EFF Launches Copyright Curriculum To Counter RIAA Propaganda Being Handed Out To Schools

from the good-news dept

It's been quite troubling that for years various schools have simply accepted propaganda and totally inaccurate "teaching materials" about copyright and used them to teach students. These programs have been created by both the RIAA and the MPAA, at times. More recently, a lobbying organization backed by both of those organizations, the Copyright Alliance (which has a long history of making up the most fantastic myths about copyright) has been pushing a copyright curriculum on schools. Tragically, unsuspecting schools have been using the pure propaganda put out by the Copyright Alliance as if it were some sort of impartial and accurate educational material on copyright. It's not. Not even close. Last year, one of the world's foremost experts in copyright, William Patry, took the Copyright Alliance's founder to task for having "chutzpah in abundance" in basically making up what copyright and fair use is about, and presenting himself as some sort of expert on the subject.

Unfortunately, schools that are using these materials often don't realize that they're simply accepting corporate propaganda, assuming that a front group like The Copyright Alliance is some sort of impartial player in the space, even though its curriculum is laughably bad, positioning any kind of copying as a high risk activity that should be avoided. Luckily, the EFF has finally launched a much more accurate and reasonable curriculum that was actually created by those who know the subject matter, rather than corporate execs and lobbyists. The EFF's curriculum is available at Teaching Copyright and is under a Creative Commons license. Unlike many of the propaganda copyright curricula, Teaching Copyright focuses on the broader picture, recognizing the fact that copyright is not for protecting creators, but is a deal between creators and the public to encourage creation within certain important limitations. It covers important concepts such as the public domain and fair use that are either ignored or downplayed in most of the curricula put out by the industry. This is a welcome addition to materials for schools to use to educate students on copyright.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 8:10am

    Propaganda

    How bad is it when our schools are battleground for whom can out-propaganda the other?

     

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      Tgeigs (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 11:06am

      Re: Propaganda

      "How bad is it when our schools are battleground for whom can out-propaganda the other?"

      Uh...really? When HAVEN'T they been? If I had gone to school, sat down in a history class, NOT been forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance (how creepy is that shit, btw?), and gotten an impartial history lesson on ANY aspect of America I'd probably have shat myself.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 11:22am

      Re: Propaganda

      lol...You ARE kidding, right? Our schools have been a battleground for propaganda as long as we have had schools.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 8:14am

    Yea, sure...students will put down their phones and stop texting so that they can listen to a long and arcan curriculum written by a bunch of lawyers who haven't a clue that a student's attention span is shorter than that of a gnat.

    EFF seems to be living in a dream world. It makes good points. But making good points and keeping the attention of students are in large part mutually exclusive.

    I give this round to the labels, who in fact makes their points in a much more contemporary manner. Not only that, but those who criticize their material saying it is propoganda and plainly wrong in many significant respects are themselves operating with a lack of understanding of the points being presented in the material.

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 8:34am

      Re:

      Hello coward! I forgive you for being ignorant. Here you are, a little enlightenment:

      Propaganda
      –noun
      1. information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.
      2. the deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.
      3. the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 9:07am

        Re: Re:

        Glad you took the time to read a dictionary. Your time would also be well spent reading the pamphlet published by the National Center for State Courts, which is most certainly not the RIAA, the MPAA, or any other of the trade associations that are routinely held up as being "devils incarnate".

        Once you have done this, then perhaps you may wish to reconsider the tenor and substantive content of your post.

         

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      Mechwarrior, May 28th, 2009 @ 8:51am

      Re:

      Dont underestimate the mental acuity of children. Thats a folly too many old fogeys fall into. Children know, thanks to Youtube, that they have full and actionable fair use abilities. No amount of propaganda from the RIAA or MPAA will change a generational and cultural shift. It didnt work for the Chinese or Soviet Union, it wont work for the entertainment industry.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 9:13am

        Re: Re:

        Children know, thanks to Youtube, that they have full and actionable fair use abilities.

        Wow, are you ever out of touch with reality. I sumbit that the "class" of children you describe are positioned on a Bell Curve somewhere in the vicinity of at the very least 6 sigma from the norm.

         

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          MattP, May 28th, 2009 @ 2:15pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Thanks to the No Child Gets Ahead laws they'll be forced to listen to the same lecture for an entire semester like I had to.

           

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      Hulser (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 9:22am

      Re:

      Not only that, but those who criticize their material saying it is propoganda and plainly wrong in many significant respects are themselves operating with a lack of understanding of the points being presented in the material.

      Care to elaborate on what you believe is "plainly wrong" and why rather than just lobbing ambiguous potshots? Otherwise your statement above is the logical equivalent of "oh huh!"

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 12:12pm

      Re:

      Yea, sure...students will put down their phones and stop texting so that they can listen to a long and arcan curriculum written by a bunch of lawyers who haven't a clue that a student's attention span is shorter than that of a gnat.

      Spoken like a true "and back in my day... hey, kids! get off my lawn!" sort of person.

      Rather than learning about kids from what you read in the news, you might want to try actually getting to know some. Kids are a lot smarter than you give them credit for. But, then again, since you've said in the past that kids today are immoral creatures, it's of little surprise that you don't seem to know much about kids today.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 4:52pm

        Re: Re:

        Apparently you have not been in a middle/high school classroom as of late. Sending text messages is one of several student behaviors that interrupt teachers trying to teach and students trying to learn.

        Then again, what does a "back in my day" individual know? Perhaps the fact this is an issue of concern at the high school where my wife teaches...

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 5:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Apparently you have not been in a middle/high school classroom as of late. Sending text messages is one of several student behaviors that interrupt teachers trying to teach and students trying to learn.

          Funny, actually, I was just in a high school classroom this week. And you know what? I gave a presentation that was fun and interesting and got the kids interested.

          Then again, what does a "back in my day" individual know? Perhaps the fact this is an issue of concern at the high school where my wife teaches...

          Perhaps it's not the kids that are the problem.

           

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      Dave (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 12:48pm

      Re:

      I'm glad there are special spots in hell for special people like you.

       

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  •  
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    Debunked, May 28th, 2009 @ 8:36am

    Misquote needs fixing

    Mike,

    "using the pure propaganda put out by the Copyright Alliance"

    above all in blue and linked

    the above quoted link is to article that clearly says "pro-copyright" and not "pure" as you link above. Also in their article they never say pure, only pro.

    You might consider fixing (probably unintentional) misquote.

     

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 8:49am

      Re: Misquote needs fixing

      Mike wasn't quoting TorrentFreak, he was linking to them while stating his own opinion about it.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 9:37am

      Re: Misquote needs fixing

      Um, I think you are the one with the misunderstanding. There is no misquote. The tripe the Copyright Alliance put out IS nothing but propaganda. Hence Mike calling it "pure propaganda".

      Its one thing to be pro-copyright. Its quite another to think any of the clout in the Copyright Alliance's curriculum is accurate.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 10:14am

        Re: Re: Misquote needs fixing

        it isn't any more or less accurate than much of what is posted here.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 10:39am

        Re: Re: Misquote needs fixing

        I believe you missed the part where the material was put out by an association of lawyers and judges known as the National Center for State Courts, an association that to my knowledge has nothing to do with any "Copyright Propogandist" organizations.

         

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          Hulser (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 10:52am

          Re: Re: Re: Misquote needs fixing

          Are we reading the same article? Because I don't see anything about the National Center for State Courts in the TorrentFreak article linked in the TD post. I see that you mentioned in another thread some pamphlet published by this group, but how is that a relevent defence against the assertion that the Copyright Alliance's material is propoganda?

           

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 9:24am

    I'd like a look at this, and I'm sure the rest of the readers here would.

    anybody have docs?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 6:21pm

    Perhaps it's not the kids that are the problem.

    I am not at all sure what this means, but you damn well better not be talking about my wife.

     

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    identicon
    Herman, May 29th, 2009 @ 12:32am

    Pretense of objectivity

    How surprising that YouTube-owner Google-employee William patry has a different view on fair use of copyrighted content in videos online, when his employers income is based on advertising revenue from just such content.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 2:39am

      Re: Pretense of objectivity

      How surprising that YouTube-owner Google-employee William patry has a different view on fair use of copyrighted content in videos online, when his employers income is based on advertising revenue from just such content.

      Heh. If you knew anything about Patry you'd realize what an incredibly laughable charge that is. Patry has a long and extremely distinguished record as a copyright expert. He literally wrote "the book" on copyright. Charging with him bias is flat out silly.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 8:00am

      Re: Pretense of objectivity

      And this is kind of misguided charge is why he no longer blogs on that site, much to the detriment of all of us.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 12:36pm

    26 and 28,

    My comment was directed solely to Masnick based upon an ambiguous post that could reasonably be viewed as potentially derisive. He had the good sense to drop the matter, something it appears that each of you lack.

    Want to pick on someone and make disparaging remarks? Pick on me, but leave my family out of it. Kapish?

     

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      Tgeigs (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 1:33pm

      Re:

      "Want to pick on someone and make disparaging remarks? Pick on me, but leave my family out of it. Kapish?"

      ....you're whole family is gay, and of ugly stock. Now go away, ninny-headed pigdog, or I shall taunt you a second time.

      Plus, if you're going to try to sound tough/cool/whatever by using Italian words, let's try to spell them correctly. Sound good there, Skeeter?

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 6:21pm

        Re: Re:

        A drawback of the internet is that it allows people to be crass and rude, something they would likely refrain from doing if the recipient of their remarks was standing at arms length from them. It allows them to try and avoid the repercussions of their crass and rude behaviour by hiding behind a "handle".

        A benefit of the internet is that such people can easily be traced with but a few keystrokes. Things like names, home addresses, work addresses, telephone numbers, photos, personal profiles, friends and family are readily at hand and ripe for the picking. The "veil" of anonymity is indeed very thin.

        I never cease to be amazed that in the "linked world" of today people proceed in apparent blissful ignorance that their words can come back to haunt them in ways that only a few short years ago were unimaginable.

        You would be very well advised, "tgeigs", to keep this at the forefront of your mind.

        Michael L. Slonecker

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 6:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          A drawback of the internet is that it allows people to be crass and rude, something they would likely refrain from doing if the recipient of their remarks was standing at arms length from them. It allows them to try and avoid the repercussions of their crass and rude behaviour by hiding behind a "handle".

          This is rich from someone who almost always posts anonymously, and has a long history of insulting not just me, but all sorts of people, branding all children as being immoral brats.

          You would be very well advised, "tgeigs", to keep this at the forefront of your mind.

          Michael, are you threatening commenters on this site?

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 7:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Not once have I ever posted a comment that was intended as a personal insult to you or to any your colleagues. On one occassion I do recall posting a comment that on reflection, after reading your response, I realized was ambiguous, whereupon I apologized to you and then tried to better clarify my original comment.

            As for Mr. "tgeigs", he and others of similar bent should take to heart that "words can come back to haunt you". It is a valuable lesson that is best learned early, and not late, in life as it will serve them in good stead personally and professionally.

             

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            •  
              identicon
              Tgeigs, May 30th, 2009 @ 5:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "As for Mr. "tgeigs", he and others of similar bent should take to heart that "words can come back to haunt you"."

              No, they can't. They're words. A word only has the power that you or I give it. Choosing to take insult at something that Mike said earlier, that maybe it isn't the kids in your wife's school that's the problem, is playing the victim, and I was trying to prove a point, albeit in a combative, juvenile way. I want people to stop giving "bad" words power by reacting to them. For instance, I don't happen to believe the word "gay" is bad, but you reacted negatively when I said you were gay. I think that reveals more about you than me, but again, it was a juvenile attempt to draw a valid point.

              "It is a valuable lesson that is best learned early, and not late, in life as it will serve them in good stead personally and professionally."

              Correct, unless we choose to stop giving words power by choosing to be offended by them. I thought I was being so over the top as to be laughable and humorous. Apparently I was wrong.

               

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