Valenti Keeps Spector of Digital Piracy Alive on Hill

Jack Valenti, president and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), told the Senate Commerce Committee Tuesday that "400,000 to 600,000 films are being illegally abducted everyday."

Valenti did not say by whom, or how these films were being "abducted," but he outlined a technological scenario that suggested Hollywood was under imminent threat from technological advances.

"We know this will increase exponentially in the future," he said. "Scientists at CalTech have announced an experimental program that can download a DVD quality movie in five seconds. Another experiment at Internet2 has dispatched 6.7 gigabytes--more than a typical movie--halfway around the world in one minute. Can anyone deny that when one can upload and download movies in seconds or minutes the rush to illegally obtain films will reach the pandemic stage?"

Valenti testified that Hollywood "is eager to use the Internet to deploy our fair and reasonable prices."

Striking a patriotic tone, Valenti said that film piracy was not just a Hollywood problem, but "a national issue that should concern the citizens of this free and loving land. Why? Because the Intellectual Property community is America's greatest grade export and an awesome engine of growth, nourishing the American economy."