How Lobbyists Turned Big US Education Reform Bill Into The 'No Copyright Propaganda Left Behind' Act

from the yeah,-that'll-work dept

You may have heard that, in early December, amid great fanfare, President Obama replaced the terrible No Child Left Behind law and replaced it with the "Every Student Succeeds Act" which, among other things, gave more power to the states when it came to educational standards, moving them away from the federal government. There's actually a lot of good things in ESSA (mainly getting away from the really horrible parts of NCLB), but there were plenty of little "gifts" to various lobbyists. And, apparently, that includes Hollywood's lobbyists.

Honestly, I wouldn't have ever spotted this if the MPAA front-group Creative Future hadn't blasted out a "thank Congress for ESSA" campaign page, which talked about the important "copyright education" parts included in ESSA. Hollywood lobbyists are somewhat famous for having their fingers in just about everything, so is it really a surprise that they got some bogus propaganda buried in a childhood education bill? But, indeed, search through ESSA and you'll find ridiculous copyright propaganda requirements for no reason other than because the MPAA lobbied heavily on it:
So what did the MPAA lobbying get? Well, basically it says that anywhere where the bill talks about providing better training and understanding of technology, it also must include some one-sided propaganda about copyright law. Really. Over and over again you see it:




If you can't read those, basically, each one says that any time there's a mention of integrating technology or getting better technology training, the law includes a silly misleading parenthetical "(including education about the harm of copyright piracy)." Of course, it's hard to see what that has to do with education standards, or better educating people about the role of technology.

But, most importantly, it's the latest in a long and increasingly sad and desperate attempt by Hollywood to inject copyright propaganda into public schools -- an effort that, even when it's been successful tends to result in kids mocking the hamfisted attempts that not only appear totally out of touch with reality, but tend to actually make students respect copyright even less. Trying to jam in one-sided propaganda that ignores things like fair use, or the abuses of the copyright system, is so blatantly and obviously ridiculous to kids these days that this will be laughed away as propaganda, as with each of their previous "educational" campaigns.

Filed Under: copyright, copyright propaganda, education, essa, no child left behind, president obama
Companies: mpaa


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 7:42am

    Speaking of education...

    Oh by all means, let's teach schoolkids more about copyright.

    Let's teach them that nothing made during their lifetime will enter the public domain, if it ever does, because the laws keep getting retroactively expanded anytime it looks like something might do so. Teach them that because of this, any remixes or rehashes, fanfics or fan made films exist only at the 'generous' whims of the copyright holder, and can be crushed at any time.

    Let's teach them that sharing a song, or ripping a copy for a friend to listen to, something I imagine most of them would do or have done without a thought, is not only illegal, it carries a potential fine large enough to purchase a decent car or even house, despite the fact that said songs can be bought for a buck each.

    Let's teach them that the likes of the *AA's are constantly pushing the idea that it's everyone else's job to act as unpaid copyright cops, making it risky for online services like youtube to host user created content without bending over backwards to try and 'appease' copyright owners, and that if the *AA's and their like had their ways, services like youtube, VCR's, MP3 players, and anything like them, would not exist.

    Let's teach them about how completely and utterly one-sided the law is, where there is no penalty for making a bogus claim that gets something taken down wrongly, and the only risk is if a site or service doesn't do so immediately.

    Let's teach them that simply having a radio where anyone else can hear it is considered a 'public performance', and collection agencies will try to shake down anyone who does so, that those same collection agencies will demand payment even from businesses that don't play their music just in case they do, and that in at least one instance this has led to a collection agency demanding payment for library workers reading to children.

    Indeed, let's educate schoolkids about copyright, and remove any vestiges of respect they may have otherwise had for it due to ignorance on the subject.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 9:46am

      Re: Speaking of education...

      Let's also teach them that copyright law can be used to enforce freedom.

      Free Software / Open Source.

      Creative Commons licensing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 9:48am

      Re: Speaking of education...

      Let's also educate students about Hollywood Accounting.

      Make sure they understand how record labels abuse and exploit young musicians.

      That seems like something that young minds should be taught.

      Both are about copyright. And I would call both 'piracy'. So it would fit the legislation's purpose of teaching about the harms of 'copyright piracy'.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      This, 2 Feb 2016 @ 11:21am

      Re: Speaking of education...right here

      "Let's teach them that simply having a radio where anyone else can hear it is considered a 'public performance', and collection agencies will try to shake down anyone who does so, that those same collection agencies will demand payment even from businesses that don't play their music just in case they do, and that in at least one instance this has led to a collection agency demanding payment for library workers reading to children."

      They can cripple a small business with there extortion.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Vidiot (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 8:06am

    Loophole

    Good news! Paragraph E requires that such subject matter be "evidence based"... and the only evidence that supports the eveything-must-be-owned camp is MPAA/RIAA pablum. Fiction isn't evidence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2016 @ 8:54am

      Re: Loophole

      Keep reading. It also says "where available"
      So since it isn't available, because it doesn't exist, it can still be "taught"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        DannyB (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 9:52am

        Re: Re: Loophole

        I can hear the tone deaf RIAA saying: I can't hear your evidence. My ears are plugged. LA LA LA LA la la la la

        I can see the blind MPAA saying: I can't see your evidence. I'm covering my eyes.

        I can tell you that the DMCA censorship tool will be used: You can't speak your evidence, because of this takedown request.

        Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    beech, 2 Feb 2016 @ 8:41am

    dare

    My assumption is that this will backfire in exactly the same way the DARE program did. Lock up a bunch of children headed into their rebellious years and then tell them NOT to do something no matter how great it is our how many of their friends are already doing it? What could go wrong? !

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TechDescartes (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 8:52am

    Oh, the irony

    Of a law that begins “by striking ‘technology’.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2016 @ 8:53am

    If it's so important to warn kids about copyright theft/piracy being wrong and illegal, why don't we warn them about more serious crimes like murder and rape?

    Murder and rape are wrong kids, and will get you locked up in jail for a very long time! Don't do it!

    Surely if we go around telling our kids that then the murder and rape rates in this country will go down!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Berenerd (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 9:07am

    And this is why we can't have nice things like educations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2016 @ 9:42am

    Maybe they will set up a special hotline next where kids get rewarded with access to new hollywood content if they inform and spy on their parents doing things hollywood dislikes.

    See something downloaded, report your parents.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 9:49am

    perhaps the **AA's are the one that need the education

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 9:53am

      Re:

      It is congress critters who need the education.

      MPAA / RIAA / Hollywood: Hey, Mr. congress critter, let me get out my checkbook, how much education do you need today?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2016 @ 10:05am

    Great idea. Lets teach the kids to not do piracy. That will certainly increase the piracy rates.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 10:42am

      Re:

      Yep! I can see it now...

      "Class, today we are going to learn about the "evils" of copyright piracy. First, here's how you shouldn't find illegal copies on the net. Be sure to not use proxies just like this. Here's how you shouldn't download the files. Here's how you shouldn't play the video/music/game. Are we all clear on all these things you shouldn't do?"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2016 @ 1:08pm

        Re: Re:

        Second, here is *precisely* what is covered by copyright. This, over here, is fair use, with the 4 balancing factors. This other web site covers the snake's nest of when copyright expires, and this over here is where copyright registrations can be found online.

        Now for your homework, choose a song published before 1956.
        1) Who registered the song?
        2) Was the registration renewed properly?
        3) When is the expected end of the copyright term?

        Extra credit: if the copyright term has expired, bring a copy of the song in to class.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 10:40am

    So we are introducing stuff on how to build and work a mafia with the Government blessing in the educational standards. Awesome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Slightly Confused, 2 Feb 2016 @ 10:55am

    Copyright "Piracy"

    It doesn't say anything about the "harms" from INFRINGING on copyrights...

    So, are they going to be educating children about the harm from pirating COPYRIGHTS?

    I'll have to pirate myself the copyright to Star Wars.

    That'll be worth a pretty penny.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Andrew (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 10:57am

    (including education about the harm of copyright piracy)


    Don't know what you're getting worked up about.

    "There has been no harm factually attributed to copyright piracy in independent studies, and many have shown benefits."

    Simple, and dealt with.
    NEXT!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2016 @ 11:31am

    Good

    I hope they make the Teachers and Students so hyperaware of copyright infringement and punishments that they naturally gravitate towards Free, Open and Creative Commons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 11:40am

    Question about copyright education

    Will they also be educating students about Fair Use? What exactly constitutes Fair Use?

    Also educate students about how they can avail themselves of copyright protection against an industry that is more than willing to steal their ideas.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 2 Feb 2016 @ 12:15pm

    LOL

    LOL, what idiots. They spent millions to get this put into a bill which nobody will read, and the students won't care about anyways. Great target marketing gents.... Idiots!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2016 @ 1:47pm

    We will screw you until you bleed, and we will take all of your hard earned money while doing it. Burn Baby, Burn.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mattmon (profile), 2 Feb 2016 @ 1:57pm

    Great idea

    "(including education about the harm of copyright piracy)."

    Great idea! Let's DO the education. And then use the education to point out that there is no harm from copyright piracy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 9:48am

    1984 user manual, step 27

    "Remember, children, if you hear your parents say anything bad about Big Brother, be sure to report them to the Thought Police so we can make them all better."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hei-Ran (profile), 30 May 2016 @ 4:41am

    I don't think teaching one person at a time is not a perfect method of teaching which you also described in that book. A lot of innovation in education in this book which every teacher must read that book. However, I'm looking a site where i can get cv writing but this one is best site having a lot of good collection of books.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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