Back to school with RIAA-funded copyright curriculum – Ars Technica

September 19, 2009

Back to school with RIAA-funded copyright curriculum – Ars Technica

School kids in America could certainly stand to learn about copyright in the classroom—it’s a fascinating topic that increasingly impacts the life of every “digital native” and intersects with law, history, art, and technology. But should they be exposed to industry-funded materials meant to teach kids:

That taking music without paying for it (“songlifting”) is illegal and unfair to others (RIAA)
Why illegally downloading music hurts more people than they think (ASCAP)
How the DVD-sniffing dogs, Lucky and Flo, help uncover film piracy (MPAA)
To use problem-solving approaches to investigate and understand film piracy (The Film Foundation)
The importance of using legal software as well as the meaning of copyright laws and why it’s essential to protect copyrighted works such as software (Business Software Alliance)
If this sounds more like “propaganda” than “education,” that’s probably because Big Content funds such educational initiatives to decrease what it variously refers to in these curricula as “songlifting,” “bootlegging,” and “piracy.”

Actually, I think this is great. The best thing the RIAA has done ever. By making every child aware of the corporate interference with their culture and cultural expression, they’re giving kids the best opportunity to think differently and fight for cultural expression that is outside of their purview.

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