Here's a great story outlining the utter absurdity of the DMCA, and it even includes a typically asinine statement from Jack Valenti. An Intel exec was at a technology/law kind of meeting, and laid this out:
“I used a program to copy a few seconds from the DVD of the movie Rudy,” he said. “It’s the scene showing the final game of the Notre Dame season with Rudy’s family in the stands cheering wildly when he got to play. I then spliced in some snippets of pro players doing a touchdown dance from NFL Films, and I overlaid it with audio from ‘Who Let the Dogs Out?’
"I stitched this all together with video of my son, and it turned out to be the piece of home video that gets watched the most in our house. When relatives or members of the football team come over, we pop it in and we just laugh. The added scenes and music really bring it all to life.”
There was just one problem. “It turns out to do this, I violated the DMCA. I used the DeCSS program to circumvent the encryption and access the movie clips on the DVD that I own,” Whiteside told the aides. “The end product is a DVD that I don’t sell or distribute but is considered a derivative work under copyright law.”
And cue the idiotic statement from Jack Valenti:
To their credit, none of the congressional aides flipped open their cell phones to call the attorney general. (When I described Whiteside’s home movie to Jack Valenti, he said, “He’s committing a violation of federal law.”)
Gee Jack, what's he doing wrong here? Is fair use that hard a concept for you? I guess so, since you insisted on pointing out the illegality, without noticing how stupid it makes you look.
The Intel exec has the right idea:
“This is precisely the kind of exciting consumer creativity that should be enabled,” he said. “I don’t claim to have all the answers. Should I have to go clear rights to use ten seconds from Rudy in my son’s video, or does it fall under fair use? Should I have to pay pennies for every second of a snippet? I don’t know. But I do know that we have to figure out a way for consumers to do something creative without breaking the law.
The MPAA has an easy answer, and it's the one they use for comedic effect in the Capital One ads - the answer is "NO", without regard to what the question is.