Boy Scout Magazine Says Don't Listen To Legally Burned CDs, As They're Too Similar To Piracy

from the apparently,-someone-failed-their-legal-merit-badge dept

Four years ago, the MPAA worked with the local Los Angeles chapter of the Boy Scouts of America to create a special "activity patch" for Boy Scouts to repeat propaganda about how evil file sharing is. For some reason, that story got renewed attention earlier this year, when a few sources came across the 2006 story without checking the date on it. While there's really nothing new on that story, it does appear that the Boy Scouts are making some absolutely ridiculous suggestions to parents about how to talk to your kids about copyright issues.

That link is to an article in the latest issue of Scouting Magazine, supposedly about the "ethics" of file sharing, and how parents should talk to their children about it. And, yet, it's entirely one-sided, quoting the RIAA's claims about "losses," but oddly leaving out the stacks upon stacks upon stacks upon stacks of research showing that musicians are making more money these days, via alternative business models. You would think that would be a relevant part of the discussion... but it's totally absent. Someone, apparently, failed their "research the facts" merit badge.

But where the article goes totally off the rails is in telling parents that their children are too stupid to understand the nuances of copyright law, and because of that, they should take an extreme position: one so extreme that they shouldn't even listen to legally burned CDs:
So how can Scouters teach ethical behavior related to music downloading? One way: Set a good example. When you haul around Scouts in your car, for example, only play CDs that you've purchased. If you play CDs that you've burned--even if they're legal--your Scouts may not recognize the difference between those and the pirated CDs friends have given them.
The article also tries to blame musicians who embrace alternative business models for making the situation more confusing:
Part of the problem, [Dr. Tony] Aretz says, lies in the Internet's free-for-all nature, where users get all sorts of content free--even information from newspapers that they would have to pay for in the real world. Bands like Radiohead have further complicated the situation by giving their music away or offering it on a "pay what you want" basis.
Note to Aretz and Scouting magazine: the internet is the real world too. And bands like Radiohead haven't "further complicated the situation." They've helped make it clear that there are smart business models that can be embraced while not turning your fans into criminals. It would seem like that's a rather important lesson one should teach Boy Scouts.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 9:27am

    So, according to this scouts guy, if you buy music on Itunes and burn it on a CD to listen to in your car...it sends the "Wrong" message? Seems like Apple might have something to say about that.

     

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    Richard (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 9:28am

    Legal action

    Would a music site like magnatune or Rumvi (that basically rely on the idea that you will burn CDs friom the music you download) be able to sue for defamation on this one, It sure seems to be so far over the top it isn't true.

     

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    cc (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 9:28am

    "*lies* in the Internet's free-for-all nature"

    Their words, not mine.

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 9:30am

    I read that article a few days ago. My son's a cub and I'm a cubmaster. I found it hilarious. My favorite was the part where they blamed Radiohead. Damn pirates, er, musicians trying alternative business models!

     

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    RD, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 9:37am

    Ok, so...

    Ok, so that means that TV and radio are should also be shunned, because they are a "free for all" where the "users get content free", right? USAToday and CNN also provide their news for "Free for all" on the internet so that makes them WRONG too, right? WTF is wrong with people these days? We wouldnt HAVE the media empires we have now if it wasnt for FREE radio and tv, and the internet would be a vastly different place if everything on it was a pay-per-view. Frickin luddites, dont understand a damn thing about the subject they are speaking about.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 9:45am

    "Bands like Radiohead have further complicated the situation by giving their music away or offering it on a "pay what you want" basis."

    Man, it was so much easier when the RIAA had the monopoly and the consumer had zero choice other than giving the money to them. Now they actually have to innovate and adapt.

    Complicated!

     

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  7.  
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    MrWilson, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 9:46am

    "If you play CDs that you've burned--even if they're legal--your Scouts may not recognize the difference between those and the pirated CDs friends have given them."

    So what they're saying is that your little scouts might *gasp* be smart enough to realize that there is no practical difference between CDs that you've burned and CDs that you've purchased. It's like "legitimate" copies of music are just higher priced arbitrarily...

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 9:50am

    You want to really piss the scouts off?

    How about a burned mix-CD filled with Adam Lambert, Elton John, and The Village People.

    That'll do, pig....

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Kids don't listen to CD's. Most don't even know what they actually are.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 9:58am

    The guy is absolutely right - copy your files on a USB device. Stop wasting valuable space in your car.

     

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  11.  
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    Chris ODonnell (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:00am

    What about campfire songs?

    Boy Scouts are fond of singing around the campfire. Are they paying for the performance rights? The kids might get confused and believe it is perfectly acceptable to sing a song without paying for it.

     

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  12.  
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    MrWilson, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:02am

    Re: What about campfire songs?

    Just wait until someone invents mind-casting and then you will have to pay for performance rights to broadcast the song that gets stuck in your head...

     

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  13.  
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    interval, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Friggin' rediculous

    And that's all I have to say about that.

     

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    Eagle Scout, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:17am

    What?

    As Eagle Scout, which it earned in early 1980s.

    I find this very disappointing, people watering down the Scouts again. Misinformation, I wonder how much they got in donations from RIAA and even the MPAA

     

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    Prashanth (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:23am

    Please understand, the following statement is not meant at all to call Boy Scouts neo-Nazis. I remember my English teacher in high school telling us about these two daughters of a neo-Nazi couple who were indoctrinated into that awful crap and even made to perform songs in public extolling the virtues of the movement. Since then, they have realized that what they did then was horrible and they are trying to distance themselves from their past and their family in public. The relation here is that I feel like as the MPAA and RIAA are presenting these "facts" as moral issues as well (thus catering to the Boy Scouts), these Boy Scouts don't really know any better (at least the younger ones) and are just mindlessly mouthing what's being fed to them. I hope that in a few years, their eyes are opened to the reality of online content distribution and how musicians are actually making more money than ever thanks to these alternative business models.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:27am

    Query

    Are there homophobe and atheist hating merit badges, too?

     

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  17.  
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    Bubba Gump (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 10:41am

    Re:

    Not only that, just listening to songs on your iPod sets the wrong example because you didn't buy a physical CD.

    To get around this ethical problem, I attach the actual CD to my iPod with rubber bands whenever I listen to songs from that CD. Yes, it's time consuming and a royal pain in the butt, but it makes me feel good inside.

     

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  18.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re:

    To get around this ethical problem, I attach the actual CD to my iPod with rubber bands whenever I listen to songs from that CD. Yes, it's time consuming and a royal pain in the butt, but it makes me feel good inside.

    That's exactly the kind of initiative it takes to be an Eagle!

    On my honor I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country
    and to obey the RIAA Law;


    FTFT

     

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  19.  
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    DS, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:04am

    Re:

    It's doubly bad if you were listening to Boy George.

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Re:

    ...these Boy Scouts don't really know any better (at least the younger ones) and are just mindlessly mouthing what's being fed to them.

    It's the adults in the organization that are mindlessly mouthing what's being fed to them, not "the younger ones."

     

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  21.  
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    Thomas O'Toole (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:14am

    unfair to the scouts

    Mike, I understand the point you are trying to make here about copyright law and the music business -- and I pretty much agree with you on all of it. But you are being unfair to the scouts.

    Yes, Dr. Aretz has a confused outlook on copyright law. And the connection he makes between plagiarism (which is about intellectual honesty) and piracy (theft) is inapt.

    Yes, Pavarotti is dead wrong about the music business. But he is a great artist, so I forgive his short-sightedness.

    And yes, it is regrettable that the scouts have allied themselves with a business lobby group that is "educating" young people on a very contentious public policy matter.

    Nevertheless, the basic point that the article is trying to make is that adult scout leaders should be careful about the messages they are sending to young kids in their care. I agree with that message. Scouting-age kids don't know about space-shifting, or time-shifting, or fair use, or content licensing, or the difference between a performance right and a distribution right, or any of that stuff. They don't know about the stress that copyright law is under right now, they don't know that the artist and the recording company might have very different views on piracy, they don't know about all the stuff that is discussed on your blog every day. Kids definitely should not be taught one industry's position on copyright law as part of boy scouts.

    All these kids know is that they like music. I think that when kids see an adult scout leader put a burned CD into a CD player they have a vague sense that the leader might be doing something wrong. This vague sense that the leader has done something wrong is the same as what happens if the leader smokes a cigarette, drinks alcohol, curses, says an unkind thing about another person, burps, farts, whatever. These things are all entirely lawful, but kids have been taught that these things are bad. The idea that burning a CD is "bad" comes from outside scouting -- kids already have a sense (perhaps mistaken in many instances) that it is not right. So, when the scout leader plays that burned CD, he or she loses a little bit of credibility, a little bit of trust, from the kids. And this makes it more difficult for the leader/adult to speak with conviction about all of the other values that scouting stands for.

    I've been in scouts for a while. I'm a den leader for my seven-year-old son, the youngest of my six children. We've never talked about file-sharing or piracy or any of that stuff. I doubt we ever will. But we have talked about integrity and honesty, hard work, and respect for public institutions and for each other. A scout leader can't effectively communicate these values if the kids think he or she is cutting corners in his or her personal life. Burning CDs is one of those areas where appearances matter. At least I think so. Kids don't know copyright law, but every kid over the age of five knows the word "hypocrite."

     

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  22.  
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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:17am

    Antiquated much?

    This is about what I'd expect from an outdated organization which has outlived it's usefulness in today's world. The BSOA have a rich history, but since they aren't willing to adapt to the world around them, it's probably time for them to fade away and be replaced by a more culturaly and technologically relavent alternative.

     

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  23.  
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    Jay (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:25am

    Re: You want to really piss the scouts off?

    I can feel the love.

     

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    zaven (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:31am

    Re: What about campfire songs?

    Funny, I'm an Eagle Scout but I don't recall ever singing around the campfire (If we did, I would have quit because I could care less about that BS). I got a lot of value out my scouting experience but I strongly agree with a lot of the idiotic opinions made public by the organization.

    I do find it appalling that the Boy Scouts of America as an organization would even take a stance on this issue. It has nothing to do with scouting or it's principals so they have no business making an opinion on it one way or another. It's very sad.

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:31am

    Re: unfair to the scouts

    "Scouting-age kids don't know about space-shifting, or time-shifting, or fair use, or content licensing, or the difference between a performance right and a distribution right, or any of that stuff."

    You're absolutely right. But the solution is not to pretend that burning your iTunes or Amazon songs onto CD is illegal. Nor is the solution to criticize bands such as Radiohead for coming up with alternative business models.

    The solution is much more difficult, but needs to be done: Teach the truth. It's perfectly acceptable to burn your legally obtained music on CDs. It's perfectly legal for bands to experiment with different business models.

     

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  26.  
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    zaven (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:32am

    Re: What?

    Couldn't agree more (Eagle scout in 2005). Stories like this are just plain sad.

     

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  27.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Illustration by Thomas Fuchs

    But mysteriously leaves out the author. Hmmm who do we think wrote that POS?

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Leaning on the Boy Scouts to be your moral compass is not likely to end well in any event.
    How about this message? "Parents: take the time, do some research, think through the issues that are facing your kids. Tell them what you think. Ask them what they think. Be honest and respectful, and expect the same from them."

    Oh, sorry, too much like work? Ok, get back to the TV / Computer / Work / Bar...

     

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  29.  
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    jc (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: What about campfire songs?

    Actually I was in scouts but never made it to Eagle (my parents moved to much) and I remember my troops only interest was in camping, playing tag, and getting merit badges.

    However, the Boy Scouts of America as an organization takes a stance on everything; religion, sexuality, even politics. I'm not surprised they took a stance, I'm surprised it took so long.

     

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  30.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: You want to really piss the scouts off?

    Rubbing against your sphincter?

     

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  31.  
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    jc (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re: unfair to the scouts

    So, when the scout leader plays that burned CD, he or she loses a little bit of credibility, a little bit of trust, from the kids.

    Complete bullshit. If, and this is a big if, your kids even notice that your CDs are burned it's only because they're confused about why you aren't using an iPod.

     

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  32.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 12:20pm

    Re: unfair to the scouts

    Are you kidding?
    "Kids don't know copyright law, but every kid over the age of five knows the word "hypocrite."
    Yes, and they also know the word fair as well. They also know all their life we scolded them for not sharing, or being selfish. Sending mixed signals is detrimental, and will convince them quicker that Dad or Mom is a hypocrite.

    "I think that when kids see an adult scout leader put a burned CD into a CD player they have a vague sense that the leader might be doing something wrong." What? Your kidding right? That is so wrong in itself. SIGH. Then im sorry TOT, its time to teach them that they have a right, at least right now, to be able to make an archival copy of legally purchased music/movie, etc, and doing so is not wrong.

    "We've never talked about file-sharing or piracy or any of that stuff." - Its time. (I was in scouts, my Mom was a den mother, I actively participate with my nephews both 7, and my daughter will be a Brownie/girl scout, as her mother, and grand mother were.)
    I doubt we ever will. - That is sad. How will they learn, and maybe help to make changes in the right direction?

    I believe more than ever parents need to step up and teach their children things like this earlier. Its too late at 20 or 40 to become aware as to what is going on. Your kids mentioned are 7, my baby girl is 2.5, what will life be like for them when they reach our age? Pretty bad unless we get them active younger. Thanks and have a great weekend.

     

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  33.  
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    TPBer, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 12:42pm

    Class

    I am holding a How_To_Torrent class at this weeks scout meeting, the same class I give every person I come in contact with.

    You would be surprised how fast the youngins catch on.

     

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  34.  
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    steve, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    Can't believe the RIAA is still fixated on CDs.

    By the time they get around to mp3s, we'll be onto the next format.

     

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  35.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 1:08pm

    Dry rot at the top.

    There is considerably diversity among actual Scouting units. However, the national leadership is a bunch of fundie crackers and it reflects poorly on the whole organization. If individual units "get out of line", they can find their charter revoked. So the public face of the organization is skewed considerably by the national leadership.

     

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  36.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    Re: unfair to the scouts

    > Scouting-age kids don't know about space-shifting, or
    > time-shifting, or fair use, or content licensing, or the
    > difference between a performance right and a distribution
    > right, or any of that stuff.

    Well then THEY SHOULD BE TAUGHT. Teach them at the same time they are learning how to fold the flag and fire a rifle. Don't water anything down and don't treat them like idiots.

    Although I would dispute the idea that Scouting age kids don't understand these sorts of things. They probably understand them better or are at least are better able to.

     

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  37.  
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    Andrew (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re:

    :)

    I was going to say something similar, but it would have been less funny.

    Though maybe they shouldn't be advising parents to haul scouts around in their cars either, as it's just a few small steps away from child abduction.

     

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  38.  
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    another mike (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 3:23pm

    Re:

    Who still buys CDs? Not any of my Scouts. Everyone has mp3 players or phones. The boys aren't allowed to play with their electronics during the meetings or on campouts, but they are encouraged to bring mp3 players to plug in while traveling.

     

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    another mike (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Antiquated much?

    Such as?
    What other organization out there is as widely recognized for instilling respect, responsibility and life skills in the youth of this country?
    Would you suggest 4H? They're a recognizable name. But is an organization dedicated to homemaking and animal husbandry any more relevant in this day and age?
    The military, maybe? Sorry; they won't take you until you're old enough to have so thoroughly screwed up your life that they won't want you.
    You can walk into any job interview, say "I'm an Eagle Scout" and walk out with your first promotion. What other membership, what other achievement, gets you that?
    There isn't one.

    Michael Rainey
    Assistant Scoutmaster
    Troop 444, Catalina Council, BSA

    /hardcore 444
    /be prepared

     

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  40.  
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    Ian Smith, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 11:13am

    What a crock!

    So taking your article as my "blue print", it would presumably be OK for me to go shop-lifting and then if they try and arrest me say "Heh! It's not my problem. It's yours. YOU NEED TO GET A DIFFERENT BUSINESS MODEL".

    What a crock!

    Thieving is thieving, pure and simple.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Howard, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 4:15pm

    boy scouts=Hitler youth

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2010 @ 5:14pm

    So is there only one BSA and it doubles as the Boy Scouts of America and the Business Software Alliance?

     

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  43.  
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    Pete Braven (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 7:39am

    Re: Friggin' rediculous

    Yup,.. FFS,.. red-neck, brain-dead and off another planet!

     

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    Tek'a R (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Antiquated much?

    Heya there troopleader.

    Please don't get people wrong when they attack some of the policies of the Organization. From the inside I am sure there are many examples of how this kind of "suggestion" from leadership is quietly ignored or corrected, but from the outside the entire Scouting system looks very monolithic.


    If you want to have a future, if you want the Scouts to have a future, you have to fight from within for reform. Escape industry-controlled "advice", embrace inclusiveness, reform the way GBLT Scouts and Scoutmasters are treated.

    You can walk into any job interview, say "I'm an Eagle Scout" and walk out with your first promotion. What other membership, what other achievement, gets you that?


    Every time scout leadership lets things like this mag' article happen, this becomes less true.
    Every "morally straight" (You will maintain honest and open relationships with others) wanna-be scout who is turned away for being gay makes this less true.

    If you, and your Scoutmaster, and all of your scouts and scout families, do not work to change this "I'm an Eagle Scout" will only be more synonymous with "I am indoctrinated in religious and social bigotry and discrimination"

    and for your information, my father is an Eagle Scout and spent several years as a Webelo Scoutmaster. He left when the church who hosted the space started to insist on more religious interference. (the church-scouting connection is also troubling for many)

     

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  45.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 9:02pm

    Re: What a crock!

    So taking your article as my "blue print", it would presumably be OK for me to go shop-lifting and then if they try and arrest me say "Heh! It's not my problem. It's yours. YOU NEED TO GET A DIFFERENT BUSINESS MODEL".

    No one said anything like that. Please read again.

     

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    Christopher (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 9:50pm

    The Boy Scouts are an organization that insists on living in the past, where homosexuality is 'deviant', where heterosexuality outside of marriage is 'wrong', etc. etc. etc.

    I've told everyone I meet to NOT allow their childrren to join the Boy Scouts and instead join the numerous other organizations that do not rely on discrimination and denial of progress, such as the Boy's and Girl's Clubs.

     

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  47.  
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    Christopher (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 9:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Antiquated much?

    Agreed absolutely. With all due respect to troopleader, the Boy Scouts have morphed into an organization that is about pushing conservative 'morality' (actually, conservatives personal likes and dislikes that they should not be pushing on other people and definitely not brainwashing children into adhering to them) and about pushing conservative religious values on people.

    Personally, I was a Boy Scout for many years.... I got seriously tired of them when I started being harassed because I was honest about being an Atheist and not adhering to religious morality, but only my own 5 "Rules of Morality".

     

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    ethorad (profile), Oct 4th, 2010 @ 5:56am

    I do like the way that they claim that the problem is that on teh internet "users get all sorts of content free--even information from newspapers that they would have to pay for in the real world" and that some creators "further complicated the situation by giving their music away" ...

    Completely agree - it is perfidious sites like http://www.scoutingmagazine.org/ and http://scouts.org.uk/magazine that insist on giving away their content for free which are the problem. Something should be done to protect the children!

     

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    dave, Oct 4th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    follow the money. dollars to donuts this "[Dr. Tony] Aretz" and maybe the author of the article have been somehow "slushed" by the industry.

     

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    another mike (profile), Oct 4th, 2010 @ 7:56pm

    not calm

    Shit like this pisses me off. Yes, the RIAA paid for this entire "article". Look I know it takes a lot of money to run the Scouting program in this country but there are sources that should be turned down. I am a troop leader and I used this "article" as a lesson on critical thinking and asking questions when it sounds like you're being fed outdated propaganda. It doesn't matter if it's media, religion, politics, or Scouting itself.

    For further reading, click the links in the "free curriculum" section of the article. Both organizations are fronts for RIAA and benefit from extortionate copyright.

     

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  51.  
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    JoshP, Oct 6th, 2010 @ 6:59am

    Huh?

    "And bands like Radiohead haven't "further complicated the situation." They've helped make it clear that there are smart business models that can be embraced while not turning your fans into criminals."

    Yes, they have further complicated the situation by providing their music as a free download. It may be a smart business model, but it's still confusing to anyone who sees that they can get Band A's music for free at website A and Band B's music for free at website B.

    If Band A is Radiohead, that's legal. If Band B is most other bands, it's illegal. That's the definition of complicating the issue.

     

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

  52.  
    icon
    zaven (profile), Oct 20th, 2010 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re: Re: What about campfire songs?

    Wow, I just reread my comment. Massive typo.
    "but I strongly agree with a lot of the idiotic opinions"

    that's definitely supposed to say disagree.

     

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


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