The Propaganda The Copyright Industry Teaches Our Children

from the omission,-overstatement,-conflation dept

Last week, I spent some time highlighting some of the more ridiculous claims found in the RIAA's "classroom materials" which it hopes teachers will use to brainwash students. In the comments, someone pointed out that Tarleton Gillespie wrote up a paper last year examining such "educational materials" from the RIAA, MPAA, BSA, ASCAP and others, and found them to be quite lacking. Rather than actually teaching the ins and outs of copyright, most were focused on normative statements of a world those industries want to exist, as well as seriously questionable descriptions of what copyright is supposed to do and how those industries work. None of the materials seem to recognize that technology has also changed the production, promotion and distribution of new works, and none seem to recognize that content creation can come from those outside of the big corporate entities who paid for these materials in the first place. Again, it's worth asking: why does any educational institution or education professional use such obviously biased (and at times misleading) educational materials?


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 10:39am

    ARE there any educational institutes which actually DO use these materials?

     

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  2.  
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    william, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 10:50am

    Re:

    I am kind of wondering about this too.

    At least I am hoping our teachers, who is definitely in the position of power, are not that uninformed and stupid.

     

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    PRMan, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 11:03am

    Ummm...

    "At least I am hoping our teachers, who is definitely in the position of power, are not that uninformed and stupid."

    You haven't been around that many teachers, have you?

     

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  4.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 14th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Re: Ummm...

    "You haven't been around that many teachers, have you?"

    I thought the exact same thing. Unfortunately, I can picture many public school teachers being handed a educational package with a note that says: "Teach this" and them following it word by word.

    After all, at $40k a year and working 9-12 hours a day when factoring in paperwork and grading work, what teach has the time, money, or inclination to research what they're teaching?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 11:20am

    Re: Ummm...

    Ahhh teachers. Most of the suck. For every one good teacher you can bet there are at least 10 bad ones. I'm surprized when going to college to find that most of the good college teachers work in community colleges whereas the worst teachers I have ever met in college come from highly accredited colleges. Haven't seen what ivy league schools have though.

     

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    Stuart, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Ummm...

    Hmm. $40k a year. You mean $40K for 9 months. With 1 minimum day per week and every vacation day on the planet. Add to that as soon as you put your time in you cant be fired for sucking at your job. Plus really good benefits. Not a bad job for very little schooling and low expectations.

     

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    spencerMatthewP, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 11:26am

    I'm around too many teachers

    And yes, they are uniformed and stupid. Between their union, the state and federal government, and their curriculum teachers do exactly what they expect their students to do. Swallow and regurgitate the information with which they are presented.

    I don't say this lightly. My mother-in-law, cousin, and a couple other people I know are teachers. So long as the curriculum does not disagree with Piaget, they don't even take the time to look at what they are actually saying. If the Union approves, it must be good. If the state requires it, it must be good.

    I always find it funny how teachers say they deserve the same amount of pay as engineers because they have the same level of degree. But every one of them says they never took calculus because it was too hard. Physics, no way. Teachers bear no liability for the things they screw up (Thanks to the unions).

    This being said, is it any wonder we are having difficulties finding people who can critically think and use logic to solve problems? Teachers just don't care, they know that no matter what happens, they will get their next paycheck. So, why not do the least amount of work possible?

     

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    hegemon13, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 11:27am

    Compare to the Obama speech...

    If people can get so up-in-arms over a toothless, apolitical, non-controversial speech as Obama gave last week, where is the outrage over allowing corporate shills to brainwash and indoctrinate our children? I am MUCH more concerned about what these jerks will try to teach my kids than the president telling them to work hard and stay in school. (I am not a fan of Obama. At all. But, I think that speech was entirely the wrong thing for conservatives to get worked up over. It was controversy for controversy's sake.)

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 14th, 2009 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Ummm...

    "Unfortunately, I can picture many public school teachers being handed a educational package with a note that says: "Teach this" and them following it word by word."

    Yeah, the disconnect between teachers I've actually met (in the aggregate) and the secular-saint version we get in the media is pretty frakin' huge.

    It's telling that even their 'doctorate' is dumbed-down.

     

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  10.  
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    Mike C. (profile), Sep 14th, 2009 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Ummm...

    9 months of getting to school well before the children and staying at school for hours after they've left, dealing with whiny parents who believe their "precious child" can do no wrong and is the smartest one in the class, taking work home with them most nights and weekends, dealing with No Child Left Behind requirements, illegal immigrant children who can barely speak English (about 1000-3000 of them in my city of 85K) but are still held to the NCLB standards, budget cuts left and right.

    My older son's middle school got a $0.00 increase this year. Because of union contracts mandating raises, that meant they had to let some teachers go to free up salary for the teachers that remained. Classes got cut and the students suffer.

    My other son's elementary school teachers get $200.00 for the year for classroom supplies including pencils, crayons, paper, wipes, paper towels, tissues, etc. They are also not allowed to ask the parents to pitch in.

    In the end, I think they deserve more credit than your jealousy wants to give them. They may get more vacation than you and have better benefits, but they pay for those in reduced salary, long hours and constant pressure.

     

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    hegemon13, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ummm...

    "Not a bad job for very little schooling and low expectations."

    The low expectations may be true due to the teachers' union, but the "very little schooling" is completely uninformed. In most states, a teaching degree is at LEAST a 5-year degree with 15-credit-hour semesters, on par with an engineering degree. Not to mention that a teacher has to PAY TO WORK for 1-2 years prior to receiving a teaching certificate. That's full-time hours student teaching, for which they pay their college and receive nothing. Yes, others have internships which are occasionally unpaid, but at least they aren't paying the school for the privilege of working.

    All that doesn't even mention that, around here, starting salary is about $28-30K, and the benefits are average. Is that an excuse for sucking at your job? No. However, it sure doesn't do much to attract talent.

     

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    william (profile), Sep 14th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ummm...

    Teaching is not really an easy job. If you have any kind of intention to do a good job, you'll need passion to stay alive.

    I have three aunts, one cousin and two friends who are teachers. All of my aunts teach public high school so they don't have to deal with younger age kids, but they have to deal with teen rebellion, gangs, drugs and what not. One of my friend teaches at a Christian private elementary school, so she kind of have it better. Another friend teaches public elementary school and she has it quite tough. My cousin been jumping around a bit so I don't know where she's working right now. And also the situation changes year to year depending on the group of students you get... some good years with easier kids and some bad years...

    To be honest, consider they work they do, they really aren't getting paid enough. Although contracts usually states work hours, but really as a teacher you put in so much more. A lot of people think teachers just hang loose during summer vacation. It's partially true because they don't have fixed work hours/days but they still have to spend time working on next year's stuff (unless you are lazy and recycle stuff for many years), which is kind of like 20 hours/week (average) still.

    also you have to factor in how much pressure they are under to be the "keeper" of your kids (which parents should be, not teachers) and they get the first blame when things happen. Not to mention kids these days have lessor respect for teachers...

    anyways, from what I know I wouldn't want to try to be a teacher that's for sure.

     

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    Philip (profile), Sep 14th, 2009 @ 12:20pm

    Obvious?

    "Again, it's worth asking: why does any educational institution or education professional use such obviously biased (and at times misleading) educational materials?"

    I think the question here isn't how could they fall for something such obvious, but really - do they understand how biased this really is?

    If you ask your average person, even a smart guy, they will be spewing the same numbers, same data. Why? Well, if you want to know about the details of a computer, ask a computer guy. So they use that same logic when asking about the details of piracy and its affects.

     

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  14.  
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    paedagogus, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    Leave the teachers out of this ....

    Most teachers have to take a summer job just to get by so no 3 months off, the pay taxes just like the rest of us and they work in one of the most bureaucratic professions in existence. Teachers are our most underpaid, under rated most disrespected professionals in the world. Teachers are entitled to better pay, deserve better working conditions and be given much more respect. If a industry wants to prepare classroom materials that makes teaching easier and the classroom more tolerable for the teacher then that is wonderful. It should be up to the industry preparing the materials and the school board to be sure the materials are appropriate for the target students. Expecting each teacher to vet the materials in the classroom is too much.

     

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  15.  
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    Another AC, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ummm...

    40k, LOL thats pretty funny maybe after 10-12 years in the same school.

    Around here they start at about 24k, not even worth doing it if you have kids in day care.

    Nine months? Around here the school year starts in late august and has been going until the last days of June, maybe 7 weeks off for summer.

    They buy most of their own stuff to do their job, ill bet when you do that you submit a receipt and get reimbursed.

    Little education? tell that to their student loans.

    Yeah whiney parents who want everything but vote NO on everything that has to do with the schools.

    Nearly as much work at home as during the day. The summers off are more than made up for. Benefits aren't bad but are far from great and still costly.

    They teach because they love it and they love watching children learn. Just like anything else there are good ones and bad ones and great ones.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 12:53pm

    Much needed PR for The Copyright Industry

    No offense, man, but these are the types of questions the RIAA, BSA, MPAA, ASCAP, BMI and others need to answer, and at times these questions seem redundant because we keep repeating them.

    Please, please, please, please think for yourself. Don't listen to these ideologues who have these campaign-style slogans that define everybody in 5 words so they can fit on a campaign button.

    This copyright thing and the idea of "allocating property rights to is an idea" is something that if you repeat it enough times, people may believe it. Sloganeering is a great way of making people believe you because if you say it enough times, people will believe it's true even though as it's been indicated time and time again that it isn't.

    So believe in whatever you wanna believe. But if you decide to believe it, how do you know it's true?

    Just because a bowling buddy says "Your infringing on someone else's idea and that's theft", doesn't mean that the person is right.

    I'll tell you this, what I've always liked about Government in America versus other countries is that America leads the world in what I call a "Practical Application of Governance". That means if we need something that can be described as socialism, than that's what we need. If we don't need it anymore, we get rid of it. If we need less of it, we pull it back. If we need more, we invest more. To me, that's exactly how you run a country. This same thing applies to Copyright and patents or "Property Rights for Ideas".

    There are a lot of problems that need to be solved right now. And because there are lots of ideas, and there are only a few implementations, we need to discourage this bullshit "Property Rights for Ideas" so more people can build stuff without worry.

    If ideas aren't in the end generating money, (No, I don't mean by legal settlements.) we should scale back Copyright. When we don't need any more ideas, we can put copyright back. It's exactly what we need right now.

    But you need good leadership that can explain these things properly, and be heard thru the static and the noise, and the shill screeching partisan Hollywood and content ideologues who will tell you they're right without letting you know that they're married to the stuff like a Siamese twin.

    If you only listen to that side, you'll drown in it and never get your nose above the crap to save your life.

    Alternative Viewpoints:
    http://moralpanicsandthecopyrightwars.blogspot.com/
    http://www.Lessig.org
    http://blog s.law.harvard.edu/cyberone/category/blog/
    http://williampatry.blogspot.com

    This is a message that maybe Obama has to get out, or Biden because he seems to have a lot of free time these days, or maybe Chris Dodd, when he extracts herself from the position he's in and figures out how to get the car out of the garage.

    Somebody has to go to these companies and explain to these people "this is a bad message that you're sending" because this makes it into the newspapers and people think you're taking them for a ride."

    Remember John Houston in "Chinatown"? Remember what he said to Jack Nicholsen?
    "That makes me think you're taking my daughter for a ride!"

    See what's happening is that people think that these CEOs and companies are screwing with people. They must think it's funny, and a royal joke. This is such a public issue now and we can discuss if you think you have the right to make obscene profits, pay insane bonuses, and get your curriculum into Schools.

    Is there a thing called Public Relations? Are we familiar with a thing called Public Relations in the Entertainment industry?

    Well, if your famous, or people make you famous, then you have to take the good with the bad. Well, guess who else is famous? These guys who are funding school curriculum that will probably further depress the educational levels of the US against other countries.

    Yeah, and people wonder why our public school system is ranked #23 worldwide. It's because of horse dung like this.

     

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    Sam (profile), Sep 14th, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.

     

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    reboog711 (profile), Sep 14th, 2009 @ 1:03pm

    After all is said and done, I'd much rather have content like this come from a known source with obvious biases than what we've seen in the pharmaceutical industry, where the pharma companies are paying publishers to publish propaganda as unbiased independent research.

     

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  19.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 14th, 2009 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Ummm...

    "They teach because they love it and they love watching children learn. Just like anything else there are good ones and bad ones and great ones."

    You forgot the sucky ones. Which there are in spadefuls.

     

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  20.  
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    Stuart, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ummm...

    Look what I can do

    Look what I can do

    Look what I can do

    STUART !!!

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Ummm...

    Thanks for your well informed opinion

     

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  22.  
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    Pink Floyd, Sep 14th, 2009 @ 5:25pm

    All in all, you're just another brick in the wall

    Hey - Teacher !
    Leave them kids alone

     

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  23.  
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    Overcast (profile), Sep 15th, 2009 @ 6:27am

    Well, it's really no mystery - the RIAA, MPAA and Teacher's Union are more or less basically the same thing - all "unions for the workers" - in concept.

    In reality they are corporations unto themselves that don't produce anything, but leech off of the work of others - which is what makes them so protective over the little pyramid scheme they have running.

     

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  24.  
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    iNtrigued (profile), Sep 15th, 2009 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Compare to the Obama speech...

    Just to clarify, the reason people were initially up in arms wasn't over what the President was saying, but the handouts about what you could do for HIM instead of the COUNTRY in general. However, once there was outrage, it kind of just built from there. I doubt most could accurately describe what exactly it was that they disagreed with that wasn't rectified prior to him performing the speech. By the end, only the ignorant were still against it.

     

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