Wed. Oct 29, 2003
Changing of the Guard
Changing of the Guard – Two decades ago, the movie industry faced a Killer Demon sure to destroy it, or at least, that’s what Jack Valenti said in 1982: ”But now we are facing a very new and a very troubling assault on our fiscal security, on our very economic life and we are facing it from a thing called the video cassette recorder and its necessary companion called the blank tape. And it is like a great tidal wave just off the shore. This video cassette recorder and the blank tape threaten profoundly the life-sustaining protection, I guess you would call it, on which copyright owners depend, on which film people depend, on which television people depend and it is called copyright.”
It turns out that this dire threat actually brought a ”great tidal wave” of profits, as the industry managed to reap untold billions from video tape sales and rentals in spite of Valenti’s rhetoric. Now, having managed to recently tick off most of Hollywood’s major names, Jack Valenti is stepping down, after 23 years of crying wolf.
The NY Post says ”Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin has been plucked to replace Jack Valenti, the long-running head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), according to sources familiar with the matter.”
Hmmm, now where have we recently heard that name? Ah, yes, in the Washington Post article detailing a Congressional bill about spam: ”Committee Chairman W.J. ’Billy’ Tauzin (R.-La.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), two of the House bill’s sponsors, were embarrassed by revelations over the summer that their staffs had been working closely with the marketing and retailing industries in crafting the original version of the bill.”
Well, at least with this new gig, Billy can now be honest about who is his boss, and whose interests he is trying to protect.