Last month, we mentioned the scary news that one of the MPAA's latest tactics against file sharing was to create an entire educational program which they would present in schools. Well, that program launched yesterday in schools across the country, and they're not even remotely subtle in how one-sided they paint the picture. For example, they tell students "If you haven't paid for it, you've stolen it." Except, well, that's not true at all. If, for example, the MP3s were placed up there by those who do own the rights to the music, then it's perfectly legal. Even if it's music that hasn't been put up their by those who own the rights, it's copyright infringement (and you may have some fair use rights) and not theft. Wendy Seltzer at the EFF goes through a few other problems with the "educational" program. Plenty of people are upset about this. Some with the one-sided content, and others with the fact that students are being bribed with incentives such as free DVDs, DVD players, movie tickets and trips to Hollywood (um... I thought if they hadn't paid for it, they had stolen it...) for writing essays about why file sharing is bad. Of course, in the end, this might not be such a big deal, as many of the students who get this lesson will realize how ridiculous it is. The article linked above reviews one presenter giving the lesson in San Francisco where students roll their eyes and challenge many of the statements made. Just in titling it "What's the Diff? A Guide to Digital Citizenship", (their weak attempt at sounding on top of the latest jargon) most kids will immediately see through this as a ridiculous corporate front.
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