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Politech On Commerce Dept Tech Hearing

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Declan McCulloch on transcript of Commerce Dept hearing disrupted by “geektivists”:

      Photos from the event here.

      Comments from audience members who spoke are not, for the most part,
      reflected in the transcript since they didn’t have microphones.

      -Declan

    […]

    Mr. VALENTI: Number three, I am convinced, and I could be wrong, that
    the only way we’re going to come to an acceptable conclusion; acceptable,
    meaning everybody agreeing, though not wholly, but maybe in part, is for
    the highest station executives of the information technology community,
    consumer electronic community, content community, and anybody else
    that’s sitting around this table to find a consensus.

    PARTICIPANT:
    What about the public?

    MR. VALENTI: Well, I’m the public, and you’re the public. You see, I
    don’t believe anybody around this table represents the public.

    PARTICIPANT:
    You’re representing industry, not the public.

    MR. VALENTI: Well, we’re all consumers, and by the way, I’m going to
    accord you the utmost respect. I will listen to you, and I will try to
    believe you, but let me speak. That’s all I ask, and I’ll accord you
    that same respect. You’re due that.

    PARTICIPANT:
    Well, give me the respect to —

    MR. BOND: Please. Thank you. [PHILLIP J. BOND Chief of Staff & Under
    Secretary Of Commerce for Technology]

    MR. VALENTI: See, that’s the problem.

    (Off mike comment.)

    MR. VALENTI: Of course, I’ll allow him to reply, but first allow me to
    finish.

    PARTICIPANT:
    Absolutely. Absolutely.

    MR. BOND: No, time out. Time out. Time out. I think we have a
    structure here that ?-

    MR. VALENTI: I think the first thing we ought to exhibit is good
    manners.

    PARTICIPANT:
    Yes, sir.

    MR. VALENTI: All I’m asking you is a golden rule. I’ll treat you with
    the same respect you treat me. I don’t think there’s anything wrong
    with that. Now let me finish, and then you can do whatever you choose.

    I’m saying to get everybody together and have them agree. Some months
    ago last year, we got in touch with the Information Technology people,
    a group that includes Intel, Dell, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft,
    Motorola. Let’s see, an Unisys and some others, saying let us begin to
    try to find way out of this morass. And then if we can come to
    conclusions, everybody else can take a crack at it, and have their
    imprint put on it. And I think that’s the only way to go.

    Now I have to say though, that there has to be an end game. What
    happens if there is an irreconcilable impasse, what do we do? Now I’m
    one of those who’s not afraid of government. I happen to come out of
    an administration that I think in human justice, and civil rights, and
    education, medical insurance where the government intervened for the
    long term benefit of the people who live in this free and loving land.
    The government is not your enemy. And therefore, at some point, there
    has to be some kind of intervention, either by regulation or by
    Congressional mandate that would put into effect whatever it is that
    we’ve agreed on. Have exhaustive hearings and do all of that so it’s
    open and transparent, and everybody can participate in it.

    Now that’s the way I see this, and I don’t claim to be a repository of
    all wisdom, but I do believe that over the last five or six years,
    I’ve been involved in these meetings with all the acronyms that you
    see up there. I don’t know of another way to do it. Now after me, the
    deluge.

    PARTICIPANT:
    I was invited to respond. I’d like to respond.

    MR. BOND: Right. And I’m going to give you the chance to do that out
    of deference to Jack Valenti. And then I’m going to remind the
    audience that we have a structure here, and that this is going to be
    adhered to. It is a discussion among the panelists with all you able
    to comment online. Without some kind of structure, we simply couldn’t
    have a worthwhile discussion. So out of respect to Jack, I’m going to
    allow this gentleman stand up and say a word. Back to Jack Valenti,
    and then we’re going to ask folks in the audience to comment online.
    Go ahead.

    (Comment off mike.)

    MR. BOND: And he can comment online, sir.

    (Comment off mike.)

    MR. BOND: NY Fair Use has had a chair at the table which they were not
    extended, and have now had multiple speakers, and I will ask you again
    to avail yourselves of comment online. We will work with you to make
    sure in future fora that you’re included. Everybody here is a proxy
    for folks. Not every company is represented, not every interest is
    represented. We have consumer groups, as well as various facets of the
    sector, of different parts of the technology sector. We’re making
    available for you for comment on everybody’s comments here.

    (Comment off mike.)

    […]

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