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Glickman Hints at Life Beyond the MPAA

Former Rep. Dan Glickman (D-Kan.), widely expected to leave the helm of the Motion Picture Association of America before the end of next year, says he is committed to the movie group’s legislative agenda but isn’t shying away from discussing future public service roles after his departure from the glitzy group.

In an interview in Glickman’s downtown Washington, D.C., office in a building that carries the name of his legendary predecessor, Jack Valenti, the one-time secretary of Agriculture said that while he is not likely to run for elective office again, he would like to eventually return to public service.

“The idea of service is wonderful,— said Glickman, who has been at the MPAA for five years. “I hope to go back into public service one of these days.—

A dominant issue for the group during Glickman’s tenure has been combating copyright infringement and piracy and protecting the movie industry’s intellectual property, he said.

“Over half our revenues come from outside the United States,— Glickman said. “Probably the biggest issue we deal with is how to deal with piracy in the rapidly changing technology.—

At a recent pre-release screening of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince— in the MPAA theatre, studio Time Warner brought in an enforcement person with night-vision glasses to make sure no one in the audience was illegally recording the movie, Glickman said.

One of MPAA’s best lobbying tools is being able to bring Members and staff to the group’s 16th Street headquarters for movies. “We’re getting people back to the movies,— Glickman said, noting that the screenings had fallen off during concerns over ethics rules in the House and Senate. Now the MPAA includes an educational component with every movie, discussing the economics of the industry and the need for strong copyright protections.

As for his expected departure, Glickman said, “I never intended to be here as long as Jack.— But he declined to give specifics.

While some movie industry executives have said Glickman — who keeps connected to the food world through extracurricular projects, including serving as co-chairman of the Global Agricultural Development Project — was questionably cast, Glickman tries to draw parallels between the agriculture and movie industries. “Both are heavily exported and both fill human needs,— he said. If no one’s buying that argument, “I always say that I went from growing popcorn to selling it,— he quipped.

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