Invasion of the Movie Snatchers

MORE AND MORE MOVIE FANS ARE SHARING FILMS ONLINE, AND HOLLYWOOD DOESN'T LIKE IT. SHOULD THE STUDIOS FIGHT OR FIND A WAY TO ADAPT?

Jack Valenti, the firebrand longtime head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), was never one to mince words. As the movie industry's chief lobbyist, he knew how to portray his business's challenges in dramatic terms. Back in the 1980s, faced with new technology that supposedly threatened the studios' bottom line, Valenti once famously compared the VCR to the Boston Strangler.

Rhetoric like that took the battle against Betamax all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled against the movie industry and helped establish the right of fair-use copying. We all know what happened to the VCR: not long...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!