EFF Launches Copyright Curriculum To Counter RIAA Propaganda Being Handed Out To Schools

from the good-news dept

It's been quite troubling that for years various schools have simply accepted propaganda and totally inaccurate "teaching materials" about copyright and used them to teach students. These programs have been created by both the RIAA and the MPAA, at times. More recently, a lobbying organization backed by both of those organizations, the Copyright Alliance (which has a long history of making up the most fantastic myths about copyright) has been pushing a copyright curriculum on schools. Tragically, unsuspecting schools have been using the pure propaganda put out by the Copyright Alliance as if it were some sort of impartial and accurate educational material on copyright. It's not. Not even close. Last year, one of the world's foremost experts in copyright, William Patry, took the Copyright Alliance's founder to task for having "chutzpah in abundance" in basically making up what copyright and fair use is about, and presenting himself as some sort of expert on the subject.

Unfortunately, schools that are using these materials often don't realize that they're simply accepting corporate propaganda, assuming that a front group like The Copyright Alliance is some sort of impartial player in the space, even though its curriculum is laughably bad, positioning any kind of copying as a high risk activity that should be avoided. Luckily, the EFF has finally launched a much more accurate and reasonable curriculum that was actually created by those who know the subject matter, rather than corporate execs and lobbyists. The EFF's curriculum is available at Teaching Copyright and is under a Creative Commons license. Unlike many of the propaganda copyright curricula, Teaching Copyright focuses on the broader picture, recognizing the fact that copyright is not for protecting creators, but is a deal between creators and the public to encourage creation within certain important limitations. It covers important concepts such as the public domain and fair use that are either ignored or downplayed in most of the curricula put out by the industry. This is a welcome addition to materials for schools to use to educate students on copyright.

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  1. icon
    Tgeigs (profile), 28 May 2009 @ 11:06am

    Re: Propaganda

    "How bad is it when our schools are battleground for whom can out-propaganda the other?"

    Uh...really? When HAVEN'T they been? If I had gone to school, sat down in a history class, NOT been forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance (how creepy is that shit, btw?), and gotten an impartial history lesson on ANY aspect of America I'd probably have shat myself.

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