A Look At The RIAA's Copyright Propaganda For Schools

from the why-does-anyone-use-this-stuff? dept

It's back to school time, and our friends over at the RIAA have a blog post up excitedly talking up its special "curriculum" for teachers. But, of course, that "curriculum" is laughably biased and at times outright wrong. And it makes me wonder: why would any educational institution accept a one-sided curriculum written by the industry that's clearly designed to promote that industry's own business? Do schools use science curricula provided by Exxon or Monsanto? As for the actual content included in the curriculum (which, by the way, the RIAA links to incorrectly twice), it's almost a joke. Check out the RIAA propaganda. Fair use doesn't exist -- at all. Reading through the main document, I find not a single mention of it. But what does exist is all sorts of bogeymen about how evil file sharing is, how it exposes your hard drive to viruses and reveals your tax return info.

Oh, but the best part, is that the RIAA is pushing for a new totally made up term called "songlifting" which is the central theme of every single lesson. Sounds like "shoplifting," right? That's the idea -- though the RIAA cleverly tries to pretend that it didn't make up the word. In fact, it presents it as if it's a common term. Of course, the curriculum doesn't happen to mention the Supreme Court's Dowling decision, where the court specifically talked about how very different infringement is from "stealing." Of course, the RIAA also mentions the Grokster ruling -- but is misleading there as well, claiming that the law is clear that parents could be found liable for their kids sharing unauthorized files.

The actual exercises are ridiculous propaganda. The first one is supposed to be about "math" skills for the lower grades and "spreadsheet" skills for higher level students. Guess what the "math" is?
This part of the activity should help students recognize how songlifting, though it might seem harmless at first, can quickly become a largescale problem. Have students complete the calculations on the worksheet using spreadsheet software or a calculator. If time permits, repeat the first calculation by having students choose a realistic number of songs they would take if they could get them all for free. Adding desire to the equation in this way can further dramatize why songlifting can have an enormous economic impact.

Answers
Total number of songs lifted = 7,800,000;
Total cost of songs lifted = $7,722,000.
$926,640,000 (i.e., nearly a billion dollars).
Hmm. If we're simply making stuff up for propaganda purposes, how about "total number of new listeners a musician gets thanks to such sharing?" And then "total amount those musicians make when those new fans go to concerts or purchase merchandise thanks to hearing the songs for free." Might change the math a bit, but what do I know? I'm not an industry lobbyist, so my "industry" math isn't up to par.

Then there's propaganda about job losses:
Ask students to name some people who might work in this part of the music business (e.g., machine operator, printer, packager, truck driver, store manager, cashier, online order handler, etc.). Talk about how these people might be affected by songlifting, then have students work individually or in small groups to list other music makers unnamed in the story.
Ok. Why don't we talk about the jobs on the other side of the equation? How about all of the people employed by technology companies that the RIAA has helped put out of business through lawsuits? Or students that the RIAA has bankrupted via lawsuits? Have students put together a list of just how many lives and jobs the RIAA has destroyed. Point them to the story of MP3.com. And Napster. And Launchcast. And Grokster. Tell them how the RIAA tried to have the iPod (or, more accurately, its predecessor) banned, and have them think about how different life would be without it. Tell them how the RIAA is fighting hard to tax radio stations, putting so many radio people out of business. Tell them the story of the MIT student who the RIAA suggested drop out of school to pay a fine. Talk about how all of these people might be affected by the RIAA's overreaction to innovation and new technologies, and its own inability to embrace new business models. Then have students work individually or in small groups to list other tech companies making lives better that the RIAA has threatened, sued or put out of business.
Highlight the variety of career opportunities available in the music industry by having students research one behind-the-scenes music maker and write a brief description of that job.
Highlight the variety of career opportunities available in the tech industry thanks to new innovations that the RIAA has tried to kill. Then highlight the career opportunities in the music industry itself that have finally opened up now that the major labels are scrambling to learn technology.
Next, draw the copyright symbol (©) on the chalkboard. Ask if students know what this symbol means and where they might have seen it (books, posters, CDs, etc.). Explain that the copyright symbol is used to identify the owner of a piece of intellectual property and serves as a reminder that it is illegal for anyone to copy or distribute that property without the owner's permission.
Next, explain fair use, and how the above statement claiming that it's illegal for anyone to copy or distribute without the owner's permission is not necessarily true at all. Oh wait... that sentence isn't in there.
You might also inform them that our nation's Founders included copyright protection in the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8), believing that it would encourage creativity by giving the creators of intellectual property an exclusive right to profit from their artistic talents.
You might also inform them that those Founders were highly cautious about this issue, and had stated their worries that these monopolies would do more harm than good, and that they should be greatly limited and monitored to avoid such harm. You might also want to point out that the RIAA seems to have forgotten the "limited time" part of this, but I guess you can be forgiven, since they (and their friends in the movie industry) have pretty much convinced Congress to ignore that part.

Then there's this fun list of "brainstorming ideas" with some responses/corrections/clarifications after each one:
  • Songlifters take millions of dollars of music each year.

    Actually, file sharers don't "take" any money. This is a flat out lie.

  • Songlifters hurt all kinds of music makers, not just the stars.

    Those who have embraced file sharing in combination with smart business models have found it works for all kinds of music makers, not just the stars.

  • Songlifters keep new artists from getting their chance at stardom.

    Many up-and-coming artists are finding that giving away their music is a large part of how they build their fanbase and become stars.

  • Songlifters are breaking the law.

    In many cases, those who share unauthorized files may have violated copyright law, though it's a civil issue, not a criminal one.

  • Songlifters can get other people in trouble by sharing illegal music.

    Because the RIAA isn't very good with data, it's been known to sue the wrong people

  • Songlifters can get computer viruses when they illegally download online.

    Doing things online when not careful can result in getting viruses. That has nothing to do with file sharing. Careful users can avoid viruses.

  • Songlifters don't respect other people's intellectual property.

    The RIAA doesn't respect fair use rights, the need for a lively and dynamic public domain or the right of technology companies to innovate.
The whole thing is pretty ridiculous frankly. It doesn't even make a half-hearted attempt at talking about the rights of everyone else or the actual purpose of copyright law. The whole thing is basically about brainwashing kids into accepting that the record labels' old business model must stay in place forever. Luckily, most kids are smarter than that and can see through such propaganda pretty quickly. However, if schools really are interested in educating kids about copyright, why not use a non-industry curriculum, like the one put together by the EFF, called Teaching Copyright.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  •  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:08am

    With regards to the message of RIAA to schools:

    What is your evil, encrypted, impossible to understand secret point THIS time, Michael?

     

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      wvhillbilly (profile), Sep 12th, 2009 @ 12:57pm

      Re: With regards to the message of RIAA to schools:

      And how many potential customers has RIAA run off by suing them? And people who don't even have computers? And 80 year old grandmothers? And even the dead!

      Go figure!

       

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      Larry, Sep 13th, 2009 @ 8:11am

      Re: With regards to the message of RIAA to schools:

      no one expects you to get his point.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 13th, 2009 @ 6:02pm

        Re: Re: With regards to the message of RIAA to schools:

        "no one expects you to get his point."

        My bad, should've thrown a /sarcasm for the retards out there. You clearly missed the last discussion on this topic.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:16am

    "Because the RIAA isn't very good with data, it's been known to sue the wrong people"

    Hah. Classic.

     

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    Lucretious, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:27am

    Lol, think Mike has some strong feelings about this?

     

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:35am

      Re:

      Imagine your kid is going to school and the teachers are forcing this crap down their throats. Now, wouldn't you have some strong feeling about this?

      I had a teacher that told me one thing that I'll keep the rest of my life. Question everything. Not to the X-files level but to the point where you don't automatically accept everything sat in front of you. I hope this idea is still going threw our schools. I know I'll be teaching it to my kids.

       

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        :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:39am

        Re: Re:

        "I had a teacher that told me one thing that I'll keep the rest of my life. Question everything."

        There's a song, the chorus(?) being: "Think for yourself. Question authority."

        Good song...

        I couldn't agree more. Critical thinking and :Logic being (IMHO) the most important thing we should be teaching to young'uns.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 4:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "There's a song, the chorus(?) being: "Think for yourself. Question authority. Good song..."

          Tool; Salival; Track 1: Third Eye (Live)

          Hopefully school administration can see through this blatant brainwashing attempt....

           

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          Aeiluindae, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 9:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yep, agreed. I've had several teachers and family members who have made a point of promoting critical thinking and independent thought. I feel sorry for those who have not had that influence. It does you well in the long run. Way more important than most of the content.

           

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        batch, Sep 12th, 2009 @ 10:45am

        Re: Re:

        Just as some parents don't allow their children to be part of sex-ed classes, I'd refuse to allow my children to participate in any curriculum on copyright. Why are young kids being taught about copyright at all? That's an advanced, niche topic. They have more important fundamentals to learn. How does knowing copyright law make them more capable in all facets of life? Copyright law is not on par with math, science, history, etc. Maybe in high school, as part of an elective class, only after I had reviewed the material well in advance to make sure it wasn't a bunch of brainwashing propaganda.

         

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          Rekrul, Sep 12th, 2009 @ 5:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why are young kids being taught about copyright at all?

          Because copyright is the absolute, most important thing in the world and the planet's entire economy would collapse without it, plunging us all into a post-apocalyptic, living hell.

          Isn't that obvious?

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:29am

    "Do schools use science curricula provided by Exxon or Monsanto?"

    To be fair, some schools have been known to use "science" such as intelligent design when actual science doesn't support anything behind that.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:35am

      Re:

      And that makes it OK? STUPID SHILL!

       

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        Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 14th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

        Re: Re:

        Um. I'm not sure you understand the word "shill". Or "stupid".

        His comment didn't seem to warrant such a response. The worst epithet he deserves might be "apologist", but I wouldn't agree to even go that far.

        He just pointed out a truth. He didn't say whether it was good or bad.

         

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      kirillian (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:03pm

      Re:

      Whether or not you believe the scientific community behind intelligent design, it doesn't matter. It's a supposedly non-profit scientific community that supports teaching the questioning of the evolutionary theories. That's a completely different kind of organization than the RIAA - who are out to brainwash the next generation for their own profit (er...profit for their members). For this reason (the questioning of commonly held theory), the Intelligent Design community is a good thing (whether you hold to evolution or not)...I think your beef is with fundamentalists who are quite a bit more extreme. Even then, as the next AC has noticed...it shouldn't matter whether we accept the teaching of some other dogma or not. If our kids are being brainwashed even by truth, it should bother you.

       

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      benz (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 2:06pm

      Re: Anonymous Coward

      ""Do schools use science curricula provided by Exxon or Monsanto?"

      To be fair, some schools have been known to use "science" such as intelligent design when actual science doesn't support anything behind that."

      I think he meant something legitimate.

       

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      PRMan, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 5:22pm

      Try Again

      "when actual science doesn't support anything behind that"

      You mean that a creationist didn't actually predict the magnetic fields of all the planets (prior to Voyager missions) using math/science by assuming degradation over 6000 years, while evolutionists with their metallic spin models were wrong almost every time?

      http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=329

      You mean that they didn't scientifically measure the amount of helium in the deep earth with a repeatable scientific method, sending the earth samples (through a third party) to evolution-believing labs and determine that through that dating system, the earth is approximately 6000 years old, and absolutely cannot be over 10000 years old?

      http://www.icr.org/article/114/

      Strangely, when I study both sides (I seem to be the only I know who does), I find that Creationism is VERY careful to be scientific (presumably because they have so many critics) and Evolutionists to be sloppy, evidence-lacking storytellers (presumably because anything they say is accepted by a wide audience no matter how ridiculous it is or how many asteroid collisions they need to support the data).

      So, maybe you were too busy watching Nova where a scientist grinds down Lucy's ape-like hips so that he can reposition them to look more like a human's, because, you know, he's a legitimate scientist, so it's OK. I mean, they SHOULD HAVE been that way and they MOST LIKELY WERE, because I want it to be that way...

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/media#/video/ondemand/lucy

      (Watch Part 4. If that's too scientific for you, jump to 3:00 minutes for the scientific explanation, or if that's too much for you, jump to 6:00 minutes to watch the Nova segment. But I imagine you won't do any research at all...)

       

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        Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 5:52pm

        Re: Creationism Bullshit

        So, has a Creationist been able to explain yet why human and dinosaur bones are never found together?

         

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        Luci, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 10:00pm

        Re: Try Again

        So, then, can you explain the evidence that does indicate the Earth is a few billion years old, then? Can you explain the fossil record that has been carbon dated beyond your 6000 year date?

        I don't see evolutionists being sloppy, but I see a few holes in your arguments.

         

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        Digital Protector (profile), Sep 12th, 2009 @ 11:34am

        Re: Try Again

        Evolution and abiogenesis are not the same thing. Evolution relies on the preexistence of life; please make sure you understand what you're arguing against before you start spewing circular logic on the internet.

         

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        wvhillbilly (profile), Sep 12th, 2009 @ 1:20pm

        Re: Try Again

        --Evolutionists sloppy?

        Yep. Like the Piltdown man (later proven to be a hoax) created from half a jawbone of an ape treated with acid to make it look old.

        Like the Java man, created from bones of different ages found in different places at different times.

        Like the Nebraska Ice man, a whole race of people, clothing, lifestyles and all, created from-get this!-one molar tooth of a wild pig!

        Who in their right mind would call that scientific?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2009 @ 10:12pm

        Re: Try Again and again

        "Strangely, when I study both sides (I seem to be the only I know who does), I find that Creationism is VERY careful to be scientific"

        Try this one on for size

        http://www.apologiaonline.com/conf/ageearth.pdf

        It doesn't use one faulty study to prove something as outlandish as the Earth only being 6,00 years old.

        The more I follow your links and actually
        do the research the less convincing your argument is.

         

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        Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 14th, 2009 @ 1:42pm

        Re: Try Again

        "You mean that a creationist didn't actually predict the magnetic fields of all the planets (prior to Voyager missions) using math/science by assuming degradation over 6000 years, while evolutionists with their metallic spin models were wrong almost every time?

        http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=329"

        Science is "sloppy" because it is WILLING TO BE WRONG. The methods of any century's scientists are laughably antiquated from the perspective of later generations. However, the Scientific Method allows, and expects, to disprove prior theories that don't hold up to better investigation or reproducibility.

        The nature of science is a willingness to be wrong, to be constantly improved, and to change with better technology and human knowledge. That is a humble avocation.

        The nature of creationism is an unwillingness to be wrong, and to accept ancient myths as fact, and to support itself with faith when better technology and knowledge comes along. This is hubris, arrogance, and pride.

        Granted, individual scientists have hubris, arrogance, and pride, too -- as most people do to varying degrees. And most humans are resistant to change in their beliefs. But Science is greater than the individual scientist. And personifying Science, you'll find it has a better, more humble, more flexible personality than you or I.

        Leave it to a creationist to find the best thing about the Scientific Method (a willingness to change when better theories emerge), and to identify that as a weakness.

         

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Truths

    Regardless of how much propaganda is spread, eventually the truth comes out. (Of course, sometimes it takes awhile...)

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Er, one thing

    "Do schools use science curricula provided by Exxon or Monsanto?"

    Those specific corporations? I don't know. But if you don't know about corporate sponsored curriculum, I suggest a google search. Bill Gates was a chief proponent of the corporatization of schools, involving private investments into the education system coupled with corporate oversight on approved curriculum.

    Scary stuff.

     

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      johnjac (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:44am

      Re: Er, one thing

      Here is an example for the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board.
      http://www.oerb.com/ForEducators/tabid/58/Default.aspx

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:47am

      Re: Er, one thing

      Why didn't you just break out the Super Cool Rockefeller Connection and seed vault, Dark Helmet? That's an easier target, and much more up your alley.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:59am

        Re: Re: Er, one thing

        "Why didn't you just break out the Super Cool Rockefeller Connection and seed vault, Dark Helmet? That's an easier target, and much more up your alley."

        If it was about the University of Chicago I would have.

        None of which belies the points that Gates is on record as having those interests, corporate influence on curriculum is a well documented FACT, and your attempts to undermine every last thing I say just because I enjoy some beliefs that you don't share makes you sound prejudicial at best and actively misinforming at worst.

        Idiot.

         

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          Ghost of President Scroob, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: Er, one thing

          You seem to think that U Chicago is a good thing. Good. Keep thinking that. But if your boy Obama can't fix a few things outside of healthcare, a lot of people will shun the Chicago School in its entirety for "Saltwater Economics".

          Secondly, if you can't take a joke, well fuck you too.

           

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            Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Er, one thing

            "You seem to think that U Chicago is a good thing"

            Uh, no. The school in general isn't a BAD institution, but the commentor asked why I hadn't mentioned Rockefellers. I brought up U of Chicago because the Rockefeller family both created and are currently still endowed to UoC.

            "But if your boy Obama..."

            Er? You obviously don't read my comments all that often if you think Obama is my BOY.

            "...can't fix a few things outside of healthcare, a lot of people will shun the Chicago School in its entirety for "Saltwater Economics"."

            I've heard the same thing, and I'm not sure they'd be wrong, but I'm not sure I get your inference. UoC would be considered a "freshwater school". In any case, I see a great deal of keynesian economics in Obama, so if his meddling in the private sector doesn't produce serious results, I think you're going to see a damning of the entire saltwater econ theory.

             

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              The Ghost of President Scroob, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 1:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Er, one thing

              Uh, no. The school in general isn't a BAD institution, but the commentor asked why I hadn't mentioned Rockefellers. I brought up U of Chicago because the Rockefeller family both created and are currently still endowed to UoC.


              This is well known. Your point?

              Er? You obviously don't read my comments all that often if you think Obama is my BOY.


              Perhaps. However, the area in one is destitute, grows, and comes back to can be later seen as desirable. Thusly, a school such as UoC may try to capitalize upon it in one form or another. It doesn't mean that the Chicago School is a wrong school of thought, it just means that some may attempt to capitalize on new-found notoriety.

              I've heard the same thing, and I'm not sure they'd be wrong, but I'm not sure I get your inference. UoC would be considered a "freshwater school". In any case, I see a great deal of keynesian economics in Obama, so if his meddling in the private sector doesn't produce serious results, I think you're going to see a damning of the entire saltwater econ theory.


              Sure, and that is probably due to the hiring of people like Geitner who went to Dartmouth, hence Saltwater Economics which are more Keynesian in perspective.

              But getting back to the article, the problem I see is that Obama doesn't really understand that most cultures are based upon a rich public domain. You would have seen this if you would have taken the time to listen to the suggestion of comment #13.

              #13 speaks the truth. 13 minutes in...
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SaFTm2bcac

               

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            You are how old?, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 2:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Er, one thing

            Yeah because having 82 nobel prize winners over the years will suddenly mean nothing. Clown.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 2:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Er, one thing

              Nobel-laureates mean nothing to this man. This entire thread is something of a joke to Dark Helmet.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 2:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Er, one thing

              Come on, don't make it easy for him.

               

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                Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 5:33pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Er, one thing

                "Come on, don't make it easy for him."

                No kidding. A quick google search of "nobel winning nazi" will get you started.

                God the "head in the sand" people irk me. I'm not saying that all of what I'm talking about is 100% real, but don't just say things and ignore facts like there have been Nobel winners with Nazi pasts, and the Nazis were funded by international bankers like Rothschild, Morgan, and Rockefeller.

                 

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            Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 14th, 2009 @ 1:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Er, one thing

            Wait a minute. Just because Obama is out of Chicago, doesn't mean he is using Chicago school of economics (Freshwater econ).

            He seems to be much more of a Keynesian, or Saltwater.

            You don't need to espouse the economic school of though from your hometown. One is free to choose their favorite policy independent of their provenance. You know that, right?

             

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:20pm

      Re: Er, one thing

      I knew that Microsoft donated thousands of computers to schools to have kids learn on Windows PCs and that education would mostly require a Windows based PC at home since not many people back then were willing to learn two operating systems. Microsoft isn't the only one that did it, Apple did it but it just didn't work for them. Since the intent of Microsoft is to make money I just figured that their message was complete.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:23pm

        Re: Re: Er, one thing

        But they also wanted to emphasize specific classes in science and math that would appear to directly benefit the workforce for the viewpoint of Microsoft.

        I'm not saying that Microsoft is evil or anything, or even that the curriculum they want is necessarily bad, but you do NOT want self-interested corporations determining curriculum, of that I am certain.

         

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: Er, one thing

          Yeah, I didn't know there was anything else. Maybe you could provide a link?

          "I'm not saying that Microsoft is evil or anything"

          I am.

           

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            Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Er, one thing

            I'll find more, particularly of the creepy variety, but this will get us started along with idea that Gates is attempting to influence public education curriculum:

            Quotes from: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/topics/Pages/high-schools.aspx#

            "Our efforts in high school reform date back to 2000. We continue to adapt and refine our strategies to raise the expectations and achievement of all students nationwide."

            "We’re working to ensure that schools and government define and measure graduation and college-readiness rates in similar (or Microsoft's) ways. We also support efforts to develop common state standards so that students in Massachusetts will learn the same key skills as students in Mississippi."

            Hilights from a Business Week article (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_26/b3990001.htm) include

            -Gates donates $1 million if a troubled schoold accepts his "rescue plan"
            -The school was then split into 3 separate schools
            -Odd curriculum was implemented, seemingly geared towards a North American based business (i.e. French was discontinued, while Spanish was retained, despite the fact that a majority of the students already spoke it fluently)
            -quote "Visits to 22 Gates-funded schools around the country show that while the Microsoft couple indisputably merit praise for calling national attention to the dropout crisis and funding the creation of some promising schools, they deserve no better than a C when it comes to improving academic performance". Why are the influencing academic performance AT ALL?

             

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      identicon
      1DandyTroll, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:22pm

      Re: Er, one thing

      '"Do schools use science curricula provided by Exxon or Monsanto?"

      Those specific corporations? I don't know. But if you don't know about corporate sponsored curriculum, I suggest a google search.'

      You're obviously missing the point. "Exxon" companies doesn't force feed teacher a curricula to teach about the horrid evil of sharing your oil. Usually it's about actual science, like new advantages of new technology, everything from how to better find oil, to extract oil from old wells, how to better purify oil, how to better understand what oil really is, and of course that oil is not all that bad for the environment.... but that tends to to get countermanded by the opposite side, as in the opposite side has a say. :-()

      Propaganda is propaganda, science is science.



      And besides, for some reason you can steal oil, and share it, even sell it, and yet only get punished for stealing, and then you only have to pay what the oil was actually worth at the time, plus a smallish fee, not necessarily to cover the states administrative expenses even. And, lol, isn't't a tad bit odd that the same logic applies to someone stealing DVDs from the rental store, copied 'em, sold the originals, and share the copies, I mean talk about infringement.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:42pm

        Re: Re: Er, one thing

        I'd agree with most of what your saying, but separating science/statistics from propaganda isn't the simple excersize you pretend it is. There's an old saying:

        Figures never lie but liars figure.

        Science and math can and are skewed to be misleading, and if your going to have a history book account for the Exxon spill, are you REALLY going to rely on Exxon to provide you with scientific data from the cleanup of the accident?

         

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    Free Capitalist (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:47am

    Well, this tripe is organized about as poorly as some of the textbooks I remember. Honestly, I think it stands a chance at approval in some districts.

    At least now I know with certainty:
    Music Rules!

    Obey your masters. Bow down to the all powerful Copyright young lessee of inferior recordings!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    Particularly interesting is the discussion about sampling, derivative works, copyright law and IP around the 13:00 mark or so.

    Very interesting.

    And related to my Drum N' Bass interests.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SaFTm2bcac

     

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    yourrealname (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:53am

    This Is Great!

    This is excellent news, and I honestly can't think of a better thing the RIAA could do to turn kids against itself than by have their lame teachers make them do math about downloading cool music to teach them it's wrong. This is just like when the drug war made schools start teaching kids about drugs in class, thus exposing an entire generation to the curiosity of drugs, which of course made drug use explode through the suburbs.

     

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      identicon
      Mechwarrior, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:58am

      Re: This Is Great!

      Its hard to tell if you're sarcastic or not. The fact that there are people who have that opinion on sex education sort of makes the intent ambiguous.

       

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        yourrealname (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:42pm

        Re: Re: This Is Great!

        it's not sarcasm, it really is a good way to make the children download more music. just like teaching about the evils of drugs and teaching abstinence in school teaches kids to not follow those things either. whenever schools advocate something on moral grounds in the classroom, it will expand immorally in the student population. this is great news in the case of copyright (not so much in the other 2 examples).

         

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          wvhillbilly (profile), Sep 12th, 2009 @ 7:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: This Is Great!

          If the copyright lobby and the music industry have their way, eventually they'll have everything so locked up you won't be able to listen to a song once without having to buy a license, and you will be arrested for whistling any copyrighted song in public. There will be no such thing as fair use or public domain, and they'll find some way to lock up even what is now in the public domain. And the term of copyright will be forever, because every time somebody's copyright is about to expire the term will be extended another 20, 30, 50, ???? years, to where it never ends.

          Maybe I'm being a bit sarcastic, but that's where I see it going if the present trend continues.

           

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      Glaze, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 2:05pm

      Re: This Is Great!

      Yeah I can't speak for anyone else, but I know I didn't find out about drugs until I had started D.A.R.E. in about 3rd grade, and the cop kept telling us how these mushrooms make you vision blurry and wavy and you feel lighter... or how marijuana made you lazy and lethargic and feel really good... I don't know about anyone else but I blame that cop for my "gateway" into the sub-culture. Kinda funny how things can totally backfire in the faces of our law enforcement and educational system...

      Oh wait, maybe he was trying to do that so he could meet his quota 5 years later...

       

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    Gary Barnett, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    RIAA - All signs of an industry in its death throes

    I wrote the above blog entry a while ago, but it's particularly germane to any "lesson" on recording industry economics.

     

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    AJ, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:09pm

    Propaganda of any sort in school...

    I’m not sure I am comfortable with any "industry" teaching my kids. Anytime you have someone (or organization) with something to gain by the sharing of misinformation, they will typically do so.

    Now, if they wanted to have representatives from both sides conduct a debate where the students get to participate, as in get involved with questions and arguments of their own, I could support that.

    Just my opinion..

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:09pm

    I say let 'em teach it at schools.

    South Park did an episode on file sharing that came out strongly in support of it (or at least, strongly against people with the RIAA's attitude).

    I'm willing to bet that South Park will win over their curriculum.

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:32pm

    Orwell would be Proud

    You missed the obvious pun in "Music Rules".

    The those advocating "strong" copyright, such as the RIAA write: "You might also inform them that our nation's Founders included copyright protection in the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8), believing that it would encourage creativity by giving the creators of intellectual property an exclusive right to profit from their artistic talents.".

    But they neglect to mention is that that the copyright of today is NOT the Copyright Act of 1790; which what the Nation's Founders passed.

    Of course the above quote from the RIAA left out two important concepts: for a limited time and to promote the progress of science and useful arts.

    Regretfully too many people now believe that the purpose of copyright is to provide the content creator with a guaranteed and endless revenue stream.

     

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    roxanneadams (profile), Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    I highly recommend reading at least the MusicRules Teacher's Guide. This is serious and disturbing propaganda. "Write the word songlifting on the chalkboard
    and ask students what they think it
    means. Have them read the definition of
    “songlifters” on the worksheet, then expand on
    this definition by having students share their
    own ideas, opinions, and experiences. Explain
    that in this activity they will be using spreadsheet
    software to investigate songlifting and find out how big a problem it really is."


    This is why I will never send my children to a public school, and if the private school that I'm paying good money for even dares to try and sneak this RIAA-produced garbage into the curriculum, I'll take my children out of the school.

    I do believe that downloading music without paying for it is stealing, but that's a very specific set of circumstances. How is borrowing a CD from a friend, ripping it to my IPOD and then giving back the CD a crime? The CD was paid for. The only legitimate argument I think the RIAA has is when that same music is uploaded to the internet and shared with the world. That creates an ethical situation in which the musicians are being cheated out of royalties.

    However, this may be only a matter of splitting hairs. Some legal purists might insist that borrowing my neighbor's Miley Cyrus CD and ripping it to my kids' IPOD is a violation of copyright laws as much as if we'd downloaded that same music from Limewire. What about the music CDs that I check out from the library and rip to my IPOD before returning them to the library? My moral code says those CDs were paid for, and I do not consider this to be stealing. I'm sure that the RIAA would disagree, and I do not want them brainwashing my children into believing that all borrowing of digital content is stealing.

    Someone pointed out that our neighborhood habit of passing around Blockbuster DVD rentals is technically a violation of copyright laws. One family rents the DVD on Friday and before the DVD is returned, at least five different households have borrowed and watched that DVD.

     

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      Aeiluindae, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 9:59pm

      Re:

      Hey, public schools aren't all bad. A private school may have more bells and whistles, but is generally no "better" overall than a good public school. That being said, public school quality can vary quite a bit, especially in the US, because it is funded by the taxpayers of the municipality, thus, schools in poorer neighbourhoods don't have the money they need for adequate schooling. And public schools might be better if wealthy parents contributed the money that would go to a private education to the school district. Then everyone's kids would benefit. Sorry for the rant, but...

       

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    rich, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    Hurting music makers???

    Amanda Palmer has been cited a few times on this blog as an example of an artist who embraces new business models. I got an email yesterday promoting her new DVD. She asked people to buy it from her website because:
    as i stated in my blog, DO NOT BUY THIS DVD from regular retailers, in stores or from amazon. i will not see any of the money, ever, it will all go into the black hole of roadrunner records. please order it from the website or buy it at a show, where i will at least see a piddling percentage of the profit, since i will have bought it wholesale from the label. (yes, same goes with any CDs).
    Seems to me that the labels and distributors are the real "songlifters".

     

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    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 1:06pm

    Songlifting

    Oh, but the best part, is that the RIAA is pushing for a new totally made up term called "songlifting" which is the central theme of every single lesson. Sounds like "shoplifting," right? That's the idea -- though the RIAA cleverly tries to pretend that it didn't make up the word. In fact, it presents it as if it's a common term

    First time I heard the term "Songlifting" ?...

    Today.

    CBMHB

     

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    identicon
    wallow-T, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 1:48pm

    "Remember, kids! You're better off if you LISTEN TO LESS MUSIC!!"

    (Just trying to get one of my pet phrases out there again.)

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 2:23pm

    "Songlifting"...what a terrible word. It makes it sound as if downloading music is, well, just plain wrong.

    "Sharing"...now this sounds much better. After all, who likes being reminded they are breaking the law.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 2:58pm

      Re:

      THEM STEALERS ARE DESTROYING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE!!!

       

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      PaulT (profile), Sep 12th, 2009 @ 7:25am

      Re:

      I share songs every day, and I don't break any copyright law (CC FTW). I'd appreciate it if you don't call me a criminal while participating in the free and legal transmission of culture that significantly pre-dates the for-profit music recording industry.

      Oh, what's that? You've already been indoctrinated by the RIAA to believe that fair use doesn't exist and that people can't possibly create or enjoy culture unless money changes hands? Your loss, I suppose, but keep your narrow-minded views out of my schools.

       

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    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 4:37pm

    “Truthlifting”, “Mathlifting”

    Just a couple of terms for what the RIAA are doing.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2009 @ 7:30am

    Resistance is futile...

    Kids are already not learning enough. Wasting their time with this crap takes away even more.

     

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    icon
    Digital Protector (profile), Sep 12th, 2009 @ 11:30am

    From the parent brochure at the link:

    Let a parent respond to intimidating e-mail.
    Watch out for bogus warnings that you
    must immediately confirm your
    password or pay a huge bill, as well as
    personal threats and harassment.

    Does this include MAFIAA extortion letters?

     

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    identicon
    More Serious, Sep 12th, 2009 @ 5:27pm

    For a solid look at the industry's efforts in this regard, see Tarleton Gillespie's piece, "Characterizing Copyright in the Classroom."

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2009 @ 10:33pm

    How much does it cost to update curriculum?

    Since when has outside lobby groups been able to influence curriculum decision? It's corporatism at it's worst. Plus, it's a way to say "Hey look at what a good industry this is and what scumbag parents you have."

    It seems calculated by many of these labels and recording companies to be an act of positioning, and the RIAA seems to desire to use children throughout this to feel better about themselves and take a stand against re-inventing their business, and I think that's disgusting.

    And you schools, I'm telling you, you're a public school, not a private school. Most schools can't even afford updated text books but once every 4 years, and you're asking the schools to invest money and manhours to indoctrinate kids into your silly profiteering?

    Well, maybe the RIAA should start by finding a private school where everything is exactly the way they want it. At this theoretical private school, everyone will agree with everything they say, and the school's decisions are just right, and the teachers are just so, and the lesson plans are just perfect, and everything is just beautiful.

    The RIAA should go there and see how much they will charge per hour for updates to curriculum courses.

    But, of course, they'll probably come up with bogus stats to show how good the program is, and how it's saving the world and paying artists a handsome 2¢ extra in royalties.

    Let's face the facts: the RIAA desires to teach about all those things like taxes and three strikes in France, in Germany, and Canada. The RIAA only knows how to equate non-reinvention to a legal issue, and rattling the sabers at schools is real dumb because they keep forgetting that this is America.

    Schools that listen to this dying industry and be pushed into changing curriculum for a buck really make me angry.

    The RIAA is a business. It represents publicly traded companies. While we're at it, let's bring some more lobby groups in. Let's have Home Economics sponsored by The Gap and Pepsi. My point is simple: the RIAA doesn't realize that their customers are more savvy and desire more, and that requires re-invention.

    Having said all of this, this industry knows it's in trouble, they've known this for at least a decade, and it's discouraging to think they're still opting to brainwash kids as the best method.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2009 @ 9:09am

      Re: How much does it cost to update curriculum?

      That's one of the best responses so far!

      Having said all of this, this industry knows it's in trouble, they've known this for at least a decade, and it's discouraging to think they're still opting to brainwash kids as the best method.

      And why do they do this? So some idiot can collect $4,000 every time "Happy Birthday" is sung.

      What a deal.

       

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    identicon
    Yuhong Bao, Sep 13th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    DVD "shoplifting" videos

    Not to mention this about DVD "shoplifting" videos:
    http://www.virtualdub.org/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=204

     

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    identicon
    known coward, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    I agree with the basic point that

    expecting the RIAA to provide a fair and balanced copyright circular is a lot like asking the nazi party to provide an accurate and informative synopsis of jewish studies. (note I am not comparing the RIAA with the nazi party; I am sure many of the members of the RIAA do not espouse the killing of jews and may even employ one or two and even let them marry into the family).

    But all that said i seem to remember some of my elementary school science curriculum being provided by Con Edison or the long island lighting company.

    And aside from the propensity of the curriculum to say how wonderful nuclear power is (without the down sides), it was an accurate portrayal of basic and practical electrical theory.

     

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    identicon
    jupiter, Sep 15th, 2009 @ 2:53pm

    don't let your kids download

    I'd rather not have my daughter downloading music. I'd much rather do it for her. That way I know what she's getting.

     

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    identicon
    Jake, Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    The 'songlifting' maths question is dubious to say the least. It assumes that people who download songs would have bought them otherwise. Whereas it's more likely that someone who could not download a song would just 'do without'.

     

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    identicon
    Con, Apr 19th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    Ahhhh, The SS, we defeted them in world war 2. Now they're back.

    Man, these people are ruining music. What next, turn the entire country fascists or corpratism.

     

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