Boy Scout Magazine Says Don't Listen To Legally Burned CDs, As They're Too Similar To Piracy

from the apparently,-someone-failed-their-legal-merit-badge dept

Four years ago, the MPAA worked with the local Los Angeles chapter of the Boy Scouts of America to create a special "activity patch" for Boy Scouts to repeat propaganda about how evil file sharing is. For some reason, that story got renewed attention earlier this year, when a few sources came across the 2006 story without checking the date on it. While there's really nothing new on that story, it does appear that the Boy Scouts are making some absolutely ridiculous suggestions to parents about how to talk to your kids about copyright issues.

That link is to an article in the latest issue of Scouting Magazine, supposedly about the "ethics" of file sharing, and how parents should talk to their children about it. And, yet, it's entirely one-sided, quoting the RIAA's claims about "losses," but oddly leaving out the stacks upon stacks upon stacks upon stacks of research showing that musicians are making more money these days, via alternative business models. You would think that would be a relevant part of the discussion... but it's totally absent. Someone, apparently, failed their "research the facts" merit badge.

But where the article goes totally off the rails is in telling parents that their children are too stupid to understand the nuances of copyright law, and because of that, they should take an extreme position: one so extreme that they shouldn't even listen to legally burned CDs:
So how can Scouters teach ethical behavior related to music downloading? One way: Set a good example. When you haul around Scouts in your car, for example, only play CDs that you've purchased. If you play CDs that you've burned--even if they're legal--your Scouts may not recognize the difference between those and the pirated CDs friends have given them.
The article also tries to blame musicians who embrace alternative business models for making the situation more confusing:
Part of the problem, [Dr. Tony] Aretz says, lies in the Internet's free-for-all nature, where users get all sorts of content free--even information from newspapers that they would have to pay for in the real world. Bands like Radiohead have further complicated the situation by giving their music away or offering it on a "pay what you want" basis.
Note to Aretz and Scouting magazine: the internet is the real world too. And bands like Radiohead haven't "further complicated the situation." They've helped make it clear that there are smart business models that can be embraced while not turning your fans into criminals. It would seem like that's a rather important lesson one should teach Boy Scouts.

Filed Under: boy scouts, ethics, piracy


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  1. icon
    weneedhelp (profile), 1 Oct 2010 @ 12:20pm

    Re: unfair to the scouts

    Are you kidding?
    "Kids don't know copyright law, but every kid over the age of five knows the word "hypocrite."
    Yes, and they also know the word fair as well. They also know all their life we scolded them for not sharing, or being selfish. Sending mixed signals is detrimental, and will convince them quicker that Dad or Mom is a hypocrite.

    "I think that when kids see an adult scout leader put a burned CD into a CD player they have a vague sense that the leader might be doing something wrong." What? Your kidding right? That is so wrong in itself. SIGH. Then im sorry TOT, its time to teach them that they have a right, at least right now, to be able to make an archival copy of legally purchased music/movie, etc, and doing so is not wrong.

    "We've never talked about file-sharing or piracy or any of that stuff." - Its time. (I was in scouts, my Mom was a den mother, I actively participate with my nephews both 7, and my daughter will be a Brownie/girl scout, as her mother, and grand mother were.)
    I doubt we ever will. - That is sad. How will they learn, and maybe help to make changes in the right direction?

    I believe more than ever parents need to step up and teach their children things like this earlier. Its too late at 20 or 40 to become aware as to what is going on. Your kids mentioned are 7, my baby girl is 2.5, what will life be like for them when they reach our age? Pretty bad unless we get them active younger. Thanks and have a great weekend.

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