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Hollywood's Internet Avenger?
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Friday, July 2, 2004; 9:55 AM
Reuters zeroed in on Glickman's top priority: "As the public face of the movie industry, Glickman, 59, will seek to curb the unchecked Internet file swapping that threatens to cut into movie sales. Lawsuits against individuals who share movies online are not out of the question, he said. 'I think there are a lot of strategies to deal with piracy,' he said. 'Education is one of them, enforcement, litigation is another strategy. I don't think you can just go with one strategy.'" The Los Angeles Daily News stressed the same point in its coverage: "With the illegal distribution of copyrighted material continuing to sap an estimated annual $3.5 billion from the movie industry, both Glickman and Valenti said the organization's top priority will remain finding ways to curb piracy."
So, wondering how Glickman's experience as a former agriculture secretary relates to Hollywood? The Hollywood Reporter reported that "Glickman admitted to a 'steep learning curve' when it comes to the arcana of copyright law -- a big battle ground as the industry attempts to stem copyright piracy and make the Internet a profitable distribution system. But he said his experience dealing with trade issues, and especially with agricultural trade with China would help as the industry tries to open up markets around the world."
Sony Pictures Classics' Tom Bernard, according to The New York Times, "said that the industry had not adequately addressed technological solutions for stopping movie piracy. 'The fight right now is not about the technology existing,' he said. 'It's who's going to own the technology, and who will sell it. If the guy at the M.P.A.A. can help sort that out, that's going to be the big plus. Let's face it -- Valenti -- technology's not his expertise.'"
Dan, You're Not in Kansas Anymore
But the L.A. Times also stressed that Glickman has big shoes to fill. "Valenti, in his 38 years as president and chief executive of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, became synonymous with the movie industry. In 1965, when Valenti went Hollywood, he was already one of the most inside of Washington insiders as one of President Johnson's closest aides. Glickman, 59, also was once in the executive branch. But as President Clinton's second Agriculture secretary, he was never in the administration's inner circle. Before that, he had spent 18 years in Congress representing a Kansas district that was part Wichita and part farmland," the paper said. "The former congressman, whose son is a movie producer, said Thursday that he faced a 'steep learning curve' in mastering the ins and outs of the issues paramount to the movie industry, such as piracy and increasing congressional concern about sex and violence in the movies. He said Valenti would be a 'hard act to follow.'"
Meanwhile, another article by The Los Angeles Times said the MPAA Glickman will lead is far from the same organization Valenti took over nearly four decades ago. "Unlike the MPAA of old, which was made up of Hollywood film factories that were run by autocratic moguls, the organization Glickman inherits consists of media conglomerates engaged in divergent businesses that include movies, television, the Internet, theme parks and publishing. Often, these companies have conflicting interests and agendas in Washington. The MPAA's seven member companies also face growing technological and economic hurdles -- primarily the proliferation of bootleg movies that can be transmitted worldwide over the Internet and soaring production costs that have driven filmmaking to foreign turf."
Hollywood Sticks With Its Left
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