Totally False Propaganda About File Sharing Being Given To Students As Educational Material

from the will-the-next-pamphlet-be-about-lying-to-students? dept

It's no secret that both the MPAA and the RIAA have created so-called "educational campaigns" for students about copyright. These educational programs are incredibly one-sided, of course, and it's amazing that many schools actually allow this sort of corporate propaganda to masquerade as educational material. Even more problematic is when an entirely separate organization, supposedly offering a non-biased educational campaign, starts parroting the propaganda. The nonprofit National Center for State Courts, whose charter apparently is as an "organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to court systems in the United States," has done just that. As part of that, it created a set of "graphic novels" (more like a pamphlets) designed to teach students how the court system works. Except the first such graphic novel actually teaches a bunch of RIAA propaganda about file sharing that is mostly flat-out false.

Among the things that aren't true is a claim that file sharing is a city level crime that will get you arrested by the local cops, and that you can face a 2 year jail sentence and a criminal record for downloading songs. You would think that a pamphlet designed to teach kids how the courts would work would actually get the legal issues correct. But, instead, it's just a bunch of propaganda that is completely incorrect about the law.

Filed Under: copyright, educational campaign, file sharing, propaganda
Companies: national center for state courts

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  1. identicon
    mike acker, 23 Aug 2008 @ 4:53am


    the argument I see repeatedly is simply that "copying" is not "stealing" because in the case of a copy the original stays where it was, un-affected. and so the owner of the original hasn't lost anything, hence: no harm, no foul.

    Copyright law exists to produce a market for copies: books, and recordings of various sorts: music, video, computer programs, and computer games.

    The market has bee protected on purpose in order to encourage development and creativity in these areas.

    Today there is a massive cry for a stampede to trample the copyright law into the dust.

    an occasional illicit copy of a song or track here and there won't have much affect on the market, overall. But left un-checked, the massive distribution of books, games, audio and video files over the computer net will change the overall market for these items from a basically corporate controlled environment to a freelance paradigm.

    there is no reason the freelance paradigm cannot co-exist with the corporate one. we are doing that now in the open-source software area. there is no reason that music and video cannot do the same

    but whether to publish freelance or to publish commercially is properly left to the creative artists.

    subscribers should respect their decisions

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