Dan Glickman, former centrist Democratic Kansas Congressman and Secretary of Agriculture, has been named to replace Jack Valenti as head of the Motion Picture Association of America.
Valenti, who has been planning to retire for some time, formally resigned Thursday after 38 years atop the association. He will stay on as CEO until Glickman takes over Sept. 1.
Glickman spent 18 years in the House, including sitting on the Copyright subcommittee, which deals with intellectual property issues close to the heart of Hollywood. He was Secretary of Agriculture in 1995.
More recently he has been director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard as well as a teacher at the Kennedy School of Government.
MPAA and fair use proponents have been at odds over how best to protect intellectual property without infringing on established fair use copying rights given the ease of digital copying.
Gigi B. Sohn, president of fair use advocate Public Knowledge, said of the appointment: "We congratulate Dan Glickman on his selection as the new president of MPAA. We look forward to working with him. We hope that MPAA will attempt to embrace technological change, rather than try to hinder it, and will work to benefit consumers, rather than to take actions hostile to them."
Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro said of the appointment: "Even as we bid a sad farewell to Jack, we welcome Dan Glickman to the trade association community....
"Secretary Glickman brings a long and distinguished career in public service to the MPAA. I look forward to working with him as our mutual industries continue to transition into the digital age. I remain optimistic that together we can identify and support solutions that protect the valuable intellectual property created by the MPAA's members while preserving the home recording and fair use rights enjoyed by movie lovers everywhere and the ability of technology companies to innovate and create exciting new products and technologies."