Now It's Time For Summer Camps To Freak Out Over MySpace

from the it-will-never-end dept

Well, school’s now out of session, so we won’t be seeing stories about schools freaking out about MySpace for a few months. Instead, we get stories like this one in the NY Times about summer camps freaking out about MySpace and other technology (including one camp that wants to ban video iPods, not because kids should be outside enjoying the great outdoors, but because they might, possibly, maybe, somehow have inappropriate material on the iPod). It’s in the MySpace/Facebook freak outs where things get really bizarre. Repeated through the article are worried claims about the threat of pictures of campers or the camp showing up online — though, no one explains why that’s really so bad (other than an insurance agent who seems to want to scare camps about the “risks” associated with MySpace). However, the really bizarre case concerns a girls camp called Camp Fenwood, who apparently has a questionable understanding of the law. Beyond asking for an increased police presence at the camp because of MySpace (why? who knows?) they also claim that they’re trademarking the camp name, logo and slogan “so they can legally order others not to use them online.” First of all, why hadn’t they already trademarked those things for all the normal business reasons? More importantly, it shows a total misunderstanding of trademark law. Owning the trademark to your camp name, slogan and logo doesn’t give you permission to order just anyone to stop using it. A camper should have every right to mention it on their own website. It only forbids use that might confuse people into thinking it’s an official site of the camp. Of course, the NY Times doesn’t bother to mention this, and perpetuates the myth that trademark law allows such total bans on content.

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Comments on “Now It's Time For Summer Camps To Freak Out Over MySpace”

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Topher3105 (profile) says:

Prevent talking about camp online

Most likely to avoid having kids see how miserable and unappealing camp programs can be before they show up for their week of hell.

Also, I am sure they are not banning cameras, so wouldn’t it be reasonable to think that once people LEAVE camp, they are free to talk about it online?

Lastely, I might actually like these camps since they seem to offer wireless online connectivity. Most camps I have been too in the past don’t even have a TV.

This is a pure example of what happens when stupid people read (the camp site owners freaking out I mean, not about me writing a comment about it…or is it?).

Phillip says:

This has been going on for years with summer camps… My memory of the worst thing to happen to me years ago is so still fresh in my mind.. Riding the bus to summer camp, walkman on, headphones on listening to Twisted Sister shout at the devil cassette… Counselor comes up takes it away yelling ta me for the devil music and its not allowed… Now instead of devil music its a devil website.. Wish I could see those counselors and show them what the devil music did to me.. Business owner and happy as hell in life ๐Ÿ™‚

Sanguine Dream says:

A shining example...

of how damaging misinformation can be. Someone gave a half assed explaination of what myspace can do. The camp counselors bought every word of it. They tell the parents about the evils of myspace of a other places on the net. The parents then crack down on their ki’s online habits. All becuase someone didn’t fully understand this situation. And to make it all worse the heads of the camp think they can use a trademark to stop people from mentioning the site online.

I, for one says:

Sounds like cult behaviour

“Beyond asking for an increased police presence at the camp because of MySpace (why? who knows?) they also claim that they’re trademarking the camp name, logo and slogan “so they can legally order others not to use them online.”

These people clearly have a very guilty conscience and have something to hide. But what? Is there child abuse going on? Brainwashing? Who in their right mind would attend such a weird “camp” where they attempt to cut you from outside reality? Is it like some sort of cult? Are they religious nutters?

Robert says:

They're all conspiracy theorists

The only reason they freak out is because they just don’t understand the technology, so it plays on their insecurities of the unknown.

For example if the campers started carrying around a locked box that nobody could get into, the adminitration would start freaking out, because their wild imaginations can’t stand that something is hidden from them, and they don’t even understand how to get to that information, so they immidiately think that because they aren’t privelaged or talented enough to understand these hidden secrets, that the secrets must be bad/evil/pornographic/wrong/misleading.

This is the same way the politicians think. ‘If they are hiding something, it must be bad, and we must protect our children (not to mention the political kudos)’ or ‘If they are doing something that I can’t understand, it must be regulated so that I can understand it and get kickbacks at the same time’

Besides, it’s obviously ‘very’ American to claim property rights to anything and everything that you can get your greedy little hands on…. From your workmate stealing your idea to get a promotion to Hollywood stealing a script so they don’t have to share profits… need I say more?

I, for one says:

They're all conspiracy theorists

“For example if the campers started carrying around a locked box that nobody could get into, the adminitration would start freaking out, because their wild imaginations can’t stand that something is hidden from them”

Good analogy. By that reasoning the very word(s) “MySpace” (My Space), must be like a red rag to a bull if you suffer these paranoid insecurities. Which raises the question, “What ever are parents thinking by allowing their children to attend such a psychologicaly toxic environment?”

“This is the same way the politicians think. ‘If they are hiding something, it must be bad, and we must protect our children”

It’s not about *protection*, it’s about control and domination. I suspect these “camps” have an agenda to turn the minds of their attendees into obsequious, subjugated, mentally crippled little sheep. And then make the collosal error of mistaking that for “respect for authority”.

“Besides, it’s obviously ‘very’ American to claim property rights to anything and everything that you can get your greedy little hands on….”

You know, as a non-American I get upset to see you guys turning on one another and attacking your own country, even in sarcasm. (I am assuming you are American) That’s all part of the plan, divide and conquer, destroy your identity. It’s not just nationalistic propaganda that America was once the bastion of Freedom and opportunity, America really was once a great nation. It’s only taken a few short years to turn you from a rightfully proud nation to a bunch of snivelling cowards afraid of your own shadows (no offence intended but that’s the long and short of it imho). Focussing on the rot and corruption and directing anger at the quasi-fascist religious extremists in government isn’t the way out of this hole. The way out is to regain your pride and self esteem. Not that faux “we kick ass” meglomaniac bullshit, but a genuine deep belief in the dignity of your country and its people, and to say “I refuse to take this abuse any longer” – everything else follows naturally.

Robert says:

Re: They're all conspiracy theorists

I truly agree with your stance with Americans turning against one another, but it’s easy to understand, once you live here, that the government empowers the people to prey on each other. When you find out that a criminal, while in the process of robbing a house, falls onto a knife injuring himself, then sues for damages and wins. A person slips on his neighbors driveway, and sues said neighbor for a multitude of cash and wins. A lady goes to a local McDonalds in a rush, spills hot coffee on her lap while driving, sues and wins.

If you can understand these stories, you can understand why so many Americans walk around scared of their neighbors using the government to strong-arm them out of their livelyhood over some accident that should never have amounted to punitive damages in the first place. There are literally people in America that go around getting into accidents just to sue people… that’s how they make their living… and the government backs them up in court. No wonder the world sees us as cowards. We only fight when it protects our personal interests, and not our country’s.

Gobbeldygook says:

Re: Duh

I only wish it was a leftist front to world domination, but the problem is that the only people who would know how to run anything are too againt being powerfull and don’t want to sound like greedy powermongers to the point that they virtually sit back and let the dumbasses take over. So there really is no leftist front to world domination.

New york times is just a contributor to the confusion that has no idea what it’s doing.

Lisa says:

Its not just NYT

I dont feel like the issue is the New York Times, rather its the fact that the people who are running there camps are simply afraid of technology. They do not have the slightest idea what a ‘blog’ is in the first place and most of them dont care. Its ignorance on the part of the non-technical saavy. Now i do not what to stereotype but a majority of those who are running these camps are older (40+) and have a small view into the world of technology/internet/computers. I recently read a top national newspaper about students are getting in trouble in high schools and middles schools for even mentioning the names of teachers, administrators, and the school itself. They are getting in trouble for saying they dislike a class or dislike another person in the class. How can schools/camps/other institutions punish those who are using these blog sites or networking sites as a way to express themselves. True i think freedom of speech only goes so far, but trying to ban myspace, friendster, and facebook are only hurting Generation Y.

I found the most outrageous part about the NYT Camp story was when the 22 year old was told to take her drinking pictures off myspace. At what point in our world was it illegal to drink at 22 and take a picture of it?

Now some of you may say, well its up to the parents to tell there children the dangers of these sites. I couldnt agree more. If the parents of that girl who when to Jordan told their daughter about the dangers of Myspace and such sites, she and her parents MAY look less idiotic than they do now. Kids learn. When one unknown person messages them and says nasty stuff they stop snooping. Thats when parents should step in and say “hey if someone messages you gross stuff or anything you dont feel comfortable with, let us know”.

I said it before and i will say it again, the problem isnt the sites themselves, its that lack of understanding on the behalf of the institutions or quite possibly, the parents

Tanya says:

So the mySpace thing is questionable…but being a camp counselor myself, I can understand and explain many of camp rules for you. first, Ipods are not aloud because campers SHOULD be outside enjoying nature. Camp is a place to learn things that are obviously not being taught at home or in schools. When you allow campers to carry IPods and other technological things, it distracts from the lessons that are being taught at camp. Beside the fact that much music out there today is very inappropriate and we try to teach children respect, for themselves and others. Today’s music is teaching the direct opposite. As far as campers using mySpace to voice their opinion about camp, sure I feel that is fine. it’s a right everyone has. But don’t dog on many of the other fine rules camps have put into place to try to make the next generation a better group of people!

Corey Arnold says:


Ya I don’t believe all of that. I think if kids like myself you want to bring ipods or cd players then have them inspected for innapropiate material. Don’t ruin it for all the kids that listen to everything correctly….sure that may interfere with peoples appions about what the standerds are but that is where the people who are running the camp set down talk and agree but that is my appionion. if you wish to discuss more with my you can reach me at

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