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July 23, 2004 - Image 46

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-07-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Film Czar

U-M grad and former congressman Dan Glickman
takes over the reins of the Motion Picture Association
of America.

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7/23

2004

46

Fax:

of materials with copyrights, access to
foreign markets, taxes and jobs. His
salary is estimated at more than $1.35
million.
an Glickman likes to joke that
he's eating more popcorn lately.
The new appointee, who earned his
Actually, there might be some
law degree with honors from the George
truth to that as he spends more time
Washington University Law School, also
watching movies and getting in close
will be studying regulations related to
touch with the critical issues facing
the issues. Complicating matters is the
moviemakers. It's all part of assuming
changing configuration of movie com-
his new and influential post as president
panies as they become part of massive
and chief executive officer of the Motion conglomerate operations.
Picture Association of America (MPAA).
"One of the big challenges of the
Glickman, a University of Michigan
industry is piracy," says Glickman, who
history graduate who went on to serve
will be based in Washington, D.C., and
as a Kansas congressman and secretary
have an office in Los Angeles. "Probably,
of agriculture in the Clinton administra-
top on the legislative agenda is the pro-
tion, begins his tenure Sept. 1, when he
tection of copyright both from the
replaces Jack Valenti, a 38-year veteran
standpoint of illegal copying, like boot-
of the job. .
legged DVDs and tapes both here and
The appointment, which came after
around the world, and the application of
extensive candidate tracking by an exec-
new technologies, like the use of the
utive search firm, makes Glickman the
Internet, that permit illegal sharing of
chief voice and advocate of the
copyrighted materials.
American motion picture, home video
"Being able to get our products
and television industries. Responsibilities around the world in an unrestricted way
include influencing U.S. government
is another big issue. There are lots of
policy as well as international policy.
markets, particularly in the Far East and
"The movie industry is
the old Soviet bloc, that
very exciting, and I've
don't permit great access
been interested in it all
to our products, and so
my life," says Glickman,
we can't sell or show a
59, who is exiting his cur-
lot of movies there."
rent work as director of
Glickman, whose pre-
the Institute of Politics at
vious jobs have given
Harvard University. "The
him diverse constituen-
movie industry is the face
cies, thinks of his imme-
of America around the
diate responsibilities as
world, and it's one of the
they relate to the seven
few industries with a posi-
companies that form
tive balance of payments.
the directorship of the
"I'm going to spend the
MPAA, the profession-
next couple of months
als who work in the
Dan Glickman: As head of
learning, listening and
the MPAA, he will be focused industry and the gov-
trying to absorb what I
ernment officials who
on current issues having to do
can about the organiza-
develop policies that
with protection of materials
tion and business opera-
affect the organization
with copyrights, access to for-
tions. Stepping into the
he'll lead.
eign markets, taxes and jobs.
job of Jack Valenti is an
The companies
enormous challenge. For a
include Buena Vista
while, he is still going to manage the rat- Pictures Distribution, Metro-Goldwyn-
ings part of the system, but that area
Mayer Studios Inc., Paramount Pictures,
ultimately will fall under my control."
Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.,
Before monitoring how films are eval-
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.,
uated for youngsters while working
NBC Universal Studios and Warner
toward maintaining free expression
Bros. Entertainment Inc.
rights, Glickman will be focused on cur-
"Dan Glickman is a demonstrated
rent issues having to do with protection
wise and decisive leader who was able in

SUZANNE CHESSLER
Special to the Jewish News

248-213-4733

his public career to construct a respectful
rapport with both sides of the aisle,"
Valenti says about his successor's work
with the legislative process. "He will be a
powerful, successful steward of the
MPAA."

Midwestern Roots

Glickman, who grew up in Kansas,
decided to go to the University of
Michigan because of his brother's aca-
demic experience there. After law
school, he was hired by the Securities
and Exchange Commission in
Washington, D: C., where he worked for
one year. A move back to Kansas result-
ed in his going into a private law prac-
tice while helping his dad in scrap iron
and oil businesses.
Interested in politics, Glickman was
elected to the school board in Wichita
and then decided to run for Congress as
a Democrat in 1976. He continued in
office for 18 years, serving as a member
of the House Judiciary Committee and
the Copyright and Intellectual Property
Subcommittee.
His appointment to head up the
Department of Agriculture came in
1995 and lasted six years. While oversee-
ing an operating budget of more than
$60 billion and more than 100,000
employees, he negotiated international
trade agreements, fought hunger and
malnutrition by boosting food assistance
and publishing dietary guidelines and
approved a plan to protect nearly 60
million acres of national forest land.
Glickman moved on to Harvard in
2002 to administer a program to inspire
undergraduate students to enter careers
in politics and public service and to pro-
mote greater understanding and cooper-
ation between the academic and political
communities.
"There's been a decline in young peo-
ple's interest in politics over the past 30
years, so we've been trying to turn that
around by telling students they can
actually have a great impact and encour-
aging politicians to engage young peo-
ple," Glickman explains. "I get the sense
that with this election, there's more
interest on the part of this group."
When he looks back on his own
development as a politician, Glickman
recalls being active in campus politics in
Ann Arbor, where he met his wife, the
former Rhoda Yura. The couple, mem-
bers of the Washington Hebrew
Congregation and activists with the
anti-hunger organization MAZON,
share an interest in the arts and films
and often return to Michigan, where her
family is based.
Earlier this month, they visited the
Detroit area to celebrate the birthday of

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