always been fair, and not entirely pleasant to deal with. But in the end, theirs was no mean achievement.
Valenti
If you design your own machine, you can't fuss at people, because you're one of just a few. How many Linux users are there?
Valenti Jack
My own home, we do it in our on home. I know about that. Anybody that has a VCR, talk to them, and I ask you to use your own commonsense... If you had the power to sit on a playback of a recording and you could wipe out the commercials or not wipe out the commercials, what would you do? ... We all do it.
But when you do it, you strip away the reason for free television. ... As far as I am concerned, I am going to continue taping because the plaintiffs have said they aren't going to do anything to me. I am not committing any crime. They know that.
Jack Valenti
Technology moves with terrifying speed. If the traffic rules are explicit and understandable, and accompanied by common-sense protective designs, this technology will be an incalculable boon to America, a shot in the arm to our international competitiveness, and a stimulus to our creative industries. If not, then the information superhighway, cyberspace, the Internet, call it what you will, technology will collapse the great wonder of intellectual property. The country will be the loser. Big time.




Jack Valenti quotes
In a political struggle, never get personal ó else the dagger digs too deep.
Jack Valenti
I knew that the mix of new social currents, the irresistible force of creators determined to make "their" films and the possible intrusion of government into the movie arena demanded my immediate action. ... My first move was to abolish the old and decaying Hays Production Code. I did that immediately. Then on November 1, 1968, we announced the birth of the new voluntary film rating system of the motion picture industry ... the emergence of the voluntary rating system filled the vacuum provided by my dismantling of the Hays Production Code. The movie industry would no longer "approve or disapprove" the content of a film, but we would now see our primary task as giving advance cautionary warnings to parents so that parents could make the decision about the movie-going of their young children.
Valenti quotes
If what you own cannot be protected, you own nothing.
Valenti Jack
I sleep each night a little better, a little more confidently, because Lyndon Johnson is my president. For I know he lives and thinks and works to make sure that for all America and indeed, the growing body of the free world, the morning shall always come.
Valenti Jack quotes
I wasn't opposed to the VCR. The MPAA tried to establish by law that the VCR was infringing on copyright. Then we would go to the Congress and get a copyright royalty fee put on all blank videocassettes and that would go back to the creators.
Jack Valenti
Jack Valenti etched the letters G, PG and R into American cinema.
That cultural legacy came early in his stewardship of Hollywood's top trade group, when he established the movie-ratings system still in place nearly 40 years later.
Jack Valenti quotes
I thought Jack Valenti was wrong about most of the tech-policy issues that he spoke about, but I'm going to miss that guy... One of the lingering regrets of my career is showing up a few minutes late to a Post boardroom luncheon with Valenti that had started with him denouncing a column I'd written about the MPAA's "technological totalitarianism." When I sat down, then-managing editor Steve Coll leaned over to summarize Valenti's opening statement as "he took your name in vain"; I felt like I'd missed the whole show.
Jack Valenti
Copyright term extension has a simple but compelling enticement: it is very much in America's economic interests.
Valenti Jack
On-line service providers and others have a key role to play in freeing cyberspace of the taint of copyright lawlessness. Accountability for copyright violations committed by users is as essential for advancing this indispensable goal.
Who is responsible if a valuable copyrighted work is downloaded from a provider, and then copied on a digital video machine from which thousands of copies can be made, the last copy as pure and pristine as the first? And if no one can be held responsible, then who and what is to prevent the flood that will surely follow? This is a loophole larger than a parade of eight-wheelers through which a dam-busting avalanche of violations can rupture the purpose of your bill every day.


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