C’right board targets ‘Net

Valenti urges Congress not to ignore infringement

Motion Picture Assn. of America chairman Jack Valenti Thursday introduced Congress to the new Copyright Assembly, culled from the ranks of entertainment, sports, publishing and other copyrightable industries threatened by Internet piracy.

The group is “deeply concerned about the future of creative works,” Valenti told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property. His remarks echo those made last week to lawmakers by Walt Disney chairman Michael Eisner.

“I have never felt so strongly about anything as I do about the protection of copyright,” Valenti said, urging Congress “never to allow copyright to be degraded … or ignored.” He was not asking the committee to take any specific action.

The music industry and, increasingly, Hollywood have been threatened by online services that can duplicate and transmit music or video at will, without paying for it. “The only word for this kind of behavior is stealing,” Valenti said.

Valenti also urged Congress to reject a resolution that would withdraw Congressional support for the World Trade Organization, a body which has helped protect U.S. intellectual property rights and creative works worldwide.

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