It should be clear to anyone who follows "intellectual property" issues that are a lot of open questions out there about what the best model really is -- so it's a bit worrisome that the government continues to represent the entertainment industry's position as if it's something everyone agrees on. Earlier this year, we were surprised to see Attorney General Alberto Gonzales spending time with middle school students telling them not to download. We assumed he'd have more pressing issues to focus on. Apparently, it's something the entertainment industry is relying on as support for their own program to brainwash kids to their own position. The latest (as submitted by John) is that John Dudas, the head of the Patent and Trademark Office, is targeting even younger kids. He spoke with a bunch of elementary school kids warning them of the evils of downloading, trotting out the industry's favorite bogus claim that unauthorized downloads are "no different than stealing a CD." You would think the head of the USPTO would understand the differences between rivalrous and nonrivalrous goods, but perhaps we're expecting too much. After all, in a previous job, Dudas helped push the DMCA through Congress.
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