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
    Tek'a R (profile), 3 Oct 2010 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Antiquated much?

    Heya there troopleader.

    Please don't get people wrong when they attack some of the policies of the Organization. From the inside I am sure there are many examples of how this kind of "suggestion" from leadership is quietly ignored or corrected, but from the outside the entire Scouting system looks very monolithic.


    If you want to have a future, if you want the Scouts to have a future, you have to fight from within for reform. Escape industry-controlled "advice", embrace inclusiveness, reform the way GBLT Scouts and Scoutmasters are treated.

    You can walk into any job interview, say "I'm an Eagle Scout" and walk out with your first promotion. What other membership, what other achievement, gets you that?


    Every time scout leadership lets things like this mag' article happen, this becomes less true.
    Every "morally straight" (You will maintain honest and open relationships with others) wanna-be scout who is turned away for being gay makes this less true.

    If you, and your Scoutmaster, and all of your scouts and scout families, do not work to change this "I'm an Eagle Scout" will only be more synonymous with "I am indoctrinated in religious and social bigotry and discrimination"

    and for your information, my father is an Eagle Scout and spent several years as a Webelo Scoutmaster. He left when the church who hosted the space started to insist on more religious interference. (the church-scouting connection is also troubling for many)

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