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CEA’s Shapiro: Valenti Was A Hero

4/27/2007 11:26:00 AM Eastern

Arlington, Va. — Calling Jack Valenti, former head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who died yesterday at age 85, “a true hero,” Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) released a statement this morning expressing condolences on behalf of his organization.

“Jack was a true hero — in war, in politics and in his nearly four decades of tireless work on behalf of the motion picture industry he loved so much. As the face of the movie industry, he was a passionate defender of the First Amendment. As an association president, he stood out among his peers as a skilled advocate who mixed politics with personal warmth and wit. Although Jack and I had disagreements on issues over the years, he was always a gentleman, and I am proud to have called him my friend. Together with my colleagues at CEA, I offer sincere condolences to the Valenti family and Jack’s colleagues at MPAA on this momentous loss,” said Shapiro.

Shapiro and Valenti faced off over numerous issues through the years because of the inter-industry conflicts of interest that continually arise as technology evolves and forces content-centric industries to reevaluate their business models in order to remain profitable. For instance, toward the end of his tenure as MPAA president, Valenti was notably hesitant regarding CEA’s push for a DTV transition because of concerns over protecting film content in an environment where content sharing was becoming more mainstream.

To read Valenti’s complete obituary from TWICE’s sister publication Variety, click here.