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Valenti to Step Down; Tauzin May Head MPAA 110

Posted by timothy
from the repaint-your-effigies dept.
The Importance of writes "The New York Post is reporting that Jack Valenti is stepping down as head of the MPAA, probably by the end of the year. Rep. Billy Tauzin (R - LA) will be taking over. After 37 years as head of the MPAA, at least Valenti is going out on a high note, with most of Hollywood ticked off at him for the screener ban. bIPlog comments on Valenti's apparent agelessness." The Post article quotes Tauzin's office as denying that such an offer has even been made, but acknowledging that one might be in the works.
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Valenti to Step Down; Tauzin May Head MPAA

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  • Patch time (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2003 @09:24AM (#7313192)
    Note to all slashdot users: Update your etc/hate files with the new name
  • Better deal (Score:3, Funny)

    by Chatmag (646500) <editor@chatmag.com> on Sunday October 26, 2003 @09:26AM (#7313200) Homepage Journal
    Maybe the RIAA made him a better offer.
    • Well it would seem that it was better than the one Disney made to the Senator from SC - this one might actually get to quit his day job!
  • Good!! (Score:4, Funny)

    by moehoward (668736) on Sunday October 26, 2003 @09:31AM (#7313217)
    I, for one, welcome our new media overlord.

    With the entertainment industry firmly entwined with the political structure, what can possible go wrong?
    • I'm visiting Italy next week, do you want me to report back? At least Mussolini is supposed to have made the trains run on time, whereas by all reports Berlusconi hasn't managed that.
    • I was in Rome durring the election, (in the Hotel next to one of his compounds) and even though he may own the Cable networks, the other parties were all out and about all over the city, promoting their own candidates, hell I saw more about Mofa then him.
  • by Bake (2609) on Sunday October 26, 2003 @09:32AM (#7313219) Homepage
    I could have egg on my face in a couple weeks

    Sounds like an open invitation to me! :-)
  • from the Entertainment industry.
    In 2004, (so far) 10,400 [opensecrets.org] dollars.

    In 2002 He took just over 99,000 [opensecrets.org] dollars

    Looks to me like he's working for them already...or more accurately has been bought.
    • by Mod Me God (686647) on Sunday October 26, 2003 @09:48AM (#7313271)
      If he's working for them, he's not giving them much time on your methodology given:

      1 Health Professionals $89,500
      2 Electric Utilities $59,283
      3 Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $39,000
      4 Oil & Gas $22,530
      5 Retail Sales $19,500
      6 Telecom Services & Equipment $13,500
      7 Securities & Investment $11,500
      8 TV/Movies/Music $10,500

      His funding bias has shifted from TV//Movies/Music in 2000 far in favour to utilities/health/pharma (in 2002 also)... which is interesting.

      • Jeepers creepers. I did fundraising for a political party in Ontario, and this appears to be similar in many aspects to political financing, except our riding didn't do as good as Tauzin.

        Hmmm. Maybe I should start a cause. (SRAE : Slashdot Regulation Association of Earth : battles internet abuse of time wasted on the internet posting to sites like slashdot... the right wing would eat it up and I could spend all my time posting at /.)

        Then I could fundraise! tee hee
      • by Motherfucking Shit (636021) on Sunday October 26, 2003 @10:00AM (#7313307) Journal
        His funding bias has shifted from TV//Movies/Music in 2000 far in favour to utilities/health/pharma (in 2002 also)... which is interesting.
        His funding might not show it, but he's definitely cozy with the media types.

        Tauzin proposed a bill requiring all TV broadcasters to switch to 100% digital signals [slashdot.org] with copy protection, just over a year ago.

        In July 2002, Billy and his friend Fritz Disney Hollings urged the FCC commissioner to "mandate the implementation of the Broadcast Flag [slashdot.org] under FCC rules" - which according to a story here just days ago is pretty much a done deal [slashdot.org].

        The financial support (on the books) may have quit in 2000, but he's still been busy trying to get digital TV, broadcast flags, and copy protection forced down consumers'^W our throats. Looks like the MPAA is finally rewarding him for his efforts...
    • Those are pretty minor contributions so far. Look, let's be realistic about the way it works. If you have some agenda to make a politician look like a crook, sure you'll say he's been bought. But that isn't true, and let's be fair (it will help your cause more, too).

      If a tech-friendly candidate (say, Sonny Perdue of Georgia, who just withdrew GA DMV records from MATRIX) was running for office, and you contributed to him, have you 'bought' him? No, you've donated to help a candidate win who you know wil
    • It is interesting that when you look at the full list of numbers, there are tons of industries that have payed him even more (the oil industry? *gasp* not in louisiana-- never! :)). True, it is kind of worrying that anyone that accepts any outside money is put in charge of anything, but there are two things to consider about that: a) no one accepts funding from any industry, only the rich can afford to run for office, b) How many other people have been payed off by the entertainment industry? If these are s
    • Well at least he's an honest policitian. He stays bought.
  • Quick! (Score:5, Funny)

    by AndroidCat (229562) on Sunday October 26, 2003 @09:36AM (#7313229) Homepage
    Stake him, cut out his heart, and burn it. Cut off his head, stuff that with garlic, bury him at a crossroads and mix up his socks!

    Wait .. everything we know about vampires is from Hollywood movies .. we are so screwed!

    • Having a vampyre as a roomate once has educated me in the habits and vulnerabilities (and erotic techniques) of these life energy consumers.

      Unfortunately this particular person is not a vampyre, but a common congresscritter.

      A dagger in the heart or a nail in the ear would take care of Tauzin.

      Burn the body.
      • .. would take care of Tauzin. Tauzin? He's just a Renfrew. I'm talking about Vampire Jack V. himself. You don't think he's really going to let go and slink away, do you?
        • I was under the impression that Hillary Rosen needed some nice friendly bloodletting once in a while.
  • He was my favorite Freakazoid guest-star and thats how I'll always remeber him. "Just look at my cheeks."
  • On the new guy... (Score:4, Informative)

    by c_oflynn (649487) on Sunday October 26, 2003 @09:38AM (#7313241)
    There is an article on him here [eweek.com].

    Looks promising!:
    "The defining difference between Billy Tauzin and [former chairman] Tom Bliley is a preference for change vs. a preference for the status quo," says Jeffrey Eisenach
    • Tauzin was a force behind the massive and convoluted 1996 Telecommunications Act that aspired to bring competition to local phone service and promulgate new, high-tech services, including high-definition television.

      If only he'd bring competition to the movie industry and promulgate new, high-tech services (iFlicks?). That would be nice.

      -- Dr. Eldarion --
    • Promising in some regards, but I just like many are far to cynical of politicians to hold much hope. You know my type, the kind that say the only trustworthy politician is an unemployed politician, and even then watch your wallet.
      This article [hillnews.com] I read on HillNews.com seemed to make light of the 'favored' unspoken activity of politicians, but I think in all honesty that will be a stopper for any promise we could see. Of course this also dips into that fact, Tauzin is a politician, bound loosely to t
  • He offers legislation to allow the MPAA and RIAA to do DDoS attacks on filesharing computers, and that Republican Bastard(tm) Tauzin gets the nice high-paying gig.

    New faces, same crap as before. Next?
  • by frankie (91710) on Sunday October 26, 2003 @09:52AM (#7313284) Journal
    Billy Tauzin is ALREADY a lobbyist shill for big media and telecom. Moving him from Congress to MPAA would mean that 1: he doesn't get to legislate (at least not directly) any more, and 2: he doesn't get paid by my taxes any more.

    p.s. Reason #3 to hate Congressman Tauzin: sponsored "anti-spam" legislation that was ghost-written by the DMA.
  • by thesolo (131008) <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Sunday October 26, 2003 @10:03AM (#7313317) Homepage
    Billy Tauzin has been securely in the hands of the MPAA for years now, so this doesn't come as a huge surprise. At least now he won't be around to pass terrible bills [slashdot.org] any longer!

    For those that don't remember, the link above is referring to the Tauzin-Dingell bill, which was the infamous bill to allow companies like Verizon to prevent sharing their lines with other companies offering DSL, like Covad, etc.

    I'm more than happy to see Billy Tauzin leave as a congressman, but I have no doubts that the tactics currently employed by the MPAA won't change with Valenti leaving.
    • He is going to have a hard time saying he wasn't in the hands of lobbyists ever!
      -Seirv
    • but what of his political influence? Its no surprise the MPAA woldn't pick somebody with no political influence.
    • "At least now he won't be around to pass terrible bills any longer!"

      You're assuming he won't be able to hand-pick his successor.
      • You're assuming he won't be able to hand-pick his successor.

        Of course, you're absolutely correct. However, one would hope that any replacement of his would be properly elected. Of course, Tauzin himself was elected, so it's very possible that an elected replacement would be just as bad.
    • > For those that don't remember, the link above is referring to the
      > Tauzin-Dingell bill, which was the infamous bill to allow companies
      > like Verizon to prevent sharing their lines with other companies
      > offering DSL, like Covad, etc.

      Yes, many analysts give Rep Tauzin primary credit for setting us up the .bomb. Of course the bubble WOULD have burst on its own eventually but that bill caused the CLECS to explode as investors realized they had just been legislated out of business, also taking ou
  • by aepervius (535155) on Sunday October 26, 2003 @10:04AM (#7313319)
    I do not follow US politic very much, but isn't there a conflict of interrest in between a politcian with an official function, and being the ehad of a firm, *and* proposing law which directly impact your firm ? If he become head of MPAA should not he give up every official place or position he might have ?
    • I do not follow US politic very much, but isn't there a conflict of interrest in between a politcian with an official function, and being the ehad of a firm, *and* proposing law which directly impact your firm ?

      Well he would of course be expected to resign from Congress to take this position. Being a congressional representative hasn't been a part time job in a long time (at least over a century). Acting as head of the MPAA is definitely a full time job for Jack Valenti... you just can't garner that m

  • One reign of terror is coming to an end, and a new one is about to begin.
    -Seriv
  • But people keep saying he won't be able to pass any more nasty laws. Where does it say he's stepping down from his seat in Washington? Looks like a blatant coflict of interest to me.
  • by Motherfucking Shit (636021) on Sunday October 26, 2003 @10:10AM (#7313343) Journal
    I visited Tauzin's official House of Representatives website, at http://www.house.gov/tauzin/ [house.gov]. At the bottom is a Search button, with a select list to choose how many search results you want to receive. I decided to search for "MPAA" and see if he'd mentioned them in any of his recent press releases.

    Unfortunately, I didn't get any results. Not because he's trying to hide anything, but because there's nowhere to enter a search term! The "Search" button is sitting there with no way to enter what you're searching for. Brilliant, if only Google had come up with this idea!

    Thank you, Rep. Tauzin, for demonstrating your vast knowledge of the digital world. You should fit right in at the MPAA.

  • Same old piss in a different bottle...

    T&K.
  • Time for the strangler to kick off his shoes and spend the weekend working through the zero day movies he got this week.

  • by FearUncertaintyDoubt (578295) on Sunday October 26, 2003 @10:24AM (#7313392)
    "Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss"
  • This is not what we need.

    A governmental employee, responsible for legislation heading up a company that is bent on reducing peoples rights thru laws and law-suits.

    There must be something to prevent this from taking place, from a legal angle, as it's a conflict of interest, with potential for fraud.

    Even if he resigns his political position, he still has great lobbying power.
  • This is only to get us looking the other direction. At least Valenti had the virtue of not being a NeoCon Repug but Tauzin is an industry friend and one of Bu$h's confidants. Watch the next few months for DVD rental profiling and geographic analysis of "pirated" films as a pretense for arrests under the DMCA.
  • by CMiYC (6473) on Sunday October 26, 2003 @10:55AM (#7313491) Homepage
    ... read "Tarzan" and think, "wow that's a great idea!" =)
  • Billy Tauzin had his voice in the house but if the over-lord of media becomes Orin Hatch, the internet as a media medium is in big trouble. Hatch has more media fingers in his pockets than anybody and he also things he's a music artist. We may find we're out of the pan and into the fire with this. Tauzin and Hatch making deals is just too scary of a thought.
  • ...is the episode of Frekazoid during which he (with his cheeks) explains the motion picture rating system. It also happens to be a 2-parter, the Freakazoid origin story, called "The Chip".

    Interestingly, Jack Valenti actually voiced himself [imdb.com] in these episodes, so at that time (1995) he apparently still had a sense of humor.
  • It's good that he's retiring. He hasn't been looking so good [mccullagh.org] recently [mccullagh.org].
    • Most geeks don't even seem to realize just how long Jack Valenti has been in the government.

      He was a pretty high ranking official in the Kennedy administration, and has had a longer life and a more lucrative political career since then, than anyone else who was in the motorcade. Geeks know the name because of his position at the MPAA. The don't seem to realize he's been in the government since before Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush Senior took their first polisci course.

      To describe the career of so
  • Could appointing a Reoublican harm the MPAA's relationship with the Democratic party? Given that most of California's legislators are Dems, that would be a big deal. Feinstein and Boxer, the two Senators, have been firmly in the motion picture industry's pocket as long as I can remember. At the moment, partisanship aside, NO party has been standing up to the MP/RIAA. I don't care which party it is, but I would really like to see some division between the parties on this issue.

    On the other hand, I suppo

    • "Could appointing a Reoublican harm the MPAA's relationship with the Democratic party?"

      He was a (typical Southern) Democrat when he was first elected. He switched parties in the middle of the 90's.

      He's less a member of the Republican Party and more a member of the "Whichever Way the Wind Is Blowing" party.
  • Welp, I grew a smile on my face when I read the headline. Wish I had something insightful to say, but I don't. The guy was heavily opinionated, and badly informed. He doesn't know that his customers aren't all thieves awaiting opportunity. He thinks they can't compete with free even though there are many MANY successful businesses out there doing just that, Starbucks to name one, Aquafina to name another. He once likened backing up a DVD to demanding a new lawn mower after wrecking the first. He didn'
  • he (family friend) said this rumor has been floating around the hill for months. So, nothing has actually occurred here, but it does sound like Billy is the man on deck for when Valenti steps down.
  • And the MPAA arm of the Hollywood content cartel bought it.

    This isn't good news for us, Tauzin's political experience is a couple of generations more recent.

    This would be a real good time to have a real geek Political Action Committee running on our behalf.

  • I just had a rare opportunity to fuck with the head of the MPAA.

    I was sitting in my bathtub and the phone rang. It was a movie survey... they asked about close to 20 different films now out or soon to be released, to gauge my interest, and my friends', etc.

    For every movie they asked about my likelyhood of seeing in a theater, I told them "I've already seen it - I downloaded it off the internet." Even for (especially for) the ones that haven't even hit theaters yet.

    It was kind of funny after all of thi

  • Now he will *officially* be on the MPAA's payroll. Merely taking bribes doesn't qualify you for the retirement plan.

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