The Boy Scouts Now Have An MPAA Merit Badge In Misleading Arguments

from the lucky-them dept

Chris writes in to let us know that the MPAA's latest effort in brainwashing kids to their one sided argument is that they've convinced the Boy Scouts of America to offer a merit badge for "learning about the evils of downloading pirated movies and music." One has to assume this merit badge doesn't include learning about fair use, or the promotional value of content, though, it probably does teach them the latest gibberish, doublespeak, denial and bullying techniques favored by the industry. Over at Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow runs through all of the industry's double standards over the years on intellectual property, and wonders why the Boy Scouts would let such a biased party create the conditions for a merit badge. So, are the Boy Scouts willing to let the folks around here create a merit badge in understanding the economics of digital goods? I'm sure many of our readers would be willing to help create the curriculum. Update: As plenty of people have pointed out in the comments, this is not a "merit badge" but an "activity patch" that is only good for Boy Scouts in Los Angeles. Activity patches are apparently close to meaningless, though it's still not clear why the MPAA got to create the curriculum for this particular one.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    david b, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 4:51pm

    so crazy it might work

    i think you've hit on a reasonable idea. i didn't think the boy scouts were interested in technology and politics, but if they are, then your idea would be a prime candidate for a badge. sadly, i just see this more as an MPAA initiative than a boy scout one.

     

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  2.  
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    PJ Meyer, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 5:11pm

    Pirating merit badge?

    well MPAA and the Los Angeles Boy Scout Council are in partnership to do some "training". But it is not a national merit badge and is not recognized as a merit badge. More like activity badge.

    you can see the requirements here and as a leader of boy scouts I could say not one of the boys in my troop would sign up for this.

    http://mpaa.org/press_releases/respect%20copyrights%20curriculum%20and%20patch.pdf

     

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  3.  
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    Jason, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 5:15pm

    Re: so crazy it might work

    it might show them the evils of downloading pirated music. then again. it will show them the loop holes of the system and even more people will get away with it!

    its been said lawyers can find ambiguity in a no smoking signs, and kids make great lawyers in matters like these.

     

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  4.  
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    Commander Whatsit, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 6:00pm

    For services rendered...

    So, HOW much did the MPAA contribute to the BSA in the name of good, clean living?

    Seriously, what do you think it cost them?

    $15,000?
    $20,000?
    $2.50 and some free John Denver downloads?

     

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  5.  
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    Commander Whatsit, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 6:00pm

    For services rendered...

    So, HOW much did the MPAA contribute to the BSA in the name of good, clean living?

    Seriously, what do you think it cost them?

    $15,000?
    $20,000?
    $2.50 and some free John Denver downloads?

     

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  6.  
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    Commander Whatsit, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 6:00pm

    For services rendered...

    So, HOW much did the MPAA contribute to the BSA in the name of good, clean living?

    Seriously, what do you think it cost them?

    $15,000?
    $20,000?
    $2.50 and some free John Denver downloads?

     

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  7.  
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    ehrichweiss, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 7:18pm

    doesn't matter the BSA is run by the LDS

    if most of you haven't seen Penn and Teller's Bullshit episode on the subject let me fill you in. The Boy Scouts are primarily run by the Mormons aka Latter Day Saints. You can look this up online but suffice to say that I, a former boy scout, was horrified to discover they started changing the tide just around the time I was a boy scout.

    Anyway, seeing as how the Mormons have special underwear that they're not supposed to tell anyone about who isn't a Mormon(this is TRUE, look it up, you will LAUGH), it doesn't surprise me that they would fall for any of the *AA's bullshit.

     

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    COD (profile), Oct 20th, 2006 @ 7:22pm

    My son just quit Boy Scouts this week. Trust me, Boy Scouts know all about file sharing. If Hollywood is depending on the Boy Scouts to save their 50 year old business plan they will end up very dissapointed.

    As mentioned above, it's not a merit badge. It's a commerative patch. Anybody can offer one - it means nothing officially. It does not contribute to rank advancement and in fact can not be worn on the uniform.

     

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    DJ Twiztid, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 7:26pm

    As an Eagle Scout and a Leader in my area I refuse to allow such garbage be allowed. Even if will some day be required most I can say is good luck finding someone to teach it. Most tech's I know are anti MPAA. It's sad that these people have to brain wash childern. Welcome to the new communist era.

     

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  10.  
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    JOnas, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 7:27pm

    its a sad day for boyscouts everywhere. Shame shame lies and deciet see if I buy any scout o rama tickets now you little fucks.

     

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    Craig, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 7:40pm

    UM lets see.... Councils do NOT have the authority to issue MERIT BADGES.... pretty bad job of reporting. didn't even check your facts....

    lets try and get it straight.

     

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    The Lost One, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 8:19pm

    RE: doesn't matter the BSA is run by the LDS

    ehrichweiss, if you make assertions, you should provide the documentation, not exhort others to "look it up".

    As far as the badge, I rather think that the only kids interested in getting this badge aren't real popular already. I new a few kids when I was that age who were that anal-retentive, and they didn't make friends easily. I don't see this being a major win for the MPAA/RIAA/etc.

     

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    Muzz, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 10:35pm

    View from an Egale Scout

    I am an Egale Scout and while its been well over a dozen years I still remember my time in the Boyscouts and I have to say this is WRONG. When I was in and growing up there was clear cut right and wrong no grey areas. Teenagers can't learn right from wrong while dealing with grey areas.

    I wonder what the MPAA's take is on the Merit Badge of "Cinematography" started by Steven Spielberg?

     

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    Dwimmerlaik, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 2:28am

    Get Your Facts Straight

    As was previously mentioned, this is absolutely NOT a merit badge, nor is it anything other than a LOCAL program sponsored by the Los Angeles Boy Scout organization. The "patch" that is earned is nothing more than a commemorative item that cannot be worn on the official BSA uniform, nor does it have anything to do with the advancement towards the rank of Eagle Scout.

    This is nothing more than a sensationalist attempt at drawing support from the Tech community against MPAA, something I feel needs no additional support given we're all pretty pissed at what they're doing.

    Good report is unbiased and truthful, this is neither.

     

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    j6846b, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 3:17am

    Re: Get Your Facts Straight

    Result in this round: MPAA scored, Tech Community fucked

    Merit Badge or patch, it does not matter. Is LAA BSA part of the evil group or simply being brain washed? If shouting at the evil group and the brain-washed victims is all that you can do, YOU LOSE. Evils is to be fought and victims to be saved. Killing the victims won't make you saint.

     

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    Spartacus, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 6:29am

    Well said dwimmerlaik

    I truly do like most of the techdirt articles but sheesh... please don't throw crap like this up without actually making sure you know what you're talking about Mike. Again, most of your articles are well said, but PLEASE don't drive away free thinkers (your target audience I think) by trying to spout crap like this and expecting us to just swallow it.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 7:43am

    Re: RE: doesn't matter the BSA is run by the LDS

    TheLostOne: Is it sooo hard to google "mormon boy scouts"(sans quotes) to see if there is any truth to the matter?!?!? Sheesh.

    These days pointing to a site invokes some asshat stating it's got [blah] bias or an asshat like yourself stating one should provide a link. Find it yourself just like I had to.

     

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  18.  
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    Nobody Special, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 8:19am

    hmm, a little over blown headline?

    As others have pointed out, this is not in any way related to a scouts rank advancement. On the other hand, I do believe it can be worn on the uniform. I don't see it having nearly the popularity that some people think.

    I am mostly disappointed in Techdirt though. The headline is misleading and thus makes them more like traditional (stupid) media.

     

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  19.  
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    Robert, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 8:22am

    Not a Merit Badge

    For the umpteenth time, it's not a Merit Badge. It's not even put out by the BSA but a local council.
    I have good kids in my troop. This nonsense would probably enlighten them to what they could actually do.

     

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  20.  
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    Robert, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 8:26am

    Broad Brush

    "Merit Badge or patch, it does not matter. Is LAA BSA part of the evil group or simply being brain washed?"

    I guess interns should be banned from the White House while Democrats control it? Stop painting an entire organization with a broad brush or that brush can be used to paint others.

     

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  21.  
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    Gerald Buckley, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 8:54am

    On my honor...

    Mike, as an Eagle Scout and a Troop Asst Scoutmaster... You just may have just posted something worthy of the burn pile. This is a smear job of a good organization (the BSA). Take this post down: It's flat wrong and no number of comments will offset the stigma your rss feed will promote.

     

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  22.  
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    Gerald Castellucci, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 9:08am

    Boy Scouts and MPAA

    Both my sons are Eagle Scouts and I was a leader for 13 years. It is a good organization, but is becoming both extremely conservative and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mormon Church and the Marriott Corporation.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 9:14am

    Training to be bigots anyway...

    They're Training to be bigots anyway. Could the MPAA make it worse?

     

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  24.  
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    BillyGOat, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 9:17am

    Is this what passes as news now?

    "One has to assume this merit badge doesn't include learning about fair use, or the promotional value of content, though, it probably does teach them the latest gibberish, doublespeak, denial and bullying techniques favored by the industry."

    Actually, if investigative reporters did their jobs and journalistic integrity had any meaning anymore, one would have to assume nothing. Why not contact the MPAA and BSA and get the actual details on the "badge merits" before "reporting" your opinion.

    Sure, the MPAA is probably up to something sneaky. And perhaps the BSA has fallen victim to their propoganda. But we'll never actually know from this "article", will we?

    I have no affiliation with the MPAA or Boy Scouts. Nor do I really care if you pirate movies all day long. Heck, I own a DVD burner and it's not for "storing my precious photos" on. It's not like I'm concerned whether the movie studio has to cut George Clooney's pay check from 20 million to 15 million dollars per picture. But for the love of Transformers, stop with the nonsensical articles.

    And stop trying to hide behind the fair use act. Copying a DVD so you can "back it up" is a far cry from contacting the studio to get the rights to footage you want to use in your master thesis on "violence in film and it's long term effect over human nature in the 20th century".

    Now, go buy some more blank DVD's and send off your monthly payment to Netflix. Just don't tell me it's fair use. And don't drag the Boy Scouts into it.

     

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  25.  
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    truth_purveyor, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 9:36am

    So you've resorted to slinging mud now?

    Gerald:

    "but is becoming both extremely conservative and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mormon Church and the Marriott Corporation."

    on the conservative part... what do you expect from a group that teaches traditional morals and values? extreme liberalism, where they tell the kids to go screw around, and steal music?

    As for it being owned by the mormon church and Marriot? where's your information on that?

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 9:49am

    scout merit badge

    I went to meritbadge.com and there is no such new merit badge.

     

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  27.  
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    WhooTAZ, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 9:50am

    Twit with a Fogged Blog

    Not really a blog but it ryhmed.

    BSA is a Honarable organization who has not suscummed to the GAY and Politically right agendas as nearly every other organziation.

    Stop putting crap on the www to try and take away what other do not have.

    Trustworty,Loyal,Helpful,Friendly,Courteous,Kind, Obedient,Cherful,Thrifty, Brave,Clean & Reverent

    You can't say that about many organizations out there....

    Sorry they are not owned by Mormons and Marriott......

    The Mormons use the BSA to instill the above characteristics into their youth. As does every other organization that charters a Pack, Troop or Crew.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 10:02am

    Re: Twit with a Fogged Blog

    has not suscummed to the GAY and Politically right agendas

    The GAY "agenda" is to be treated as full members of society. To be treated just as Mormons are-with the right to go about their business without being discrimiated against, without worrying about getting the crap kicked out of them, without worrying about their lives being turned upside down because of who they are.

    Of ALL people, the Mormons should know better.

    It's a shame to see the teachings of Christ perverted into the politics of fear and hate. A crying shame.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 10:03am

    You have discredited yourself as a new source

    1. There is no merit badge. Meritbadge.com
    2. BSA did not endourse anything about this issue.
    3. Scouting is getting more socialistic and liberal not more conservative.
    4. LDS church does not control scouting. Athiest and gay Eagle scouts are hatched every day.

    When you post and leave posted just bad reporting about something I do know about, it discredits you as a new source to teach me about things I do not know about.

     

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  30.  
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    Kritter Patrol, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 10:20am

    And this proves....

    Those execs are on some serious happy-fun drugs if they think indoctrination via dogma is going to sell their ideas to kids.

    If anything I think the next generation is already more cynical than we are (if that's possible).

     

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  31.  
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    Son Near Eagle, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 10:29am

    What do you expect

    The news is all leftist liberals who want the USA to be destroyed by the enemy.

    Same goes here, someone wanting to mud sling the BSA... Shame on you didn't your parents bring you up with any manners and morality?

    The liberals want to control every thought and action that you do, thus you must maintain your liberties, something those on the liberals want to take away.

    Soon, if certain organizations have there way it could be ILLEGAL to eat animals. And they allow abortion but fight to protect animals for human consumption. Go figure.....

    Currently, we are in the fading days of the USA as a military power if the current tide does not get shifted and we do an about face..........

     

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  32.  
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    anon, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 10:48am

    I'm an eagle scout, earned June 6, 2006 and I had 25 Merit badges. I'm brotherhood in Order of the Arrow, and sat Senior Patrol leader as well as OA rep and many other positions. There is no way the BSA would stand for this. It isn't a merit badge, and never will be. Don't believe it. Not to mention on one of the links someone posted above there are numerous misspellings and grammer errors in what appears to be the requirements. It seemed to be more of something the MPAA was thinking about but never put into action.

     

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  33.  
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    Joel Ordesky, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 11:03am

    Another Scout is heard from

    As a person actively involved in Scouting I agree you put to much spin on this one. This is not a merit badge and that was clear from your own referenced source.

    Now the big joke is this, the award is only available at this time to the Scouts in the Los Angeles Area council. However most local scouts know that the Western Los Angeles Area council is the council which is home to media rich Los Angeles and that the LAA council picks up only the east side of LA.

    In any case this is much about nothing. Scouts are already taught these basic prinicpals about not stealing and have been since Baden Powel first dreamed up the program.

    Scouting is a very conservative program at its heart but there is room in the program for everyone and it is not controlled by the mormons or any other single religion.

    That being said the leadership for national scouting is full of conservatives and unfortunately it has lead to a very conservative view of the world. That is changing and will continue to change.

     

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  34.  
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    jsnbase, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 11:45am

    Ugh, bandwagoning

    Those of you attacking Mike on the use of term 'merit badge' are aware that every media outlet in the country is describing it that way, right?

    TechDirt links to articles from other sources, and the posters provide commentary. They aren't 'reporting' anything anymore than Hannity & Colmes 'report.' It's punditry. Relax.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 12:11pm

    Muzz (#13) wrote:
    "When I was in and growing up there was clear cut right and wrong no grey areas. Teenagers can't learn right from wrong while dealing with grey areas."

    Don't be a dumbshit. Don't you get it yet? How many more stupid decisions do you need to see before you realize 'right and wrong' just isn't clear cut, that's why there are so few easy solutions. Look what a disaster Iraq is! That's the result of people insisting something is either right, or it's wrong. People like you are unwilling or incapable of deep, rational, thought so you hide behind simplified, conjured categories. People follow because it seems easier. How do you expect teenagers to learn how to think if you hide the grey areas? if you restrict their reasoning to the few things you've stolen from other assholes afraid of their own cognitive abilites? It's the same problem the school system has: you can't expect people to learn how to think on their own if all you do is shove fact-memorization and neatly packaged labels at them. Good grief, you're fucking up entire generations with such an asinine mindset!

     

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  36.  
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    Not a Coward, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 1:01pm

    Re: On my honor...

    how is it anti boyscout? it seems to rip on the MPAA actually

     

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  37.  
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    Jake Long, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 1:19pm

    Re: doesn't matter the BSA is run by the LDS

    "The Boy Scouts are primarily run by the Mormons aka Latter Day Saints"

    I guess your terminology is flawed. But since you managed to watch it once, you probably wouldn't mind watching that episode again. This time through, you'll find out that while %40 is larger than any other group who direct the BSA, it certainly is not completely or even primarily by LDS.

    I watch and enjoy P&T as well, but to get facts from that show, you have to pay attention very closely to the way they phrase their arguments - aka, the words they use.

     

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  38.  
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    rush, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 1:56pm

    in denial

    It cracks me up how much people are willing to defend the outright theft of software. We all know it is wrong so get over it. Big news, they are teaching scouts not to steal. What's next..no murder??

     

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  39.  
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    ehrichweiss, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 2:06pm

    JakeLong:

    I guess your view of how when they started running things they started on the anti-gay/atheist agenda is flawed because if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck you seem to think it's a Humvee or the like.

    I didn't JUST watch that episode, I did my research as you apparently have not. P&T's premise is that you watch it and you verify for yourself but I guess you prefer to just "enjoy" it. Thanks for playing.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 2:15pm

    Re: RE: doesn't matter the BSA is run by the LDS

    The Lost One:

    How about you follow your own rules and post evidence to the contrary? Otherwise I find it's incredibly simple for someone to google -mormons boy scouts- and find more information than I could ever post here. Sorry you're too lazy to find the truth on your own without someone linking to them, must have sucked when you were in school.

     

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  41.  
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    ehrichweiss, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 2:16pm

    The Lost One

    How about you follow your own rules and post evidence to the contrary? Otherwise I find it's incredibly simple for someone to google -mormons boy scouts- and find more information than I could ever post here. Sorry you're too lazy to find the truth on your own without someone linking to them, must have sucked when you were in school.

     

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  42.  
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    Mr. Lucas Brice, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 5:15pm

    What's Next?

    What's next, an oil company badge extolling the virtues of price gouging? A union badge, to help Boy Scouts promote the good works of labor unions? How about a Walmart badge for warehouse shopping? Or maybe a Starbucks badge for leadership in the field of caffeinated beverages.

    Or maybe a bribery badge, because it's likely that the MPAA contributed heavily to the Boy Scouts in order to secure this cozy arrangement.

     

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  43.  
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    Jeff, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Ugh, bandwagoning

    Umm..... NO. Every news outlet in the country is NOT describing it this way. Matter of fact, if you read the actual article that is linked in Mike's abstract above, you'll see they not only do not use the term merit badge, but they later go on to explain the difference between activity patches and merit badges. However, in Mike's defense, it is entirely possible that the article he linked to has been updated since he created his abstract. Meaning, for all I know, when Mike wrote his abstract, it might have said merit badge.

    That said, two big lessons here:

    1) Linked articles suck as a reference because they link to dynamic content, not static content. However, I know of no easy way to take dynamic content and making it static other than by making a static copy that you will not update... and then putting it out there for public use. And you can guess how much copyright fun people would have with that. Unless of course Techdirt is already paying a copyright fee for things it links to by any chance? In which case it would be nice instead of links to dynamic content, Techdirt submitters would "print" the web page they're viewing to CutePDF or something and then offer PDFs of the dynamic content... so we can all make sure we are literally on the same page. And sure in that case if we wanted to also have the dynamic link just to compare the then-and-now versions, so be it.

    2) Much like another recent article discussing Wikipedia and Citizendium (sp? - not going to the trouble of looking it up while I'm writing this now) .... one or two or even three good news articles does not constitute "research". Meaning, when I was in school, it was required that we get multiple sources when working on a term paper or whatever -- not only to ensure that we'd done the minimum required for what passed as scholastic "research", but also to teach us a principle -- you shouldn't believe everything you read from ONE SOURCE or even A FEW SOURCES. The best way to do research is to get your information from multiple sources, and then put together your report using facts that have been well-established from your myriad sources. Footnotes might reference quotations from especially well-worded bibliographic sources, for example, but the fact "spoken" to in the quotation should be well-established from myriad sources, not only supported by one source. And so it is that on the web, it is even more important to get multiple sources... since so many sources transparently feed off each other. Good examples are newspapers who get feeds from the Associated Press or Reuters. You might pull together the "facts" from twenty news stories around the world which all agree on the same ERRONEOUS "facts" --- simply because all twenty newspapers used AP or Reuters as their source. Meaning you don't really have 20 sources from these newspapers, you only have two sources.

    Again, it has been said before in other comments to other abstracts, as well as above, but I think it should be emphasized. I think Mike and the folks at Techdirt do their best work when they are analyzing news in-depth, not when they are following breaking news or replying to some comment-bozo/troll off the cuff. The strength of Techdirt analysis is when it is well-thought-out, accurate and relevant.

    What does this mean for Techdirt? I believe that Techdirt would do far better to do something that is unthinkable in most news organizations.

    (And first off, Techdirt must realize -- it is NOT a news organization. It is an abstracting/analysis service which uses news as its source. Again, this is perhaps a valid reason why Techdirt SHOULD WANT to pay licensing so that it may make STATIC copies of stories, etc. [Yes, that means making copies of bad information before it gets updated -- but also being able to make copies of GOOD information once it's finally correct. Nope, I can't read an old Techdirt article in email, etc., and follow the link to a NY Times article right now because the Times article has expired to free users.])

    The unthinkable of course, is to simply QUIT FOLLOWING THE NEWS. Because following the news is a REACTIVE course of action, not a proactive one.

    What this would allow Techdirt to do is to simply FOCUS ON THE STORIES THAT MATTER. If they'd let the Boy Scout story sit for a while, maybe it would soon be apparent that all the other major media outlets had gotten it wrong -- it's not a merit badge. Then let the major outlets go through the process of performing their corrections.

    Does that mean that the scout story might not be picked up by Techdirt? Perhaps. Or it might just make for a BETTER news story.

    Because if I'm right and Mike was only abstracting what he INITIALLY read before it was "corrected" by the linked article.... then the news story is LESS about scouting and much more about the media. Perhaps this story is a great example of how screwed up the media has become. Perhaps this is a great example of how the "fourth estate" is being whittled down slowly but surely as the big media conglomerates are joining together and eating up all the small news outlets. About how the lack of diversity in media makes it impossible for anyone -- either scholarly researchers, news analysts/abstracters or god forbid, even the general public -- are able to really get anything that qualifies as "NEWS" anymore... simply because FOR ANY GIVEN NEWS STORY, THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH LEGITIMATE NEWS SOURCES.

    Personally, I think Techdirt would be a better publication if it went from a DAILY to a WEEKLY format and had fewer news stories, and much more concise. And for me anyway, that would not reduce its value but INCREASE it.

    Or, to follow my own advice... the concise point of all this is.... Techdirt has great reporting, but it is in dire need of an EDITOR.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Guse, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 6:17pm

    Re: What do you expect

    You're way too paranoid man. I'm a vegeterian and I think you should be able to eat what ever you want. Including those aborted fetuses you mentioned... You are generalizing in a dangerous way my friend. just breathe...

     

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  45.  
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    Matt, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 8:40pm

    Its not a Merit Badge

    Just a note from an eagle scout, the author of this message is wrong it is not a merit badge but an activity patch, which is what is stated by the article and I quote "Unlike a merit badge, an activity patch is not required to advance in the Scouts. Instead, they are awarded for various recreational and educational activities, such as conservation or volunteering at a food bank." For instance I received one for hiking down the rim of the grand canyon or in other words they do not even really mean much to scouts themselves.

    Just thought I would clear up the point.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2006 @ 9:35pm

    All Hail the MPAA!!!

    lol

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2006 @ 4:14am

    So many know-it-alls

    It amazes me that so many people who really know nothing about the BSA think they know everything. The troops arte mostly run by parent vollunteers, not some industrial conglomerate or religious group. They must have a space in which to meet, therefore they are sponsered by various groups in the local community such as churches and schools. If a church is involved it is merely to provide a meeting place, not to recruit members for their congregation. There is a spiritual requirement in the Scouts but it does not dictate what anyone should believe, rather that they demonstrate an understanding that the quest for spiritual knowledge is an important part of life. That quest may take the form of Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism, or any of a number of belief systems.

    My point, and I do have one, is that the values of people involved in Scouting are as diverse as any other cross-section of society. The troop in the article probably has a parent who is employed by the MPAA and thought it would be a good opportunity for that particular group. But they don't represent all Boy Scouts. In fact, I know an Eagle Scout who openly admits he smoked pot all through high school and now he is an attorney working to decriminalize marijuana. How conservative is that?

     

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  48.  
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    Mom of two Eagles, Oct 22nd, 2006 @ 4:27am

    So many know-it-alls

    It amazes me that so many people who really know nothing about the BSA think they know everything. The troops arte mostly run by parent vollunteers, not some industrial conglomerate or religious group. They must have a space in which to meet, therefore they are sponsered by various groups in the local community such as churches and schools. If a church is involved it is merely to provide a meeting place, not to recruit members for their congregation. There is a spiritual requirement in the Scouts but it does not dictate what anyone should believe, rather that they demonstrate an understanding that the quest for spiritual knowledge is an important part of life. That quest may take the form of Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism, or any of a number of belief systems.

    My point, and I do have one, is that the values of people involved in Scouting are as diverse as any other cross-section of society. The troop in the article probably has aparent who is employed by the MPAA and thought it would be a good opportunity for that particular group to explore. But they don't represent all Boy Scouts. In fact, I know an Eagle Scout who openly admits he smoked pot all through high school and now he is an attorney working to decriminalize marijuana. How conservative is that?

     

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  49.  
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    J Graham, Oct 22nd, 2006 @ 5:50am

    Boy Scout MPAA Badge.

    Hmmmm. Boy "Scout". Think that means hunting, fishing, survival, integrity, honor, brotherhood.....and stuff like that. What does MPAA have to do with that? Think I am missing something here.

     

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  50.  
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    David Stotz, Oct 22nd, 2006 @ 12:22pm

    Copyright Activity Patch

    As a former Boy Scout who's current opinion of the organization, for various reasons, is currently much lower than it once was, I have to agree that this activity patch seems a bit smarmy. However, I have to point out that it is not, in fact, a merit badge. Merit badges are more formal affairs requiring fulfillment of certain requirements, including the performance of certain tasks and demonstration of knowledge. They are earned for advancement in acheivement rankings. Activity patches are not related to advancement, but merely commemorate participation in an activity, for instance, hiking on a certain trail, attending a certain jamboree, or now, it seems, learning about the evils of downloading ilicit copies of South Park.

     

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  51.  
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    Jason, Oct 22nd, 2006 @ 4:53pm

    What's so hard to understand?

    Ok, people, what is so goddamn hard to understand about this? downloading movies hurts not only the "evil rich" movie makers, but EVERYBODY. If nobody purchased the movies, there would be nobody to pay the thousands of people it takes to make a movie. The make-up artists, the janitors, the caterers, the engineers who design the scene props, the special effects people, the concrete company that made the building special for the movie, the paving company who made the road specifically for the movie, everyone. Stop being so one-sided, as you accuse the MPAA of doing. It is YOU who are one sided for STEALING other people's work. By downloading movies illegally, you are saying "I do not support your right to feed your family and keep a roof over your head" to every single person involved with the movie. The same goes for the RIAA. One of these days, when you have a good job and are making good money, you will abandon your liberal ideology and see things for how they are. If you disagree with anything I have just said, you do not deserve to live in a free society. GET THE HELL OUT OF MY COUNTRY.

     

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  52.  
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    JackR, Oct 22nd, 2006 @ 9:43pm

    Re: What's so hard to understand?

    > If you disagree with anything I have just said, you do not deserve to live in a free society. GET THE HELL OUT OF MY COUNTRY.

    That's right. Because the hallmark of "free society" is that you are not allowed to disagree with anyone, no matter how moronic their argument is (which, by the way, your argument is). But, in this free society, some random anonymous commenter on a message board is the final arbiter of what is right and is not. Doesn't seem like a very free society.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Dave, Oct 22nd, 2006 @ 9:44pm

    Re: What's so hard to understand?

    While I agree with you that if everyone downloaded movies then no one would go to see them and thus why bother making a movie. I make copies of movies i rent from netflix or blockbuster. I don't really care if its illegal or not. Fact is I shelled out the money to rent it (no way does a DVD have to cost $25.99 CDN to make profit). So since i paid to see, I feel i "own part of it". Regardless of whether you agree or not that's how i feel. It's the same thing for music, the artist doesn't make much money off disk sales anyway, its mostly concerts and the like. So yeah, I go to allofmp3.com or limewire to get my music. I'm not paying $15.00 plus tax only to find out that 2 songs on the CD are good and the rest is crap. Besides in Canada we pay a surtax on blank CD's and DVDs that goes back to the industry and thus we're allowed to download music. Its all about value for your money. I want to know that my dollar is getting me everything its supposed to. And that just doesn't happen when I'm paying for a CD or DVD from a retail store. Perhaps MPAA and RIAA need to change their business model. Sure I care whether or not the janitor on the movie set gets fired. But in the auto industry hundreds of thousands of people are going to lose their jobs, but no one gets on a pedistool and bad mouths Japanese automakers for making a better product. Someone has found a better way to distribute movies and music, the RIAA could sell you the digital copy of a movie with no copywrite restrictions so you could make your copies but they won't they're paranoid someone is going to go and make money off them. But if i could buy the digital version of a movie for lets $9.00 i'd buy it from them rather than someone on the street. Too bad they don't realize that

     

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  54.  
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    j, Oct 22nd, 2006 @ 11:14pm

    QUITE ATTACKING THE BOY SCOUTS

    I can tell YOU were never one!

     

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  55.  
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    Chris, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 9:00am

    Submission Note

    As the one who offered the link to this story to Techdirt, in my submission I referred to it as a "badge", though the original news story correctly referred to a "patch". It isn't a conspiracy or anything. Not having chosen to participate in the religo-military youth indoctrination movement, I didn't draw a distinction between a "badge" and a "patch". How unreasonable.

    I would mostly like to note that no one announcing this marriage-of-publicity bothered to point out the distnction either-- the BSA/MPAA organizations both avoided mentioning the fact that it doesn't mean anything. It's their omissions you should be criticizing, not the fact that non-members aren't familiar with the sublties of Boy Scout award nomenclature.

     

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  56.  
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    Mr. Eagle Scout and Asst. Scoutmaster, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 9:33am

    Just my thoughts

    a few facts about myself. I earned my Eagle Scout rank when i was 15. (Yes it's possible. It was a few months before i turned 16.) earned 4 palms (yes that's possible, every 5 and 6 mos. in the troop) I am a brotherhood member of the OA, worked 2 summers at our district's summer camp, and now I'm an Asst. Scoutmaster. i am also a democrat.

    First, the boyscouts is a conservative/religious orginization. They banned gays and athiests. and it's their right. the orginization is private, so they may discriminate at will. (it bothers me, but hey what can i do?) and, yes, while all troops are sponsored by local organizations, mostly they are sporting clubs, churches, and schools (at least in my area) and yes, they do recruit from within their orginization. however, they do encourage others to join as well. (most often, it doesn't happen)

    if you look at the BSA, it is very clear about the pro religious/pro conservative attitues of the orginization.

    "On my honor, I will do my best to GOD and my country...I promise to keep myself physically fit, mentally awake, and MORALLY STRAIGHT" from the oath, and from the laws...A scout is...Reverant. so there, as the basis of the orginization, and the "rules" that one must abide by to stay in the orginization, it has the "right wing" ideas.

    now, what would a liberal like me be doing in it? i like the orginization. i like camping. i enjoy the different events we can do. i don't believe in all of the "stuff" but i will teach what the BSA has taught me, and it's ideals.

    With all that being said, i'd be willing to teach that "merit badge" hell, i'd make it manditory for my boys. Why? so i can teach them the "REAL" values of file sharing and copyright and fair use.

    but hey that's me trying to edge my "evil liberal" ways into society.

    (oh, and to the poster about wanting to kill babies, and not animals, remember, consevatives want to kill everyone except babies.... just food for thought)

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Chris, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 9:42am

    Re: Submission Note

    Also, regardless of the mysterious inner-workings of the BSA cult aside, this shared publicity stunt also pointed out that 52,000 members would be eligible for the "patch" or "badge" or "certificate" or "award" or whatever you want to call it.

    The point isn't whether it's national or required to advance to Level 2 of Boy Scouts; it's that solely for publicity and/or financial gain, a local BSA chapter (or "state" or "division" or "den" or "hive" or "collective" or "commune" or whatever is your specific term for this) has approved a program whereby 52,000 kids will be versed in a one-sided, selective argument.

    All you BSA-defenders should really be criticizing the local BSA leaders who are allowing your accomplishments to be diluted by new farcical and fanciful activities that add nothing to your organization, not attacking people who pointing out that fact.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Mr. Eagle Scout and Asst. Scoutmaster, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Submission Note

    make up of the bsa

    Scout (and leaders)->patrol->troop->distric->council-> (here's where it gets fuzzy)->region->national. (check wikipedia for more detailed answer)

    but as it stands, each local troop/distric/council is allowed to hold events it believes fosters the education and growth of individuals of siad group. so yes, the council/district is right to have the "badge/patch" i know my distrit has done so. usually it's for district events such as weekend campings, religious retreats, or other activites. (all night bowl, bike rides, canoe trips...)

    and as i mentioned, yeah, the BSA can do some "questionable" things, but it's not my place to completely say they are wrong. however, i believe it is my duty to teach all spects of situations arising from BSA practices. (i.e. why homosexuallity, atheism is wrong) so while i'm upset, they are able to do as they please. and if no one will join to "level" the table, BSA is gonna have free reign.

    i'm not talking about a hostel take over, just a way of reaffirming beliefs while still letting the kids come up with questions and think for themselves.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Chris, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Submission Note

    Yeah, I did overdo it a bit on the whole criticism of conformity thing. I was frustrated by the sheer number of BSAers who completely missed the point. You're the one who didn't. Cheers to you.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Scouter BsaT340-1980, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Muzz

    If you are an example of a free thinker then thank God for ridgid thinking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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