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MIT Student Grills Valenti on Fair Use

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the un-something-believable dept.

Movies 1162

kcsduke writes "Following a recent speech at MIT on Movies in the Digital Age (streaming audio available), MPAA front man Jack Valenti sat down for a revealing interview with The Tech, MIT's student newspaper. In this entertaining read, Keith J. Winstein grills Valenti on fair use and the right to play DVDs under GNU/Linux. My favorite part is when Winstein shows a dumbfounded Valenti a six-line DVD descrambler he's designed, to which Valenti responds with language inappropriate for the Slashdot homepage. Throughout the interview, Valenti demonstrates his ignorance and misunderstanding of fair use."

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haw haw (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998138)

and fp

taco says to fent.... (0)

(TK)Max (668795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998139)

suck my slashcock.

Your subject line has a misspelling (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998378)

You spelled "michael", "fent".

Best. Excerpt. Ever. (5, Funny)

ghettoboy22 (723339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998154)

[Winstein shows Valenti his six-line "qrpff" DVD descrambler.]

The Tech: If you type that in, it'll let you watch movies.

Jack Valenti: You designed this?

The Tech: Yes.

Jack Valenti: Un-fucking-believable.

Re:Best. Excerpt. Ever. (5, Insightful)

avalys (221114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998216)

Winstein's exaggerating a little, though: I certainly would find it un-fucking-believable if someone developed six lines of Perl that perform all the work involved in decrypting the DVD, decompressing the MPEG, and displaying the movie onscreen (with audio).

All qrpff does is remove the (relatively simple) CSS encryption. Saying "this'll let you watch movies" was a little disingenuous of Winstein.

Re:Best. Excerpt. Ever. (5, Interesting)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998236)

I'm not sure what to make of Valenti's response; what does he mean by that? UFB that someone would write a decryptor, UFB that the author wrote the code himself, or UFB that six little lines of the code bypasses CSS?

Re:Best. Excerpt. Ever. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998258)

Jack Valenti: Un-fucking-believable.
Did you misunderstand? He's saying it's unbelievable that a DMCA violator would show him proof right to his face!

Re:Best. Excerpt. Ever. (5, Interesting)

basil montreal (714771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998262)

Oh, I disagree. This is at least as funny:

"JV: Well, I can't believe there's not any -- there must be a reason for... Let me find out about that. You bring up an interesting question -- I don't know the answer to that... Well, you're telling me a lot of things I don't know

Re:Best. Excerpt. Ever. (5, Funny)

ameoba (173803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998263)

That's actually a very common reaction to seeing your first Perl code & being told that it is not only human readable but actually performs a useful function.

Re:Best. Excerpt. Ever. (1)

superangrybrit (600375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998388)

mouhahhahhahaha

They should have made a +6 Funny just for you!

Inappropriate for the Slashdot homepage? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998167)

Cause it's spelled right?

Whee (1, Funny)

OttoDestruct (754958) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998182)

All your DVD are belong to Tux?

Re:Whee (0, Troll)

ack154 (591432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998276)

I think that's:

All your DVD belong to JACK.

Inappropriate language for Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

obfuscated (258084) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998183)

"which Valenti responds with language inappropriate for the Slashdot homepage"

You mean that works on Windows?

Re:Inappropriate language for Slashdot (5, Funny)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998234)

Not quite, it's a misunderstanding. Valenti was impressed, and to try to impress and one-up the interviewer, he responded in Perl. Once the interview was transcribed however, well:

Valenti: You designed this?

Interviewer: Yup.

Valenti: #!$p<>{};!?!!

You can see it might have been misinterpreted as being the transcriber censoring the interview. It's all just a misunderstanding.

Mirror (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998184)

I don't know how stable that site is, mod this down if it's redundant.

Real Dialogue: The Tech interviews Jack Valenti
By Keith J. Winstein
SENIOR EDITOR
Jack Valenti, the iconic 82-year-old who has headed the Motion Picture Association of America for the last 38 years, spoke at the MIT Communications Forum last Thursday. The MPAA offered The Tech a chance to ask Valenti questions after his talk, and -- as a former Tech news reporter interested in technology and copyright -- I got drafted.

Valenti is an incredibly polished advocate for the movie studios. He has numerous legislative and regulatory successes to his name, and his stated commitment to honest debate (he spoke passionately several times about his commitment to the "ideal of civic discourse" and his disgust at Washington, D.C.'s lack of it) is admirable.

But we don't have a real debate on copyright issues. We have rival camps that rarely understand each other. Virtually everybody I know and encounter on the Internet thinks Valenti's signal accomplishments are bad. He can claim credit for the anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which make it illegal to build your own DVD player and well-nigh impossible to watch DVDs legally under the GNU/Linux operating system, as well as the Federal Communication Commission's Broadcast Flag, which will make it illegal or virtually impossible to build your own digital television receiver or, again, watch HDTV under Linux.

Everybody in Hollywood, and everybody in Congress, seems to love these things. There is little compromise, meeting of the minds, or mutual understanding, between these two sides.

Three years ago, I organized an MIT IAP class and invited Valenti to come. (He politely declined.) When the MPAA called to ask if I wanted to talk with him for ten minutes last week, I finally had my chance to take a shot at reaching some tiny mutual understanding.

I found Valenti woefully unfamiliar with the arguments of "our side" -- the same arguments that "we" wank about every day on Zephyr, on Slashdot, and in 6.805 (Ethics and Law on the Electronic Frontier), the class I TAed for Professor Hal Abelson.

A compromise, or at least a solution to these issues that doesn't involve outlawing all tinkering and all independent engineering, seems to be possible: we're just not getting through to each other. The dystopia of Richard Stallman's "The Right to Read" at www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html is not an inevitability. But if we can't manage to have a real conversation with "the other side" -- and a longer one than my ten minutes with Valenti -- that's where we might be headed.

Here are some excerpts from our conversation:

The Tech: You're described by various people as the best lobbyist ever. Do you have any tips for the other side, about how they can achieve better victories in the legislative area?

Jack Valenti: I hope that I'm a good persuader, that I'm able to make advocacy of a cause that people say, "You know, that makes sense." 'Lobbyist' has a connotation to me that gives me little shivers. But I like to believe that I try to make things simple to understand. And frankly, if I can understand it, then I figure everybody else can understand it, because I am not a technologist. ... But I try to make things simple and clear as I can, and I think that helps you persuade other people.

TT: Everybody I know thinks the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Broadcast Flag are awful. And everybody in Congress disagrees. This does not lead to good debate and good public policy, when people can't even talk to each other. How can we have a good debate on these topics?

JV: I don't know. I go on forums, and panels, and Rich [Taylor, an MPAA spokesman] does the same. We're available to anybody. I never believe in hostile debates. That's not my style. I believe that we ought to talk objectively about it. I think for anything that I'm advocating, I'm willing to be in an open debate with anybody about it. Because if my ideas have no bottom, then they ought not be even heard.

The broadcast flag -- if you are in your home, then you can copy anything that's on over-the-air television to your heart's content. The only time that you will know there's a broadcast flag is if you try to take one of those copies and redistribute it on the Internet. Then, the flag says, 'No, you can't redistribute it.' But you can do everything you're doing right now -- you'll never know there's a broadcast flag. Well, why would people object to it?

TT: I'll tell you, because I'm an engineer, I'm an engineering student, and this year I built a high-definition television, from scratch. But because of the broadcast flag, if I wanted to do that again after July 2005, that would be illegal.

JV: How many people in the United States build their own sets?

TT: Well, I'm talking about engineers.

JV: Let's say there are a thousand. But there are 284 million people in this country. You can't have public policy that is aimed at 100,000 people when the other multi-multi-millions are also involved. You can't do it that way.

TT: Okay, let's take a different example. Four years ago, you said that people who use Linux, which is about a million to two million people, who want to play DVDs, should get licensed DVD players and that those would be on the market soon.

JV: And we have those now.

TT: But today, you still cannot on the market actually buy a licensed DVD player for Linux.

JV: I didn't know that.

TT: So the question is, do you think people who go to Blockbuster, they rent a movie, they bring it home, and they play it on Linux by circumventing the access control, are those people committing a moral transgression?

JV: I do not believe that you have the right to override an encryption. Because if you have the right to do it, everybody can do it. For whatever benign reason you have, somebody else has got one even more benign. But once you let one person deal in a digital copy -- and I don't have to tell you; you know far better than I that, unlike in analog, the ten thousandth copy is as pure as the original -- it is a big problem. So once you let the barriers down for your perfectly sensible reason, you gotta let it down for everybody.

I don't want to get into the definition of morality. I never said anything was immoral in what I was saying. I said it is wrong to take something that belongs to somebody else.

TT: Indeed, but are you doing that when you rent a movie from Blockbuster and you watch it at home? ... I run Linux on my computer. There's no product I can buy that's licensed to watch [DVDs]. If I go to Blockbuster and rent a movie and watch it, am I a bad person? Is that bad?

JV: No, you're not a bad person. But you don't have any right.

TT: But I rented the movie. Why should it be illegal?

JV: Well then, you have to get a machine that's licensed to show it.

TT: Here's one of these machines; it's just not licensed.

[Winstein shows Valenti his six-line "qrpff" DVD descrambler.]

TT: If you type that in, it'll let you watch movies.

JV: You designed this?

TT: Yes.

JV: Un-fucking-believable.

TT: So the question is, if I just want to watch a movie--I rent it from Blockbuster--is that bad?

JV: No, that's not bad.

TT: Then why should it be illegal?

Rich Taylor, MPAA public affairs: It's not. ... You could put it in a DVD player, you could play it on any computer licensed for it.

JV: There's lots of machines you can play it on.

TT: None under Linux. There's no licensed player under Linux.

JV: But you're trying to set your own standards.

TT: No, you said four years ago that people under Linux should use one of these licensed players that would be available soon. They're still not available -- it's been four years.

JV: Well why aren't they available? I don't know, because I don't make Linux machines.

Let me put it in my simple terms. If you take something that doesn't belong to you, that's wrong. Number two, 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?

TT: About two million.

JV: Well, I can't believe there's not any -- there must be a reason for... Let me find out about that. You bring up an interesting question -- I don't know the answer to that... Well, you're telling me a lot of things I don't know.

TT: Okay. Well, how can we have this dialogue?

JV: Well, we're having it right now. I want to try to find out the point you make on why are there no Linux licensed players. There must be a reason -- there has to be a reason. I don't know.

[Rich Taylor, a spokesman for the MPAA, later pointed to one company, Intervideo, that has a license to sell GNU/Linux DVD software, although the company does not actually sell a product that Linux users can purchase. Linux users who want to watch DVDs should "perhaps buy a DVD player instead," Taylor said, or "write to Intervideo and others, encourage them that they're the market," he said. Will Linux users ever be able to view DVDs on their computers without breaking the law? "I'm sure that day is not far away," Taylor said.

A spokesman for Intervideo, Andy Marken, said the company's product is only for embedded systems and that Intervideo has no plans to release a software player for end users.]

-

This story was published on Friday, April 16, 2004.
Volume 124, Number 20
Copyright and distribution information

Re:Mirror (1)

frenetic3 (166950) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998296)

I don't know how stable that site is, mod this down if it's redundant.
Yeah, those flaky ass .mit.edu sites... you know, those guys who have an entire Class A [arin.net] (18.x.x.x) subnet to themselves :P

-fren

Valenti swearing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998191)

Valenti is 82 years old. I have a hard time believing he said "un-fucking-believable." More likely he called Keith a "good for nothing whippersnapper" and then hurled his cane at him.

Jacket Valenti (0, Flamebait)

Vacant Mind (449927) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998192)

Ass. Head

Don't underestimate Valenti (3, Informative)

joelparker (586428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998196)

He's a smart guy-- no one gets to his level
without substantial skills and experience.
And the MPAA is leagues ahead of the RIAA...

Re:Don't underestimate Valenti (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998235)

Right, but you can get to the level one notch below his by puckering up for ol' Jack.

Re:Don't underestimate Valenti (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998330)

Who's underestimating him? You can be SMART and still wrong!

I'll take Ben Franklin over Jack Valenti any day.

Re:Don't underestimate Valenti (1, Insightful)

ffsnjb (238634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998391)

Actually, a lot of stupid people get to his level. It's called promotion to incompetence, and it happens every day.

Re:Don't underestimate Valenti (5, Insightful)

shadowmatter (734276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998406)

But still, no one takes them seriously.

If you've been to the theater recently you might have seen before these short interviews before the movie with a stuntman, camera operator, or some "behind the scenes" guy explaining what he or she does in every film, and how it's their work of art. And how if you trade a movie online, or "download it with a click," you're taking that art for granted and not appreciating its beauty, which should be paid for.

First, that person should never have called all movies art. He or she obviously never saw "Ecks vs. Sever."

Second, whenever one of those trailers plays in a theater with several hundred college students inside, everyone's gut response is laughter. I think the first time I saw one of those interviews was right before Spiderman, and the whole theater was balling.

Also, as an interesting note, the original versions of those short interviews were with big-league directors and actors -- not the small guys on the set. For obvious reasons their pleas not to download movies and avoid paying for them weren't too effective on the test audience...

Also, one thing I noticed from the article:

JV: I don't want to get into the definition of morality.

So apprently, we can't get into the definition of morality, but nonetheless we're going to legislate it?

- sm

In case of slashdotting! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998203)

ITS A COOKBOOK!

Wasted (4, Insightful)

sweet cunny muffin (771671) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998204)

I'm surprised that they got him to be so open and reasonable to questions, but disappointed that they got some hot head amateur to do the interviewing. Showing off his own stuff with no rhetoric behind it isn't informative and doesn't get anything interesting from the interviewee.

Re:Wasted (5, Insightful)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998273)

I think the intent (from the MPAA) was to give the "hot head amateur" a chance to make a fool of himself. Valenti is a very polished, very smooth character that knows how to argue and can be quite persuasive.

The downside of this interview is that the kid fails to really achieve anything substantial, other than showing Valenti to be out-of-touch.

The "bypass copy protection" law is directly contradictory to copyright and fair use laws. Valenti doesn't acknowledge that, which is frustrating. I understand his point, but it doesn't make him any less wrong.

Re:Wasted (1)

ginwizard (759142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998352)

This guy is a hotshot, yes, but i feel he did conduct a good interview. Pointed questions designed to pick out flaws in an argument (or clearly in this case, lack thereof). And the story provides one very poigniant message...there are two (or more) sides to this debate, and they are not communicating. On slashdot, we're on the one side and we shout down those on the other side. The MPAA is (apparently) clueless about this side. Without some common understandings, it is unlikely this conflict will be satisfactorily resovled. That's the message of the story, and I think it's a valid one.

inappropriate? (4, Funny)

sulli (195030) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998205)

Valenti responds with language inappropriate for the Slashdot homepage.

Valenti replies with ascii-art pr0n? Cool!

ascii-art pr0n (1)

Compact Dick (518888) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998253)

That raised a few chuckles. Thanks :-)

Re:inappropriate? (1)

amichalo (132545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998319)

I for one thought that more on the side of "funny" than "troll"

after reading the interview (5, Funny)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998210)

thats truly amazing how Jack Valenti has no clue about the position he is taking.

none whatsoever.

scary.

maybe I should get into the MPAA. im pretty clueless most of the time also, i'd fit right in.

Re:after reading the interview (4, Insightful)

RayBender (525745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998372)

thats truly amazing how Jack Valenti has no clue about the position he is taking.


Not at all. He just doesn't care about the consequences to engineers/tinkerers. This illustrates his attitude rather well: "Let's say there are a thousand. But there are 284 million people in this country. You can't have public policy that is aimed at 100,000 people when the other multi-multi-millions are also involved. You can't do it that way."



Of course, he's set up a false dichotomy (100,000 engineers vs. 284 million Americans, when it really should be 100,000 engineers vs. ~100 major stockholders).

Forgot some lines... (4, Funny)

Famatra (669740) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998212)

[Winstein shows Valenti his six-line "qrpff" DVD descrambler.]

The Tech: If you type that in, it'll let you watch movies.

Jack Valenti: You designed this?

The Tech: Yes.

Jack Valenti: Un-fucking-believable.


The Tech: And look at this thing called Freenet [sourceforge.net] , it allows you to publish movies without fear of being caught.

Jack Valenti: Oh my fucking heart, stop! <dies>

OT: backpage of thursday (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998217)

For some reason that reminds me - anybody here remember the old weekly "thursday" with its regular back page of quotes, and the time the two young women printed reviews (one to four stars) of their sexual partners, using the whole name of the young man?

("treated me like a piece of cold meat" and "fireworks, volcanoes, earthquakes" are two I recall.

[disclaimer - not on the list, me]

Then interviewer is a dipshit (5, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998227)

Look, Valenti is a fucker. No doubt about that.

But jumping on him because there's no licensed DVD player for Linux? How is that his fault?

Yes, it sucks that to play DVDs, you have to buy a license. But...so?

There are no licensed DVD players for Linux because no one wants to (or needs to, or would) pay for one. End of story.

Jesus. Someone finally gets a chance to grill Valenti and they blow it.

Re:Then interviewer is a dipshit (1)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998282)

You would think the head of the MPAA would at least know enough about what he was talking about to know that there were no licensed players for some operating systems. I'm sure he knew at some point, but being 82 years old probably forgot Linux even existed. Paraphrase below

TT: No, you said four years ago that people under Linux should use one of these licensed players that would be available soon. They're still not available -- it's been four years.

JV: How many Linux users are there?

TT: About two million.

JV: Well, I can't believe there's not any -- there must be a reason for... Let me find out about that. You bring up an interesting question -- I don't know the answer to that... Well, you're telling me a lot of things I don't know.

Re:Then interviewer is a dipshit (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998363)

It wasn't too bad. It was a nice start.

However, the interviewer should have brought up the point that engineers make products for the REST OF US. If engineers can't do something, then than will kill innovation and restrict what the other 299 million people can do.

That's the big hole in Valenti's "make policy for the majority" argument.

As far as jumping down his throat for the lack of a Linux DVD player: Yes he's to blame for that. He set's the policy that the rest of his licensed toadies have to follow. He creates the cartel environment that prevents individual companies from acting truely independently.

There could have been a shareware DVD player by now if not for this cartel BS.

This cartel environment is also something that's "bad in principle". He's also essentially conspiring with Microsoft to help prevent small, innovative software companies from competing on a level playing field. It's one thing for device drivers to be non-existent due to lack of interest and it's another for key multimedia apps to be non-existent due to gratuitous legal entanglements.

This is all due to the fact that DVD is not a genuine open standard.

Re:Then interviewer is a dipshit (2, Insightful)

DeltaSigma (583342) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998379)

Wasn't there a time we were trying to get a legal key for GPL DVD decoders? And wasn't there another attempt to allow FreeSoftware users to buy a license and key to decode DVDs however they wish? I recall there being a lot tried during the decss escapade. If I could buy a reasonably priced license (hell I don't care if it's a piece of paper that says "You can decode DVDs//Love, Valenti"), I would. If I could buy a properly licensed GPL DVD suite, I would. Hell, these days I'd be far more willing to spend money on GPL software than I would proprietary software (except GPL games, thus far proprietary games are still better).

Re:Then interviewer is a dipshit (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998395)

There are no licensed DVD players for Linux because no one wants to (or needs to, or would) pay for one. End of story.
And how, exactly, does that argument help Linux's position in any way? You're basically sending the message to the public that the Linux community is a bunch of scofflaws who, given a free product that flouts the law, would never dream of paying for a legal, licensed product ... and that this fact is so widely known that nobody has even bothered to start a business to test the theory.

Re:Then interviewer is a dipshit (4, Insightful)

Draknor (745036) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998409)

I actually have to agree with the parent - the interview didn't focus on "fair rights", it focused on a very narrow point - particularly, playing DVDs under Linux. I think the DMCA is over-reaching and I don't agree with it, but its not the fault of the MPAA that no company has produced a licensed DVD player for linux (ie MPAA, to my knowledge, has not prevented a company from doing so) - that's a market forces decision. Obviously no company thinks such a program is a viable commercial offering, so no one produces it.

I think the interview actually made Valenti look like a good guy - he had consistent, intelligent responses. The interviewer bordered on whining with his "I rented a DVD at Blockbuster, why is it illegal for me to play it with my 6-line Linux DVD program on my homebuilt HDTV?" argument, repeated ad nauseum.

Smarter than he looks (5, Interesting)

Sanity (1431) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998230)

Throughout the interview, Valenti demonstrates his ignorance and misunderstanding of fair use.
You can be sure that Valenti understands fair use at least as well as most of the slashdot crowd - the point is that his job is not to explain the truth to people, it is to explain the MPAA's truth to them, and this definitely does not involve explaining to people what their fair use rights are.

People like Valenti are paid to have certain beliefs, and they have no incentive to change those beliefs just because they happen to be wrong, moreover, expect Valenti to use every rhetorical technique in the book to obfuscate the real issues.

The value of this type of debate is to point out the inconsistencies in the MPAA position, but you can argue until hell freezes over, Valenti will never (publicly) agree with our position on fair use.

Re:Smarter than he looks (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998412)

People like Valenti are paid to have certain beliefs, and they have no incentive to change those beliefs just because they happen to be wrong, moreover, expect Valenti to use every rhetorical technique in the book to obfuscate the real issues.

I always wonder why interviewers don't respond sometimes by saying "You aren't ansering the question I asked." and if the interviewed person continues to avoid the question, cut them off and repeat "You aren't answering the question" until you get an answer to the question and not some prewritten canned response.

I'm sorry to bring politics into this, but GW Bush does this all the freakin time. Unless the question is about gay marriage.

My favorite exchange (3, Interesting)

amichalo (132545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998237)



JV: There's lots of machines you can play it on.

TT: None under Linux. There's no licensed player under Linux.

JV: But you're trying to set your own standards.

TT: No, you said four years ago that people under Linux should use one of these licensed players that would be available soon. They're still not available -- it's been four years.

JV: Well why aren't they available? I don't know, because I don't make Linux machines.

Let me put it in my simple terms. If you take something that doesn't belong to you, that's wrong. Number two, 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?

TT: About two million.

JV: Well, I can't believe there's not any -- there must be a reason for... Let me find out about that. You bring up an interesting question -- I don't know the answer to that... Well, you're telling me a lot of things I don't know.

Re:My favorite exchange (2, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998275)

TT: None under Linux. There's no licensed player under Linux.

Except this one [slashdot.org]

Man I hate it when a good zealot rant is spoiled by facts.

Re:My favorite exchange (4, Informative)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998343)

The article you linked to was posted 9 days after the interview. He may be a good engineer, but I doubt he's built a time machine.

Re:My favorite exchange (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998399)

It's been around for about a year, type "powerdvd linux" into google and find the press releases. They targetted embedded linux first, and have been fighting tooth and nail to get it into various distros.

Re:My favorite exchange (0)

amichalo (132545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998367)

That does sort of steal the wind from his sails doesn't it?

Not that it is Valenti's responsibility to supply the Linux community with a player. I have to agree with the article that if you rent the movie in a format that you can't play, then that's your fault and not the industry's. It isn't like you can't get a DVD player for less than $30.00 these days. Perhaps he shoudl have thought of that before he purchased a Linux box.

Re:My favorite exchange (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998420)

That's not the point. The point is that we're breaking the law if we watch something we legally rented because we chose to use a different Operating System. And it still doesn't change the fact that Valenti thinks that we're horrible immoral thieves for wanting to watch his crappy movies.

Read this [gnu.org] and think about it. What's more important, privacy, rights and freedom, or making sure multimillionaires stay multimillionaires.

Note to the MPAA: Valenti is a dinosaur who thinks that it's amazing that we can have sound it movies. Get rid of him, and maybe we'll respect your laws.

Re:My favorite exchange (1)

jbaratz (68830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998382)

This Tech interview was published on April 16th, 2004, and took place on April 15th, 2004.

The Turbo Linux news was announced (via the press release) on April 27th, 2004.

Thus, at the time of the interview, the 'good zealot rant' was correct about there not being a licensed player for linux.

Man I hate it when a good troll is spoiled by facts.

Re:My favorite exchange (1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998357)

I can answer Jack's disbelief - there is not licensed DVD player for linux because 99% of GNU/Lunix users would just steal it.

It's the same reason no one ports games to linux - it is a small market and what market there is has nothing but freeloaders and thieves who just take what they want and babble bullcrap about "free as in shoplifting" to justify it.

Here is the business plan for anyone creating software for linux:

1. spend money developing or licensing
2. 14 people buy it, the rest pirate it because (information wants to be free/it should be given to the community/capitalism is evil/I would never buy it for what they charge so it's not stealing)
3. profit!...err....go bankrupt!!!

Whatever (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998238)

So the gist of this interview is some nerd stickin it to Valenti about there being no legal way to watch DVDs on Linux.

Meanwhile, 6 or 7 articles before this one, was there not an article about Turbolinux shipping with a licensed DVD player, and WMP licenses?

Oh, there's not a "Free as in gimme gimme i deserve it" DVD player for linux.

Lies and horseshit won't help the 'cause'.

Re:Whatever (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998307)

The article was published about 2 weeks ago. The Turbolinux article was a couple of days ago. It's entirely possible that Valenti and the intervierer didn't know about that at the time.

Re:Whatever (3, Interesting)

rabel (531545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998338)

I think the point is that I have a "free" DVD player on my Windows box. Came with my DVD drive. It's fully licensed and legal. How come there isn't a Linux player available?

No licensed DVD player for Linux? (3, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998240)

Man, that would have been a great argument. It would have really made Valenti look like a fool ... if he was right [linspire.com] , that is...

Huh? (5, Funny)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998244)

Valenti responds with language inappropriate for the Slashdot homepage

There's langauage inappropriate for Slashdot? News for me.

Re:Huh? (1, Flamebait)

ctr2sprt (574731) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998356)

Assuming you're a nerd, then Slashdot has fulfilled its objective, though not in the way you expected.

Re:Huh? (1)

Kwil (53679) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998405)

Yeah. The words First Post will automatically get you modded down.

I'm not sure why Valentia would have said that though.

Can we reach the future (2, Insightful)

thpdg (519053) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998249)

I've always imagined that the rental/DVD system would reach the point that we could immediately rent or purchase the DVD (or current equivalent) of a movie, once we've seen it in the theater. Even to the extreme of taking it home with you on the way out of the lobby. (After paying the normal rental or purchase charge)
Kind of like, "hey, I saw it in your theater, I proved my allegiance, now I want to watch it again without the return trip, or the x month wait to home release...please?" Anyone else given this a thought? Is that something we can ever see happen with guys like this, running the show?

Of course not (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998417)

If that were possible, then one person would go to the theater and watch it, buy the DVD on his/her way out of the lobby, and show it to all friends/family/internet users. The delay in DVD release is to give the theaters time to show it to as many people who want to see it bad enough to not wait for the DVD. You'll never see what you're proposing. This isn't due to "guys like" Valenti, its the movie industry's business model.

When will the MPAA learn (1)

ALLXSTHINGS (741497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998254)

All their content are belong to us.

Ambush Journalism (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998255)

I find it funny how slashdot is making a big deal out of some student's interview with Valenti, who is no longer the President of the MPAA.

I hope you guys are getting your kicks in when a kid ambushes an old man who's also a war hero, and one of the most accomplished Americans ever.

Next time, why don't you do a story about a kid who stole candy from a baby? You guys have no problem picking easy targets.

Re:Ambush Journalism (3, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998348)

Especially when the "journalist" (really just a university linux zealot, no more a "journalist" than slashdots own michael) has the facts wrong.

About six articles ago they announced Turbolinux shipping with Cyberlink PowerDVD. Ooops..

Here's more fun. Cyberlink posting to debians forums, [debian.org] wanting to get PowerDVD into the distro. Of course, it goes ignored.

The "its legal for me to crack this to play dvds on my linux box" rant is just too good to be destroyed by reality.

Eats, shoots, and leaves (0)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998256)

Caterer: [sets down a plate of sandwiches]

The Tech: If you type that in, it'll let you watch movies.

Jack Valenti: You designed this? [eats sandwich]

The Tech: Yes.

Jack Valenti: Un-fucking-believable. [shoots The Tech, and leaves room]

MIT student grills Jack Valenti. . . (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998260)

. . .and serves him in a white wine sauce.

Re:MIT student grills Jack Valenti. . . (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998419)

How about with fava beans and a nice chianti?

Commercially available DVD Player for Linux (1, Redundant)

apocamok (196093) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998264)

In the article, the lack of a commercially available DVD Player for Linux is discussed.
Don't know if the interviewer or this Slashdot article [slashdot.org] is wrong, but in the latter it is mentioned that the new TurboLinux 10 F ships with ...legal commercial DVD playback (via Cyberlink's PowerDVD player)...

wine your win dvd player? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998268)

Maybe we should figure out a way of using the windows DVD players that come with most drives under Linux?

article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998269)

I'm just a karma whoring AC. check it out, in case of slashdotting:


Real Dialogue: The Tech interviews Jack Valenti
By Keith J. Winstein
SENIOR EDITOR

Jack Valenti, the iconic 82-year-old who has headed the Motion Picture Association of America for the last 38 years, spoke at the MIT Communications Forum last Thursday. The MPAA offered The Tech a chance to ask Valenti questions after his talk, and -- as a former Tech news reporter interested in technology and copyright -- I got drafted.

Valenti is an incredibly polished advocate for the movie studios. He has numerous legislative and regulatory successes to his name, and his stated commitment to honest debate (he spoke passionately several times about his commitment to the "ideal of civic discourse" and his disgust at Washington, D.C.'s lack of it) is admirable.

But we don't have a real debate on copyright issues. We have rival camps that rarely understand each other. Virtually everybody I know and encounter on the Internet thinks Valenti's signal accomplishments are bad. He can claim credit for the anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which make it illegal to build your own DVD player and well-nigh impossible to watch DVDs legally under the GNU/Linux operating system, as well as the Federal Communication Commission's Broadcast Flag, which will make it illegal or virtually impossible to build your own digital television receiver or, again, watch HDTV under Linux.

Everybody in Hollywood, and everybody in Congress, seems to love these things. There is little compromise, meeting of the minds, or mutual understanding, between these two sides.

Three years ago, I organized an MIT IAP class and invited Valenti to come. (He politely declined.) When the MPAA called to ask if I wanted to talk with him for ten minutes last week, I finally had my chance to take a shot at reaching some tiny mutual understanding.

I found Valenti woefully unfamiliar with the arguments of "our side" -- the same arguments that "we" wank about every day on Zephyr, on Slashdot, and in 6.805 (Ethics and Law on the Electronic Frontier), the class I TAed for Professor Hal Abelson.

A compromise, or at least a solution to these issues that doesn't involve outlawing all tinkering and all independent engineering, seems to be possible: we're just not getting through to each other. The dystopia of Richard Stallman's "The Right to Read" at www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html is not an inevitability. But if we can't manage to have a real conversation with "the other side" -- and a longer one than my ten minutes with Valenti -- that's where we might be headed.

Here are some excerpts from our conversation:

The Tech: You're described by various people as the best lobbyist ever. Do you have any tips for the other side, about how they can achieve better victories in the legislative area?

Jack Valenti: I hope that I'm a good persuader, that I'm able to make advocacy of a cause that people say, "You know, that makes sense." 'Lobbyist' has a connotation to me that gives me little shivers. But I like to believe that I try to make things simple to understand. And frankly, if I can understand it, then I figure everybody else can understand it, because I am not a technologist. ... But I try to make things simple and clear as I can, and I think that helps you persuade other people.

TT: Everybody I know thinks the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Broadcast Flag are awful. And everybody in Congress disagrees. This does not lead to good debate and good public policy, when people can't even talk to each other. How can we have a good debate on these topics?

JV: I don't know. I go on forums, and panels, and Rich [Taylor, an MPAA spokesman] does the same. We're available to anybody. I never believe in hostile debates. That's not my style. I believe that we ought to talk objectively about it. I think for anything that I'm advocating, I'm willing to be in an open debate with anybody about it. Because if my ideas have no bottom, then they ought not be even heard.

The broadcast flag -- if you are in your home, then you can copy anything that's on over-the-air television to your heart's content. The only time that you will know there's a broadcast flag is if you try to take one of those copies and redistribute it on the Internet. Then, the flag says, 'No, you can't redistribute it.' But you can do everything you're doing right now -- you'll never know there's a broadcast flag. Well, why would people object to it?

TT: I'll tell you, because I'm an engineer, I'm an engineering student, and this year I built a high-definition television, from scratch. But because of the broadcast flag, if I wanted to do that again after July 2005, that would be illegal.

JV: How many people in the United States build their own sets?

TT: Well, I'm talking about engineers.

JV: Let's say there are a thousand. But there are 284 million people in this country. You can't have public policy that is aimed at 100,000 people when the other multi-multi-millions are also involved. You can't do it that way.

TT: Okay, let's take a different example. Four years ago, you said that people who use Linux, which is about a million to two million people, who want to play DVDs, should get licensed DVD players and that those would be on the market soon.

JV: And we have those now.

TT: But today, you still cannot on the market actually buy a licensed DVD player for Linux.

JV: I didn't know that.

TT: So the question is, do you think people who go to Blockbuster, they rent a movie, they bring it home, and they play it on Linux by circumventing the access control, are those people committing a moral transgression?

JV: I do not believe that you have the right to override an encryption. Because if you have the right to do it, everybody can do it. For whatever benign reason you have, somebody else has got one even more benign. But once you let one person deal in a digital copy -- and I don't have to tell you; you know far better than I that, unlike in analog, the ten thousandth copy is as pure as the original -- it is a big problem. So once you let the barriers down for your perfectly sensible reason, you gotta let it down for everybody.

I don't want to get into the definition of morality. I never said anything was immoral in what I was saying. I said it is wrong to take something that belongs to somebody else.

TT: Indeed, but are you doing that when you rent a movie from Blockbuster and you watch it at home? ... I run Linux on my computer. There's no product I can buy that's licensed to watch [DVDs]. If I go to Blockbuster and rent a movie and watch it, am I a bad person? Is that bad?

JV: No, you're not a bad person. But you don't have any right.

TT: But I rented the movie. Why should it be illegal?

JV: Well then, you have to get a machine that's licensed to show it.

TT: Here's one of these machines; it's just not licensed.

[Winstein shows Valenti his six-line "qrpff" DVD descrambler.]

TT: If you type that in, it'll let you watch movies.

JV: You designed this?

TT: Yes.

JV: Un-fucking-believable.

TT: So the question is, if I just want to watch a movie--I rent it from Blockbuster--is that bad?

JV: No, that's not bad.

TT: Then why should it be illegal?

Rich Taylor, MPAA public affairs: It's not. ... You could put it in a DVD player, you could play it on any computer licensed for it.

JV: There's lots of machines you can play it on.

TT: None under Linux. There's no licensed player under Linux.

JV: But you're trying to set your own standards.

TT: No, you said four years ago that people under Linux should use one of these licensed players that would be available soon. They're still not available -- it's been four years.

JV: Well why aren't they available? I don't know, because I don't make Linux machines.

Let me put it in my simple terms. If you take something that doesn't belong to you, that's wrong. Number two, 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?

TT: About two million.

JV: Well, I can't believe there's not any -- there must be a reason for... Let me find out about that. You bring up an interesting question -- I don't know the answer to that... Well, you're telling me a lot of things I don't know.

TT: Okay. Well, how can we have this dialogue?

JV: Well, we're having it right now. I want to try to find out the point you make on why are there no Linux licensed players. There must be a reason -- there has to be a reason. I don't know.

[Rich Taylor, a spokesman for the MPAA, later pointed to one company, Intervideo, that has a license to sell GNU/Linux DVD software, although the company does not actually sell a product that Linux users can purchase. Linux users who want to watch DVDs should "perhaps buy a DVD player instead," Taylor said, or "write to Intervideo and others, encourage them that they're the market," he said. Will Linux users ever be able to view DVDs on their computers without breaking the law? "I'm sure that day is not far away," Taylor said.

A spokesman for Intervideo, Andy Marken, said the company's product is only for embedded systems and that Intervideo has no plans to release a software player for end users.]

This story was published on Friday, April 16, 2004.
Volume 124, Number 20

Almost too good to be true (0, Redundant)

jmt9581 (554192) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998271)

Excerpts from this interview are almost comical:

Let me put it in my simple terms. If you take something that doesn't belong to you, that's wrong. Number two, 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?

TT: About two million.

JV: Well, I can't believe there's not any -- there must be a reason for... Let me find out about that. You bring up an interesting question -- I don't know the answer to that... Well, you're telling me a lot of things I don't know.

TT: Okay. Well, how can we have this dialogue?

JV: Well, we're having it right now. I want to try to find out the point you make on why are there no Linux licensed players. There must be a reason -- there has to be a reason. I don't know.

It's hilarious to watch JV flounder, it doesn't even seem like he's considered the possibily that a free operating system with free software (free as in beer) could have two million users. He really expects the MPAA to be supported by people a small tax on DVD software, the problem is that there's no licensed DVD software sold for Linux.

6-line perl script here (4, Informative)

molo (94384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998274)

qrpff.pl (beware slashdot's line wraping)
$_='while(read+STDIN,$_,2048){$a=29;$c=142;if((@a= unx"C*",$_)[20]&48){$h=5;
$_=unxb24,join"",@b=map {xB8,unxb8,chr($_^$a[--$h+84])}@ARGV;s/...$/1$&/;$ d=
unxV,xb25,$_;$b=73;$e=256|(ord$b[4])<<9|ord$b[ 3];$d=$d>>8^($f=($t=255)&($d
>>12^$d>>4^$d^$d/8)) <<17,$e=$e>>8^($t&($g=($q=$e>>14&7^$e)^$q*8^$q<<6) )<<9
,$_=(map{$_%16or$t^=$c^=($m=(11,10,116,100,1 1,122,20,100)[$_/16%8])&110;$t
^=(72,@z=(64,72,$a ^=12*($_%16-2?0:$m&17)),$b^=$_%64?12:0,@z)[$_%8]}( 16..271))
[$_]^(($h>>=8)+=$f+(~$g&$t))for@a[128.. $#a]}print+x"C*",@a}';s/x/pack+/g;eval
A discussion of this obfuscated perl program is here: qrpff Explained [plover.com] .

Annoying attitude (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998284)

JV: Let's say there are a thousand. But there are 284 million people in this country. You can't have public policy that is aimed at 100,000 people when the other multi-multi-millions are also involved. You can't do it that way.

This is a disturbing quote, why should you restrict the life of hundred of thousands of people? Because multi-multi-millions are involved, I think not.

Good faith.. (2, Insightful)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998287)

While I accept the need for the artists/producers to be rewarded, these guys better be careful. The fact is, they're not going to be able to keep the legal grip on things forever, the generations coming up are going to have MUCH different attitudes on this stuff and other govermental matters, how severe the backlash depends on how tight they try to hold on to things.

Completly disrespecting any idea or concept of fair use, frankly is a very dangerous tactic.

I think it's ego getting in the way of their brains.

Valenti is a good man (3, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998291)

He is very reasonable and debates with him are always productive. He's also not out to invade peoples homes to find pirate movies and songs, though many of the people who side with him are.

This was a great interview from what I read. I do think he skipped around the question of whether it was wrong to write a six line program to allow yourself to watch a movie.

Valenti does make a good point however. Building your own doesn't count. Try building your own car, not one from other auto makers parts. Make one from scratch using parts you engineered. Then try to get it licenced and street legal. It'll never happen. The same goes for movies. If you don't want to buy the products the industry puts out for watching the media then you don't get to watch the media. Can't have your cake and eat it too.

Re:Valenti is a good man (3, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998373)

Just because building a from-scratch version of one thing (such as a car) is prohibitively difficult doesn't mean that everything that isn't storebought should be illegal.

I mean, writing your own OS is no walk in the park, but that's been done, and the software is freely available (and is evidently being used by 2M people right now).

Circular logic at its finest. (5, Insightful)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998292)

Jack Valenti keeps saying that he's not talking about morality. He's trying to sidestep the issue because he knows he can't win on it. In America, or the rest of the free world for that matter, people aren't going to buy into the argument that you shouldn't be allowed to do something with your own property. It would be the equivalent of GM trying to make it illegal for you to use a Fram oil filter on your car instead of an AC Delco.

Jack keeps arguing in circles. It is illegal to watch DVDs on an unlicensed player because it's illegal.

How can one seriously respect that line of thinking?

LK

Re:Circular logic at its finest. (2, Insightful)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998393)

Yet he supports the law.

Which makes him an unethical son-of-a-bitch not worth giving the time of day to.

People just don't have any concept of morality these days.

Understanding and agreeing are not the same thing (5, Insightful)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998301)

Valenti actually seemed to understand the issues pretty well, and he gave pretty cogent answers to the interviewers questions. The only thing that seemed to stump/baffle him, was the fact that there are currently no Linux DVD players on the market. Otherwise, every question was answered in a straightforward manner, pretty much always coming back to: "If you don't have permission to watch a copyrighted work, then it's not ok to make digital copies to circumvent the encryption and watch that work. You'll have to find a legal and authorized means to view the content." I don't agree with him, but it's hard to say that he didn't understand the issue.

Also, I'd imagine that next time he'll have done a little bit more research and have something of an answer for the Linux DVD player question.

Other than that, I think it's a little bit unfair to say that he doesn't understand the issues. Remember, disagreeing is not the same as not understanding.

/me protects himself with a +100 shield (1)

towzzer (733077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998312)

It may appear throughout the interview he's either flipflopping on sides, or not sure of his stance but that's not true. He's trying to make him understand that morality and law are sometimes different. It may be immoral to make fun of a handicapped person or have an affair but it's not illegal (at least not in most countries). I acutally thought he was pretty concise about his arguement, also why hasn't a powerdvd or etc been made for linux? that's what he was asking.

Many and Few? (5, Insightful)

lavaforge (245529) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998313)

TT: I'll tell you, because I'm an engineer, I'm an engineering student, and this year I built a high-definition television, from scratch. But because of the broadcast flag, if I wanted to do that again after July 2005, that would be illegal.

JV: How many people in the United States build their own sets?

TT: Well, I'm talking about engineers.

JV: Let's say there are a thousand. But there are 284 million people in this country. You can't have public policy that is aimed at 100,000 people when the other multi-multi-millions are also involved. You can't do it that way.


It's been a while since my civics class, but isn't our entire country founded on the idea that people have certain inalienable rights, even in the face of a majority that wishes to take away those rights?

Re:Many and Few? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998428)

what the country was founded on and what *we* have let it become are two different things.

Remember. The powerful always want to become more powerful. We are sitting idly by while the government "restructures" itself around the terrorist threat. All in the name of flag waving rights waiving.

Remember that when you and your 5 out of 10 fellow Americans vote.

"You're trying to set your own standard" (5, Insightful)

Dragonfly (5975) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998322)

That's what Valenti said when the interviewer asked him why he can't (legally) play back a DVD on a computer running Linux. I think that captures the issue very well.

Valenti and those sharing his views on copyright believe that we (the consumers) should only be able to view works on devices that they approve, at a time and place allowed by them, and how ever many times they want us to.

However, fair use standards CLEARLY state that consumers are allowed to view copyrighted work however they please, as long as they have paid for it. There is no law or statute that allows copyright holders to force consumers to view their work only on certain devices. The DMCA's anti-circumvention provision has this effect, but it would be a blatant anti-trust violation to allow copyright holders to tell consumers they could only view their works on certain devices.

Another notable quote from Valenti is that he is a "great persuader". We need people advocating for consumer's rights who are just as smooth and soothing to technophobe politicians and Valenti is. We need a Good Old Boy to evangelize to the Good Old Boys. Even if Valenti found qrpff "un-fucking-believable", he still left the interview with the opinion that such tools should not be legal. A dialog is most successful when each side can identify with the other on a personal level.

Oh the irony (3, Insightful)

deadlinegrunt (520160) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998323)

JV: Let's say there are a thousand. But there are 284 million people in this country. You can't have public policy that is aimed at 100,000 people when the other multi-multi-millions are also involved. You can't do it that way.

Yet it seems that is exactly what the MPAA, as well the RIAA, is indeed doing...

Linux DVD players (3, Insightful)

KimiDalamori (579444) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998325)

Even if Jack can get someone to make a DVD descrambler for Linux, It's not going to be free. Not free as in speech, nor free as in beer. If they let us have the source, we can disable the DRM. Which more or less gets down to the root of the problem. We have the skills to roll our own, and they fear us because of that. Even with the best of intentions on our part, If they cannot put us under their thumb, they won't trust us, period.

Well spoken. (5, Insightful)

t1nman33 (248342) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998326)

I don't like the MPAA any more than anybody else does, but it was a good interview. I think he expressed his side of the argument pretty succinctly: allowing encryption circumvention, for any reason, opens a can of worms. Much easier to avoid any kind of a slippery slope by saying, "If you want to watch this, get a licensed watching mechanism."

So, really, what is being said is, when you buy a DVD, you are not buying a physical product. What you are buying the right to view some content in a prescribed manner on an authorized device.

That's really the crux of the argument. We are geeks. We like to take things apart and use them in ways the original designers did not intend. That screws with ideas of the establishment.

What WE are saying is, "I got this free Cue-Cat scanner, and it belongs to me, and if I want to take the pieces apart and grind them into confetti or build a moon laser or whatever, I can do that, because it belongs to me."

What THEY are saying is, "You do not actually own that physical Cue-Cat scanner, you have a license to use that device in the manner we have declared, in the same way that you cannot use your cable TV box to get channels you haven't paid for."

Re:Well spoken. (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998430)

Doesn't matter. Copyright is an artificial time limited monopoly granted in order to enrich the public domain. If these copyright protection mechanisms are in place, and it's illegal to break them, it changes the deal - the benefit the public gets from allowing copyright has just massively diminished.

A great deal of the copyrighted works that the movie companies try so hard to protect now have been possible to make only because of the balance of copyright law: Things eventually do pass into the public domain, and it's possible to make use of the works because they aren't protected by law or in other ways from reuse once that happens. Look at the number of Disney movies, for instance, that have been based on literary works in the public domain.

The movie industry is pushing for a massive grab of rights that copyright law was never intended to give.

input please (5, Insightful)

Beatbyte (163694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998334)

JV: Let's say there are a thousand. But there are 284 million people in this country. You can't have public policy that is aimed at 100,000 people when the other multi-multi-millions are also involved. You can't do it that way.

Has ANYONE heard of your rights end where mine begin?

Taking away someone else's rights is NOT your right.

It sucks that pirates use stuff to copy their overpriced pieces of round plastic... but I have the right to play a DVD in linux, build an HDTV, etc. as long as I don't steal content. They shouldn't be able to take that away from me just because its a convenient and easy way for them to fight to protect RIAA/MPAA materials.

Valenti was a flaming jerk 25 years ago (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998336)

Back when the movie industry tried to kill the new Sony Betamax machines. It's perfectly clear that he's either totally corrupt and/or totally ignorant.

What is wrong with JV's view? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998339)

JV: No, you're not a bad person. But you don't have any right.

What is wrong with Jack's view? No really, if I author something I should have complete control over it. That includes delegating rights. Don't like it? Too bad it isn't yours.

"Fair use rights" only make sense if you have some stick in the property at hand. In this case: [b]You DON'T[/b].

Re:What is wrong with JV's view? (1)

Queuetue (156269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998392)

I agree. Until you sell me a copy. Then we enter into an agreement giving me a degree of control.

If you make something and don't sell it, then yes, you maintain complete control.

Speak no evil ... (1)

zero_config (753118) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998341)

I say keep on watching the DVDs, just dont tell others that you do so on your linux box. Keep sharing with 'friends' ... who donot go out and tell the Feds that you gave them your DvD. Anyhoooo ... all these digital rights acts are anywhere near implementation in a handful of countries ... it will take a century to catch up around the globe (like third world states dont have any other improtant issues on hand)... so GNU license advocates have lots of time in hand for lobbying and convincing the other side. DRMA will be a lost cause while being enforced only for US citizens .... and similiar acts in some other states ...

'more dialogue' = 'vicious, unrelenting clubbing' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8998350)

The interviewer's stated goal is to help generate more dialogue between the two camps. So what does he do with one such opportunity? He switches between:

-showing off how smart he is,
-asking questions that would never make it in a court of law. I've seen lots of Law & Order, so I would know: "Objection, your honor, badgering the witness."
-silently patting self on back with his 'follow-up' reporting.

This is probably why the MPAA/RIAA people avoid you Linux people. That, and the smell.

JV: Un-fucking-believable. (2, Funny)

Queuetue (156269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998353)

I just like repeating it.

JV: Un-fucking-believable.

Imagine the look of wonder in his eyes.

JV: Un-fucking-believable.

man! (1)

hal9000 (80652) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998359)

What a shitty interviewer.

Brilliant (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998360)

This is comedy gold! i could just picture the scene in a sketch show!

Hopeful (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998376)

This interview really sheds some objective light on Valenti. He seems like a pretty respectable person who only needs to be informed. I didn't know that he was 83 years old. At that age, I'm sure it's incredibly difficult to keep upwith new technologies. Especially when, as he said, he's no technologist.

An open and objective exchange would really be the best thing to resolve issues like these, and Valenti is right to criticize congress' lack of such a forum. Hopefully, conscientious reporters can encourage this type of mindset in the future because without it, the democratic process is good as dead.

the simple explanation (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998394)

the simple explanation as to why there arent any linux dvd players is, to the MPAA, "a few million" linux users are a drop in teh bucket "when the other multi-multi-millions [of other people] are also involved".

money.

Ignorance? (1)

110010001000 (697113) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998410)

I don't see any ignorance on Valenti's part. His remarks are perfectly reasonable. Even though you buy a CD, you only have the "right" to view it on a licensed DVD player. Its not his problem that there are no licensed DVD players for Linux, and I don't expect him to know.

The fact is if you CONSUME their material (yes, it is THEIRS) they have every right to tell you how you can use it. Personally I think this is stupid, so I don't purchase or watch DVD's.

Missed opportunity for communication (1)

Inebrius (715009) | more than 10 years ago | (#8998429)

It seems like the interview only touched on one aspect of fair use, ability to play media with software of our choosing. And the topic discussed was about Linux, which really does not impact many people (small market share) for consumer goods. It would have been nice to see the other fair use topics discussed, like the right to time shift, to make a backup copy, to convert formats, to play on devices which have not been invented. The DMCA locks up the future and slows down innovation. The general public would be more interested in these things...and that may be a better way to start open discussion...by talking about things Valenti and the rest of the public might understand.
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