Mr. Jack Valenti, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Motion Picture Association

Excerpts from Mr. Valenti’s statement before Congress, September 20, 1995:

Copyright term extension has a simple but compelling enticement: it is very much in America’s economic interests.

The Commissioner of Patents & Trademarks, the U.S. authority on these issues has endorsed copyright term extension in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property. So has Congress’ own expert, the Registrar of Copyrights.

Intellectual property, consisting of the core copyright industries, movies, TV programs, home video, books, musical recordings and computer software comprise almost 4% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, gather in some $45 billion in revenues abroad, and has grown its employment at a rate of four times faster than the annual rate of growth of the overall U.S. economy. Whatever shrinks that massive asset is NOT in America’s interests. Which is why the United States Trade Representative has also endorsed the initiative.

The case for copyright term extension is that simple. What are the contrary views?

Some academics plead that the consumer would be benefited because more public domain works would find wider circulation at cheaper prices. What academics do not observe or do not know is that while American public domain work may be SOLD cheaper to exhibitors in many international markets, consumers are NOT granted cheaper prices. Not at all. The theater ticket remains the same price. TV station, home video stores give no discounts to the public. Advertising rates do not come down.

That is why it is in the economic best interest of this country to extend copyright term limits.

Mr. Jack Valenti, September 20, 1995


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