MPAA Begins Project To Brainwash School Children

from the nice-try dept

Last month, we mentioned the scary news that one of the MPAA's latest tactics against file sharing was to create an entire educational program which they would present in schools. Well, that program launched yesterday in schools across the country, and they're not even remotely subtle in how one-sided they paint the picture. For example, they tell students "If you haven't paid for it, you've stolen it." Except, well, that's not true at all. If, for example, the MP3s were placed up there by those who do own the rights to the music, then it's perfectly legal. Even if it's music that hasn't been put up their by those who own the rights, it's copyright infringement (and you may have some fair use rights) and not theft. Wendy Seltzer at the EFF goes through a few other problems with the "educational" program. Plenty of people are upset about this. Some with the one-sided content, and others with the fact that students are being bribed with incentives such as free DVDs, DVD players, movie tickets and trips to Hollywood (um... I thought if they hadn't paid for it, they had stolen it...) for writing essays about why file sharing is bad. Of course, in the end, this might not be such a big deal, as many of the students who get this lesson will realize how ridiculous it is. The article linked above reviews one presenter giving the lesson in San Francisco where students roll their eyes and challenge many of the statements made. Just in titling it "What's the Diff? A Guide to Digital Citizenship", (their weak attempt at sounding on top of the latest jargon) most kids will immediately see through this as a ridiculous corporate front.

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  1. identicon
    LittleW0lf, 23 Oct 2003 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Dumb and Dumber?

    I particularly like the "What's Fair?" section...kinda made me ponder if the MPAA really has thought this one through? Of course, the document does not contain any answers what-so-ever to the questions, so I am left wondering what the answers they were fishing for. (I've never used Kazaa, and I own over 1,000 CDs, and over 200 movies, but I've not been buying too many recently, except from indies, so screw you "copying is stealing" folks, I don't copy, but I can see right through this crap!)

    * Kary is developing promotional materials for her club's annual charity walk for children. Kary decides to download pictures from the Internet to use on her poster....

    Fair Use??? Oh, yeah, according to the MPAA, fair use is only a defense, and thus doesn't exist. What about pictures downloaded from a free or public domain source. What if she includes an attribution?

    You did all the work on your team project, but others got all the credit?

    You live with it... It will happen all through your life, especially when you work for a boss who asks you to do something and then takes your work and uses it to prove that they are worth keeping. Oh, I got a better one, what if you write a song and send it to a music company, and they steal it and sell it without giving you a dime...

    Your friend wrote a song and sent it to a music company. A rock group recorded it, but your friend was never paid for the song.

    Damn...they're good. But I figure the answer to this one is "tough kids, we own all music, and you are lucky we didn't charge you with copyright infringement when you sent us the music in the first place. We have better lawyers, and will unleash them on you if you don't go away." How many musicians get $0.02 of the $18.00 their music sells for? I'll happily send my $15.00 per CD to the indies because I know $13.00 of the $15.00 is going to the artist.)

    Simon lost his wallet. A friend found it, but decided to keep it.

    So what does this have to do with copyright infringement? The store doesn't loose a CD when someone illegally copies it, they just loose a sale (and even this is debateable.)

    Jane copied her friend Sally's answers during a math test.

    I can do this too: Is Sally to blame for allowing Jane to copy the answers?

    Sam found John's homework, put his name it [SIC] and turned it in. Now, John is in trouble for not doing his homework.

    Ahhhh, poor John. You know, I've not, in my many years of school, actually seen this happen. However, I figure that if Sam turned in John's homework, the teacher could probably figure it out. After all, Sam has never turned in his homework, and John is damn regular at turning in his...

    etc...etc...etc...this drivel goes on and on.

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