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August 4, 2004

Bye Bye Jack, We Won't Be Missing You

Tim Wu (over on lessig blog) has listed a bunch of Jack Valenti quotes from over the years. Here's a sample:

On the nascent cable industry, in 1974
“[Cable will become] a huge parasite in the marketplace, feeding and fattening itself off of local television stations and copyright owners of copyrighted material. We do not like it because we think it wrong and unfair.”

On the VCR, 1983
"We are facing a very new and a very troubling assault ... and we are facing it from a thing called the video cassette recorder and its necessary companion called the blank tape.
We are going to bleed and bleed and hemorrhage, unless this Congress at least protects one industry ... whose total future depends on its protection from the savagery and the ravages of this machine [the VCR]."
"[Some say] that the VCR is the greatest friend that the American film producer ever had. I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."

On the public domain, 1995
"A public domain work is an orphan. No one is responsible for its life. But everyone exploits its use, until that time certain when it becomes soiled and haggard, barren of its previous virtues. How does the consumer benefit from the steady decline of a film's quality?"

On the meaning of value, 1983
"Nothing of value is free. It is very easy ... 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."

And the Valenti slogan
"If you cannot protect what you own, you don’t own anything."

[lessig blog]

Posted by snooze at August 4, 2004 1:25 PM