Entertainment Industry Propaganda Moves Into Schools In Australia As Well

from the why-do-schools-allow-this? dept

We’ve seen all sorts of attempts by the entertainment industry to push their highly biased interpretation of copyright law (which sometimes strays into outright falsehoods) into schools as “educational” programs. The RIAA and the MPAA have each run campaigns in schools. And recently the Copyright Alliance (another industry propaganda group) released a questionable educational offering. It appears this effort is global. Phill alerts us that an Australian anti-piracy group is now pushing an educational campaign for schools. The group admits that the purpose isn’t to learn about copyright from an impartial perspective, but teach “the importance of copyright” and to create ” a change in attitudes and behaviour.” In other words, it’s not an “education” campaign as it’s literally trying to change behavior for corporate interests. This should raise tremendous questions about why any school would allow this content to be shared with students, since it’s specifically designed to promote the interests of certain corporations.

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Comments on “Entertainment Industry Propaganda Moves Into Schools In Australia As Well”

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btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Propaganda

> Mike has not shown here where the specific
> material being distributed is anything other
> than the truth

Well, the materials the RIAA distributes to schools in the USA call file sharing “stealing” and “theft”, despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that copyright infringement is not theft.

There’s one lie.

The materials also discount, minimize and even deny the legitimacy of the principle of fair use, which is not only legitmate but is codified into the copyright statute itself. By doing so, they’re intentionally misconstruing and distorting the law for their own interests.

There’s another lie.

Bottom line: the RIAA wouldn’t know “the truth” if it slapped them in the face and called them Sally. They’re paid to lie to further their clients’ interests.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If it was a lie, if copyright wasn’t the law of the land, then you might have something.

Uh, you don’t seem to know what propaganda is. Propaganda is quite often used to promote the law of the land.

It isn’t propaganda if you are telling the truth.

Yes, it still is propaganda. But, even so, they’re NOT telling the truth. They overplay what copyright is for, falsely describe its purpose and meaning, downplay fair use, compare unauthorized sharing to stealing physical goods, claim things like “if you haven’t paid for it, it’s stolen.” It’s filled with lies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Mike, what are you saying?

“Propaganda is quite often used to promote the law of the land”

“push their highly biased interpretation of copyright law “

“It isn’t propaganda if you are telling the truth.

Yes, it still is propaganda”

Which one is it? Are they telling the truth? Are the highly biased? Is it the law of the land?

Weasel words.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Which one is it? Are they telling the truth? Are the highly biased? Is it the law of the land?

Let’s try this a bit more slowly for those who had trouble understanding it the first time.

(1) Propaganda doesn’t just mean untrue statements.

(2) Propaganda can, very much, involve “the law of the land.”

(3) That said, this propaganda ALSO has false statements in it.

Is it that complicated to hold more than 1 thought at a time?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Yet you call them out as highly biased.

The only false statement you came up with was the use of “theft” and “steal”, I agree with them. If you have something you didn’t pay for and didn’t obtain rights to have, what have you done? Did it just magically appear on your hard drive?

Sort of like saying drunk driving isn’t serious unless you kill someone. Nice.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The only false statement you came up with was the use of “theft” and “steal”, I agree with them. If you have something you didn’t pay for and didn’t obtain rights to have, what have you done? Did it just magically appear on your hard drive?

Heh. You’re funny sometimes. We point out where you’re wrong, and rather than responding, you just ignore it. We said that propaganda wasn’t always about lying, but presenting things in a biased way — and rather than dealing with that, you simply ignored it. Heh.

But, we also listed out numerous falsehoods beyond just the “theft/steal” issue, including lying about the purpose of copyright, how it works, the impact on the public and creativity and on business models that content creators can use. Separately, as for the “theft” issue, that is flat out false. You can *infringe* on copyright, but that’s different than theft.

Once again, we go to the Supreme Court:

“The phonorecords in question were not “stolen, converted or taken by fraud” for purposes of [section] 2314. The section’s language clearly contemplates a physical identity between the items unlawfully obtained and those eventually transported, and hence some prior physical taking of the subject goods. Since the statutorily defined property rights of a copyright holder have a character distinct from the possessory interest of the owner of simple “goods, wares, [or] merchandise,” interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The infringer of a copyright does not assume physical control over the copyright nor wholly deprive its owner of its use. Infringement implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud.”

No one said it wasn’t potentially breaking the law. But it ain’t theft.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I like this guy’s grasp of logic:

“Mike, you told me it was a car, then you told me it was blue. Now, I’ve caught you weaseling. Ha! Is it car, Mike, or is it blue? Pwned!”

I also like his skill in taking the parts Mike quoted from other people’s comments using italics, and attributing them to Mike. No wonder he is confused about what Mike is saying. He is having trouble following the discussion.

That bumps it up a notch from fail to epic fail.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Derek, not at all.

All Mike is trying to do is paint everything that is done in the name of copyright as bad, evil, and a pack of lies. That to me is the biggest lie of all.

“Once again, we go to the Supreme Court:”

Supreme court of Australia? Didn’t know they ruled on a case like this. Wait, are you trying to apply US law to Australia?

NullOp says:


The only thing a school administrator is interested in is being able to check the box stating they sponsored an antipiracy program. They don’t analyze the content for correctness. Their logic is if the RIAA or MPAA is the source then it must be OK.

Note the post by btr1701, the use of language like “stealing” in reference to copyright infringement is wrong, simply wrong.

Be suspect, be very suspect of any info coming out of any corporation where that corporation stands to turn a profit based the outcome.

Now if you really want to get into a discussion on corporations lying for profit lets discuss the pharmaceutical industry!

Fox says:

There’s another article on it here, in which the author honestly believes this is a good thing.


People in the comments defend downloading shows, particularly in the land down under, where tv stations seem to have a vendetta against their viewers, showing episodes weeks after the de beau, moving timeslots later and later, or dropping shows without any apparent reason.
The author responds with this humorous rant.

“Yes it is illegal.

The monetary loss is huge to creative artists in music, film, television and literature. Arguing that “the show isn’t on here so it’s not a crime” might be nice in theory but it is incorrect and negates the selling power of productions for producers, networks, advertisers, and thereby ultimately actors and crew. There is also a ‘dog chasing its tale’ argument that shows do not stay on air because viewers have gone and downloaded them first. In some cases, networks have to wait until they get the air rights to actually screen them after a window period.

Far be it for me to defend lazy networks who have not found a way to move with the times, but we should be accurate with what we are discussing. Ultimately television needs to embrace online and make its revenue work for it, just as the music industry had to deal with Napster and created iTunes (which has ’some’ TV if you are lucky).”

I was particularly amused by the last part ‘the music industry had to deal with napster and created itunes’. Deal with napster by ignoring it, then suing it into oblivion. years later, apple brings out itunes.

Jon L (profile) says:

Re: Re:

As is the most relevant statement of our time:

“Pirates are nothing more than underserved customers.”

It’s our own (Producers) damn fault we haven’t found a way to build a better system for releasing our product in any format we want, at any time, in a variety of pricing ranges (including free/ad supported).

None of the studios or major networks wants this, as it destroys their business model. Producers want it, but who’s going to pay to create the tools we need to make it happen (automatic music rights clearances, automated residuals reporting and payments for the unions, etc. etc.).

Most professionally produced media is well and truly hamstrung by the litany of rights and residuals attached to distribution of the media – with the end result being we are literally unable to release it in certain territories and certain formats due to the original production contracts (still very much in use today) for music, for actors or hosts, etc.

This problem won’t resolve itself until there are better and easier ways to negotiate, and pay all the levels of residuals due to composers, actors, stunt players, directors, writers, etc. for shows that had originally signed union agreements for those shows.

Lastly, and along the same lines, it’s totally unfeasible for producers to “just hire a couple little old ladies to do all the accounting so you can release the products.” We’ve run business models time and again, trying to make good on contractual obligations, and every time, they turn out to be huge money losers due to the overhead costs of maintaining the signatory obligations the producers have.

Right now, there’s just no way around this without significant change with the unions, and without cheap, automated tools that help solve the payment and rights problems inherent in the media itself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Entertainment Industry Propaganda Moves Into Schools In Australia As Well

Makes sense, and why not?

I’m pretty sure this is exactly what Stalin proved– that one could gain full control, but the first step is monopoly control over curriculum in schools in order to mold critical thinking of the younger generation to fit a specific agenda. In this case, it seems like the agenda is taxing everyone for imaginary property or IP.

anymouse (profile) says:

Time for Big Tobacco's Educational Campaign

It must be time for Big tobacco to do another educational campaign, since it seems to be the ‘big’ thing for corporate bullies to do.

They can push all the ‘benefits’ of smoking to the youth of tomorrow:
Lower cost of living (8 to 10 years off your life = lower overall cost of living, right?)
Higher perceived ‘coolness’ factor among peers (It used to be ‘cool’ so it must still be ‘cool’ to smoke right?), Lower your families cost of living by 5-10% (by cutting 3-4 years off everyone’s lifespan, which reduces the family’s overall cost of living, right?)
Less altering but more addictive (tobacco today has no relation to the ‘wacky tobacco’ that our forefathers grew/smoked, it has almost none of the psychoactive properties, but almost 4 times the addictive and toxic substances, this may not be entirely accurate as 67% of statistics are made up on the spot)

I’m sure they could come up with some great new propaganda to get the youth of tomorrow addicted to their product so that they can continue to make billions (for themselves and the health care industry) while slowly killing off their customers. If the MPAA and RIAA could figure out a way to make their product highly addictive but slowly fatal to their customers, they would probably jump on the chance in a heartbeat (get more money out of customers today, without any regard for long term survival).

Obligatory tin foil hat reference (of course I’m wearing mine, aren’t you?)

nelsoncruz (profile) says:

Teaching market regulations in school

Has anyone stopped to think why a law that was, at least originally, a form of market regulation, made only for commercial exchanges, is suddenly being taught in schools? Are they teaching banking regulations as well?

Private uses of copyrighted works where always either outside the scope of the law, or implicitly or explicitly allowed. Now with digital technology every use implies a copy, and is therefore presumptively regulated. Its either illegal or fair use. And some of those private uses are now threatening the usual business models. So they want to convince children to also obey the same law.

Why don’t teachers and parents revolt at people trying to brainwash their children so they can continue to sell stuff? How about brainwashing people to also keep on buying inefficient low quality cars to save GM and Chrysler?? GM and Chrysler actually pulled it off for many years, and made very little effort to adapt, except lobbying to keep things the same. Eventually it all backfired and came tumbling down like a house of cards.

I hope governments wont be bailing out the major labels in 5 years. But they probably will be asking for it!

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