J.D. Lasica interviews Jack Valenti – Engadget

The Engadget Interview: Jack Valenti – Engadget – www.engadget.com:

Update: The interview hit Slashdot this morning. Some of the comments are pretty funny.

JD: “What would you say to a mom who wants to make a backup of her kids? DVD movies?

JV: “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?”

Look, either you are selling content or you are selling physical goods — you cannot have your cake and eat it too. When you buy a DVD you are buying content. The DVD is merely the delivery vehicle for the content. If I buy a tune from itunes and then burn it to my CD and it breaks, should I then also not be able to re burn it? It infuriates me that people like Jack Valenti have no problem gouging the public with expensive dvds and then when the medium is no longer useable try to compare it to a pair of cognac glasses.

On Thursday night someone broke the window of my car at the West Oakland BART station and in addition to stealing the dvd player in the car stole all of my kids dvds — about 20 of them which were hidden in the glove compartment. They stole the dvd player even though I had taken the face plate off and it is essentially worthless to them without it.

Now Vallenti wants to tell me that I’m SOL and why don’t I just go out and drop another $500 buying my content all over again — and he has the audacity to speak about a “moral imperative.”?!

This guy is classic. How about this Jack. How about I just download everything I want for free and use any resource I have to avoid ever paying for another dvd for the rest of my life. How about I just copy everything to my PC and burn it to dvd for play in my car in the future and don’t give you or your friends another god-damn dime. There is a reason that you are portrayed as a “villian” in cyberspace. And while you may have a modicum of power based on your previous position with the MPAA, the tide is turning and things like you opening your mouth and saying really stupid things will ony bring about both grass roots political change and technological pirating tools faster.

You, my friend, are a hypocrite — someone who talks about the value being the content one day and the form the very next.

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  1. Discfree.com says:

    It’s interesting that he claims to have lost 3.5 billion in digital and analog piracy. I would assume that analog means Tivo and other forms of PVRs that capture analog cable broadcasts and then allows the user to view it at a later time. I think it may be a stretch to claim theft using a PVR. For years the record industry collaborated to fix the price of cds at artificially high levels, but big media doesn’t seem to consider illegal price fixing as theft. I got a check back for about $15 during the settlement, when I estimate that I probably purchased 1500 cds during the time that they were price fixing. Maybe consumer’s should have to go back in ten years and pay a penny for every illegal album they downloaded. It seems fair to me.

  2. introspectre says:


    I buy a CD and immedietely burn a copy, then carry that around with me. If it scratched, breaks or (I’m so sorry to hear it) gets stolen, I can recopy it with the original.

    Cognac glasses, my ass. That makes about as much sense as considering sock darning to be stealing from the sock industry.
    Sock darners, beware! Beware!