MPAA chairman and CEO JackValenti expressed regret at how he handled the awards screener ban at his pressbriefing yesterday morning for the opening of ShoWest in Las Vegas.

When asked why he had leftthe imposition of the ban till so late in the year last year, he said that withthe wisdom of hindsight, "I would probably have done it differently."

"When I got the figures inlate summer last year that 68 titles had been pirated from awards screeners, Istarted to worry that we would be the architects of our own demise," saidValenti. "If I had to do it all over again, I would have conferred more withpeople outside the industry and consulted more people, but I was too concernedby the vapoury veil we call the future."

Valenti confirmed that, perthe outcome of the Dec lawsuit in New York City, the screener issue will nolonger fall under the purview of the MPAA, and that from now on, eachdistributor will be able to make its own decisions as to if and how it sendsout awards screeners to voters in awards season.