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Journal Journal: Jack Valenti rant

Letter to the editor sent to the Washington Post :

It seems that Mr. Valenti is suffering from the same myopic view of the market place that plagued the movie industry when then VCR was first introduced ["Movies Get Framed", op-ed Feb 25, 2002]. After the VCR was introduced the industry felt threatened and tried to bludgeon the manufacturers through the courts. The Supreme Court held that the VCR was a Fair Use device that the public should be able to use. Did this result in piracy, yes, but it also spawned a whole new industry to deliver movies to the public at reasonable prices. Why do people pay for movies when they could just "pirate" them off the Internet? The average consumer is more interested in obtaining the movie in a legitimate, convenient, and cost effective manner. You will never be able to completely prevent piracy. There will always be some enterprising geek that has too much time on his hands that will try to break the electronic locks that you use, witness DeCSS. But if you provide a reasonable mechanism for the general consumer to conveniently obtain your product legally they will. Stop punishing us and move forward with a simple to use movie on demand system.

Thanks for your time and consideration,
Sean McAdam

Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.