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RIAA's Elementary School Copyright Curriculum

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the impressionable-young-minds dept.

Education 507

selven writes "In a blatant campaign devoid of any subtlety, the RIAA is fighting for the hearts and minds of our children with its Music Rules, a collection of education materials on how to respect copyright. The curriculum includes vocabulary such as 'counterfeit recordings, DMCA notice, "Grokster" ruling, legal downloading, online piracy, peer-to-peer file sharing, pirate recordings, songlifting, and US copyright law.' There is no mention whatsoever of fair use. Compounding the bias, it includes insights such as that taking music without paying for it is 'songlifting,' and that making copies for personal use and then playing them while your friends come over is illegal. On the bright side, it includes math showing that the total damages from copyright infringement by children in the US amount to a measly $7.8 million."

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507 comments

Okay, You Have the Floor (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467627)

There is no mention whatsoever of fair use.

Well, there actually is a mention of fair use in the parent guide [music-rules.com] but all it does is refer you to a better site [isafe.org]. The only other mention is -- hilariously enough -- in their own terms of use [music-rules.com] about using the materials on the site under fair use.

But that's beside your point, let's play a game. Pretend you have the floor in front of primary school students and you want to explain fair use. What do you say?

I'm not saying they shouldn't mention it. Because it's not well defined [wikipedia.org]. Fair use is, in my opinion, an abomination in that it's a "law" that's not defined in anyway. And what's even better is when I try to cite the safe harbor laws [slashdot.org] or portion limits [slashdot.org] on Slashdot, I'm ridiculed [slashdot.org] over [slashdot.org] and over [slashdot.org] (not that I've ever practiced law but as a citizen it's the most I can find) despite my analysis being correct [lessig.org]! So with my masters degree in computer science, I am clearly unable to pin down what precisely constitutes fair use and what does not. I imagine that were I charged with uploading and editing [wikipedia.org] fair use samples of every song off of David Bowie's Hunky Dory album (which I did) that my innocence would depend entirely on how much money I have for a lawyer ... not the law. Because "fair use" is ambiguous and the so called "doctrine [copyright.gov]" is downright laughable. If you don't agree with me, go ahead and post a response arguing for or against my above Wikipedia edits being "fair use." I'll gladly play the devil's advocate if someone doesn't beat me to it.

So given the above information, would you please outline how you would explain this to children? Or how you plan to "win their hearts and souls" with the fair use doctrine?

What I want for Christmas: someone in my government to man up and bring any amount of clarity to copyright law, fair use and (while we're at it) patents. Something shouldn't be unclear until you've already been sued for doing it. That's how you find yourself in situations like the RIAA suing thousands of people and watching court case after court case resolve to millions in damages awarded from an average citizen to a huge conglomerate of lawyers and labels.

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (4, Informative)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467725)

"You have the right to use small parts of something covered by copyright (like quoting a book for an essay) to comment on it, write a review about it or parody it and you're allowed to make copies for yourself to use."

That covers most of it.

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467801)

"You have the right to use small parts of something covered by copyright (like quoting a book for an essay) to comment on it, write a review about it or parody it and you're allowed to make copies for yourself to use."

So you're saying that if I take very small samples of The Beatles' White Album (as I consider the album an entire work) and make new songs out of those small samples, it is completely legal [chillingeffects.org] and I can distribute or sell said reconstructions because they are small parts or parodies? Do I need to merely include a comment on my "mashup" to make that legal?

Or if I take a single episode of the Family Guy (the whole series is what seven seasons now?) I can distribute that with my website with commentary on how it's great for society?

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (4, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467871)

If you're actually doing some commentary on the pieces of the songs that you're using, then yes. And no, an episode of Family Guy is not a small piece - each episode is a standalone work.

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468003)

If you're actually doing some commentary on the pieces of the songs that you're using, then yes. And no, an episode of Family Guy is not a small piece - each episode is a standalone work.

Yeah well, I said that to illustrate a point in what is a complete work? Did you know that a single song can be recorded over hundreds of hours spent in a studio? Is each snippet of a track recorded a "complete work"? What about the post recording processing that goes on? You're using that too, you know.

I'm just trying to get you to think about the ways in which this whole fair use thing becomes ambiguous but apparently you can say what you feel like saying without quoting or citing one legal document or precedent ... and there you are at +5 informative. Great, keep teaching kids that.

Go ahead and tell us what fair use is, I'm not pretending to be a lawyer but you're doing a fine job.

As for my above post being moderated troll?! So much for discourse and discussion on nailing down the definition of "fair use." I cite Capitol Records chasing after the Grey Album and I'm the troll.

Why do I even waste my time putting together posts? I am so sick and tired of this site.

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (4, Informative)

chrisbtoo (41029) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468373)

Why do I even waste my time putting together posts? I am so sick and tired of this site.

I appreciated them, FWIW.

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (1)

orgelspieler (865795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468469)

I'm sorry you got modded down, but you got modded back up quickly. Please stick around; I enjoy reading your posts. They are always well thought out and interesting. Don't let a couple of mods on crack tick you off.

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (2, Interesting)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468163)

Actually if the commentary covers the entire episode and the entire episode is required to illustrate the commentary then yes it is fair use. Fair use is not a law, it is a positive defense against a charge of copyright violation. Fair use is so nebulous that it cannot be stated more precisely than what was said in the GP.

I took a course in High School where we dissected the film Cool Hand Luke , and we showed the whole thing. Then took pieces of it and commented on each piece one section at a time and in the end we had reproduced the entire script and several images within the commentary. This was ruled fair use because we used the entire thing in the commentary and the commentary would be useless without the amount we used.

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (1)

dlsmith (993896) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467727)

Sounds like there's "mention of fair use" right here in the summary:

making copies for personal use and then playing them while your friends come over is illegal

"Personal use" seems like a pretty reasonable approximation to "fair use," as far as school children are concerned. Why would they mention "making copies for personal use" at all if they're presenting all copying as illegal?

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468173)

Why would they mention "making copies for personal use" at all if they're presenting all copying as illegal?

Exactly. If they were to do that, it would contradict other things that they say, and they'd end up with no credibility.

Obviously, they're going to misrepresent the law if it suits their purposes. How else are you supposed to get anyone to believe you, except by spinning larger and larger webs of lies to make what you say consistent with the lies you have already told?

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468189)

The UK Government's Health Services called. They have no problem with this curriculum, even if what is being taught by RIAA is contrary to what the parents (us) believe. And no this isn't off-topic.

It all comes back to the same principle - we parents have lost control of what our children are being taught, and other organizations are filling in the gap. Our objections don't matter, because we voluntarily gave-up this control and handed-it over to the UKHS and RIAA.

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (1)

Xeth (614132) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467737)

You could tell the children that copyright is not absolute, and that its primary purpose is to allow creators to make money off their copyrights. Sometimes, you can use pieces of their material for certain uses. You could follow it up with a few simple examples, like a short piece of a song, a screenshot of a game, etc.

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (1)

RIAAShill (1599481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467997)

You could tell the children that copyright is not absolute, and that its primary purpose is to allow creators to make money off their copyrights. Sometimes, you can use pieces of their material for certain uses. You could follow it up with a few simple examples, like a short piece of a song, a screenshot of a game, etc.

Sure you could tell children that. It makes sense to discuss fair use in a context where it is most applicable (e.g., when teaching about music composition or research paper drafting). But it is just a distraction when trying to discourage non-creative, infringing uses of copyrighted works (software piracy, P2P sharing of ripped music tracks, etc.).

Fair use is not as simple as you might think. When a court is faced with a fair use defense, all four factors of fair use have to be considered:
1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
2. The nature of the copyrighted work
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

To make matters worse, fair use is considered a defense to copyright infringement (first developed in the courts and then codified by Congress), not a right. Thus, if you are doing something that might be considered a fair use in court, the copyright holder can sue and you have the burden of proving. The copyright holder doesn't have to first prove that your use was not fair.

Additionally, trying to give "a few simple examples" is not as trivial as you think. A short piece of a song, sampled by a music artist and distributed commercially, might not be a fair use. A screenshot of a game, plastered on the cover of a third-party rip-off game, could be infringement too.

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (2, Insightful)

djnforce9 (1481137) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467915)

What I strongly believe is that the RIAA may find the current generation of teens and young adults to be pretty much a lost cause in terms of convincing them that "downloading is wrong/illegal/etc" because they will just end up doing it anyway (apparently making examples of people through massive lawsuits did not have enough influence). This could be for a variety reasons including being against the RIAA's policies, negative PR, how the RIAA have treated people (and even artists) in that past, or because each individual just can't find anything ethically or morally wrong about downloading especially when they later decide to give tribute to the artist directly should they become a close fan.

So knowing that, the RIAA can move towards a younger audience who are still too young to make decisions like the teens and young adults and therefore end up being VERY impressionable. I am assuming the objective is to convince them that "filesharing is wrong and illegal" so that when they DO get older, they will not partake in the same actions as their older brothers/sisters and maybe even parents.

Naturally in order to accomplish this task, the information will likely be biased in favour of the RIAA so any counter-arugments to their policies such as "fair use" will be cleverly omitted from the program. In short, this whole thing is NOT for the benefit and education of children but the private business interests of a third party organization. Educating them that the RIAA's ancient business model is the ONLY way one should go (as opposed to filesharing which has opened up numerous other possible distribution models).

I think the RIAA's actions here border on "sick" and "brainwashing" if you ask me. That's like if Coca Cola ran a program at schools informing children that all other brands are "harmful" and will have severe negative consequences if you drink them.

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468247)

>>>I think the RIAA's actions here border on "sick" and "brainwashing" if you ask me. That's like if Coca Cola ran a program at schools informing children that all other brands are "harmful" and will have severe negative consequences if you drink them.
>>>

I share the same thoughts about what UK Health Services is doing with telling schoolchildren "masturbation is good", but few seems to agree with me. For some reason if corporations do it, then it's bad, but if governments do it, then everyone thinks it's okay. Odd.

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29468329)

I don't think we have much to worry about in terms of "brainwashing" the kids on this issue considering many grow up to "rebel" against various old fuddy-duddy "moral" guidelines (especially if "everyone else is doing it").

Applies to my kids in their 20's now (oldest of 4 is actually 30, and a raving anarcho/libertarian now - so much for parental values ;-) And my wife has seen it year after year with her 1st-grade students as they "grow up".

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29468345)

Huh. I wonder if that's why they baptize children and start them on Sunday School early, too...

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (5, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468107)

So given the above information, would you please outline how you would explain this to children?

Step 1: Teach them critical thinking, instead of doctrine.

Step 2: There is no step 2.

Children should learn to think. With regard to controversial topics like copyright law or health care legislation, they should be encouraged to seek broad resources and to judge for themselves. They should never, under any circumstances, be indoctrinated into any belief. Not even beliefs about fair use, of which I am a rabid supporter.

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (2, Informative)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468285)

They should never, under any circumstances, be indoctrinated into any belief.

Children are like sponges, it can be hard to do that sometimes

Re:Okay, You Have the Floor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29468387)

"Oy vey... haven't ve suffered enough?"

The Jew cries out as he strikes you.

The RIAA is run by JEWS for JEWS. We are their 'cattle'. They will happily put your children in prison for downloading a f**king SONG, that's what the Jews think about you and your family...

Who is running your government? You, the people?
No, the JEW is running your government.

The JEW just stole two trillion dollars from you, and you aren't allowed to know where it went. (i.e. to which JEWS it went...)

Why would a school include this "material"? (1)

Hitman_Frost (798840) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467635)

It doesn't fit into the approved subject criteria... Mathematics, English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and so on...

It's not like they could "bribe" the schools either, surely as the government would have something to say about that...

Or am I simply being naive? ;-)

Re:Why would a school include this "material"? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467711)

Teaching about law in general, while not exactly a classical subject, is good and right. It's a part of history, as well. If we're all expected to be good citizens and obey the law, then we have to learn it somewhere. Corporate sponsorship of teaching materials in this way is outright ridiculous, though.

Re:Why would a school include this "material"? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467873)

How does music, art, baseball, football, special ed, sex ed*, etc., fit in?

This coming from a musician, btw...

* not referring to anatomy/biology here.

Re:Why would a school include this "material"? (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467963)

Music and art:
I don't know about the US, but in Germany there are separate classes for these. At least in secondary school, can't remember primary ;-)

Baseball and football:
Phys ed. I think the US has that too.

"In a blatant campaign devoid of any subtlety" (-1, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467877)

In a blatant campaign devoid of any subtlety

Yeah, Slashdot sure isn't guilty of that when it takes every pro-piracy position possible.

Don't worry... (3, Funny)

celibate for life (1639541) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467667)

... the internet will teach them what they really need: how to find warez.

The emperor is naked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29467989)

Children are best at spotting when the emperor is naked.

Re:The emperor is naked! (5, Insightful)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468287)

Children are best at spotting when the emperor is naked.

I see what you're saying, but you're wrong. Children are horrible at spotting that.

Look at drug education, which is taught in a similarly shrill tone. Almost all children come out of that with an absolute hatred of any drugs. It's not until later, when exposed to the actual effects that some of them will realize that most of what was taught was bunk. Many will have the extremely negative reaction that they were taught for the rest of their lives, regardless of any evidence they receive to the contrary. And even those that do figure out that it was mostly hysteria that they were taught generally fling in the other direction, rebelling against any authority and expecting everything they say to be a lie.

Teaching unbalanced and hysterical lessons to young children, who do not have BS filters in place, is as far as I've seen, universally harmful. I can think of no situation where a reasoned explanation of the facts, and clearly marked explanation of theories, would not be better than the above.

How about rewards? (5, Insightful)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467699)

Surely the riaa can take a lesson from the war on drugs and get the children to turn in their parents and friends for dmca violations!

I mean c'mon wouldn't it be worth it to any kid to receive a free cd (with rootkit) for sending their parents, friends, neighbors and relatives to the slammer?

Re:How about rewards? (1)

tfmachad (1386141) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467865)

When I read the article the first thing that came to mind was indeed kids ratting on their parents for their mp3 collection. Very Orwellian of you to mention it.

Re:How about rewards? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29468351)

Very Stasi of you to mention it.

There, fixed that for you...

Sounds familiar (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29467723)

What's next:

Kids, turn your parents in for infringement and get this new song!

Really? (5, Insightful)

ZekoMal (1404259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467735)

So, instead of funding some better early introductions to sex-ed, better science classes, better...everything, we're expecting public schools to waste time telling kids not to burn disks?

I mean, I'll play devil's advocate for a just a second: It didn't stop them from smoking, so why the hell do you think it'll stop them from doing a far easier to do "crime"?!

Public Schools Taking a dump ... (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467883)

... This is why I am hating public schooling more and more these days. They are not teaching your kids math and reading anymore ... they are teaching whatever the lobbyist want them to learn.

Re:Public Schools Taking a dump ... (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468435)

"Propaganda institutions" is the phrase you're looking for. Many libertarians claim that's why public schools were created - to fill incoming immigrants with pro-american propaganda, but I think those people are nutters. I think public schools started with good intentions (like most government programs), but evolved into nothing more than soapboxes for lobbyists & others with agendas.

See my sig for an example.

It didn't stop them from smoking (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468005)

You checked out smoking rates in the US lately? Way down from it's peak.

Re:It didn't stop them from smoking (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468061)

You checked out smoking rates in the US lately? Way down from it's peak.

... because of schooling? or because of price?

Re:It didn't stop them from smoking (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468447)

Well the effects of schooling are likely overshadowed by the effects of "oh we're bad for doing something illegal!" See also under-age drinking in college.

Re:It didn't stop them from smoking (2, Informative)

ZekoMal (1404259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468111)

I checked the schools. The groups of kids smoking. The larger groups of kids smoking on college campus. Way down, yes, but with adult smokers. "The results come from a survey of 54,301 regular smokers, part of the 2004 and 2006 National Youth Tobacco Survey of nearly 5 million 12- to 17-year-olds." (emphasis mine). Pulled from http://www.usatoday.com/money/advertising/2009-02-12-marlboro-kids-smokers_N.htm [usatoday.com]. I'll see if I can find some evidence of kid smokers also decreasing, but...I don't think kid smokers have decreased.

Re:Really? (1)

Ceseuron (944486) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468161)

Exactly. How is this "curriculum" relevant to producing functional citizens in our society in our schools? It doesn't teach them anything they can use in the real world. Is the RIAA expecting employers and higher education institutions to base acceptance on whether or not they received a passing grade in this?

Re:Really? (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468255)

Because most of the illegal copying happened in the first place because no one was educated to the fact that it could be illegal. Since ignorance of the law is no excuse we should at least give them the tools to know when to hide what they are doing.

How about some Civics? (2, Insightful)

lcfactor (786787) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467765)

It's sad to me we're seeing this kind of curriculum foisted upon the classroom by dying industry when most public schools are pulling back Civics programs, and overall education about the law and democratic process. It's a sorry state indeed. Here's to the work of Sanda Day O'Connor though - who's at least trying to do something about it. (If you don't know who that is, you might need some remedial schooling yourself)

Re:How about some Civics? (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468105)

It's sad to me we're seeing this kind of curriculum foisted upon the classroom by dying industry when most public schools are pulling back Civics programs, and overall education about the law and democratic process.

The kids most likely wouldn't want to learn Civics themselves anywayz.

That is a big part of the problem. We can't simply blame corporations for raising generations of increasingly brainless, servile consumers. There is a fundamental human craving to be as brainless and servile as possible.

The one thing human beings will literally kill to avoid, more than anything else, is having to think.

Re:How about some Civics? (2, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468423)

I'm not sure that's true. For some segment of society, maybe.. but for others less so.

One of my earliest memories is of when a teacher was trying to tell me the alphabet and me demanding to know *why* B follows A and C follows B. I got 2 weeks of detention for that.. learned early that you don't ask questions in school, you just give them the correct answer and move on (one of my other lessons was - if you discover that the times tables can be done by adding numbers together, on no account let your teacher know. Another two weeks of detention for working something out rather than rote learning it).

I still react when someone states something without backing it up with evidence. I *want* to think for myself.

Is it like Sex Ed can I opt my Kid Out (4, Interesting)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467773)

When my kid reaches school age can I make sure she doesn't get exposure to this blatant pack of lies. Will there be a letter sent home so I can OPT her out of gettig this "education".

Re:Is it like Sex Ed can I opt my Kid Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29467833)

Can you specifically cite which parts of the program are "lies?"

Re:Is it like Sex Ed can I opt my Kid Out (2, Funny)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467885)

Of sex ed or copyright ed?

Re:Is it like Sex Ed can I opt my Kid Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29468045)

LOL!

Re:Is it like Sex Ed can I opt my Kid Out (2, Funny)

JohnRoss1968 (574825) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468317)

When you think about it, isn't it basically the same thing. Copyright Education-- Kids Dont Copy Music Its Bad. Sex Ed--- Kids Dont Copy ...yourselves Its Bad

Re:Is it like Sex Ed can I opt my Kid Out (5, Informative)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468103)

As a parent of a school-aged kid I can tell you that this is not how it works. They don't send home a letter telling you they're teaching polynomials, evolution or T.S. Elliot.

However, they are VERY sensitive to potential lawsuits. Angry parents standing in the school office tend to get their way, regardless of the logic of their arguments. Stay involved. Ask your kids' teachers about the subjects they will be taught. Go to PTA meetings.

The parents who sit around waiting for letters to be sent home to them are the parents who have no say in how the school is run.

Re:Is it like Sex Ed can I opt my Kid Out (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468357)

>>>When my kid reaches school age can I make sure she doesn't get exposure to this blatant pack of lies.

Well if you elect me as your State Governor, you can "opt out" of the public school and send your kid to a private school instead, which teaches your values. And if you provide a receipt for said school, you'll be exempt from Government School Taxes for that year (since you shouldn't have to pay for something your kid is not using).

Fair use? (0, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467785)

There is no fair use involved in making unauthorized copies of a work. I don't care what you call it. If you start with one copy of a copyrighted work and end up with n copies of a work, where n is greater than 1, in the hands of m people, where m is greater than 1, without the permission of the copyright holder, then unauthorized copies have been made. There is no fair use defense, because there is no fair use for that situation.

Re:Fair use? (1)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467953)

Fair use copies are allowed for parody, artistically arranging, education and research purposes. They should expand the vocabulary to: Paris Convention, Berne Convention, Michael Geist, and, of course, MAFIAA.

I don't think you'll find much agreement on /. People often believe pretty much anything that isn't nailed down should be free because they don't want to pay for them. Copyright is a compromise to allow creative people to be compensated, but not to stifle the production of creativity from leaning too far either way.

Re:Fair use? (-1, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468361)

You fail at "parody, artistically arranging, education and research purposes".

Personal use does not fall into any of those categories.

Re:Fair use? (1)

Dalzhim (1588707) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467961)

Then you sir, aren't allowed to quote me if you reply to me on this thread. Otherwise I'll sue you.

Re:Fair use? (1)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468085)

Then you sir, aren't allowed to quote me if you reply to me on this thread. Otherwise I'll sue you.

-Dalzhim

Go ahead and try it (just please not in Texas) =P

While you have copyright of your text, I am not causing monetary damages (which are the only damages you can sue for). There is existing precedent where Internet correspondence is not private information (sometimes, even e-mail). I believe this is considered a public forum, and I have attributed your remarks. At worst, you could have my remarks removed from the forum.

Re:Fair use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29468171)

There is no fair use involved in making unauthorized copies of a work. I don't care what you call it. If you start with one copy of a copyrighted work and end up with n copies of a work, where n is greater than 1, in the hands of m people, where m is greater than 1, without the permission of the copyright holder, then unauthorized copies have been made. There is no fair use defense, because there is no fair use for that situation.

So are you saying that one copy is ok?
Or are you saying that you shouldn't even be allowed to make a digital copy of your cd to play on your mp3 player?
Fair use does and should exist, the only trouble is that on the internet one copy becomes thousands in hours.

Locking away Intellectual property for 100 years is not fair either though.

Re:Fair use? (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468197)

This is the other problem.

Organisations like the RIAA have unfathomably stupid people like yourself to act as their cheerleaders; people who apparently don't understand that, by supporting corporate avarice, tyranny, greed, and amorality, you're actually advocating screwing yourself over just as much as anyone else.

The RIAA and its' ideas do not need to be defended; they need to be unsparingly, uncompromisingly, and completely annihilated. You are on the wrong side of this argument.

Fine! (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467839)

Let's have that curriculum, and then a much more in depth look at Benjamin Franklin, arguably the smartest and most important of the founding fathers.

"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously."

That's a quote I like in particular, RIAA, you rat bastards contrary to all human achievement and creativity. I hope you die a horrible, horrible, slow and agonising death, every last member.

The three Rs (3, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467889)

Schools should focus on "The three Rs", Reading, wRiting, a aRithmetic, and secondarily on physical and sex education so people know how to be healthy.

After they have been taught these things and have mastered English and communication skills enough to differentiate propaganda from civics and distinguish logical fallacies from legal dogma, then they can be taught about the RIAA and copyright in a Political Science class, and not as part of a religion.

seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29467891)

they're kidding, right? please, someone tell me they're just kidding??

Had to be said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29467935)

Don't copy that floppy fool!

video [youtube.com]

Can parents take their children out of class? (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467959)

So what rights will parents have to prevent their children from being taught these falsehoods? I can imagine quite a can of worms if schools don't want to let parents remove their children from instances where this is being taught.

Better yet, can parents sit in on these teachings to make sure their kids aren't being blatantly lied to?

the scary part is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29468007)

where they say that if you make a copy and play it for friends (with you there), that is a copywrite violation. So if you keep the original as a master and use the back up you are violating the law? If that is the case, soon you won't even be able to play the original without violating the law.

Re:the scary part is (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468325)

Technically even playing the original with friends present is illegal. Practically as long as it is in your home you are safe. But if you do it while an MPAA official or RIAA in the case of a music CD then he could (be an asshole and) turn you in.

Passion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29468029)

What ever happened to making music for passion? Now it's all about money. Sad.

Re:Passion? (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468427)

I gather that most of the musicians who actually make music still do it because they have a passion for it. It's the corporate distributors who want to use government to club everyone over the head to eke out every last possible cent.

Awesome! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29468033)

"...the total damages from copyright infringement by children in the US amount to a measly $7.8 million."

So, going by the 80,000 per song that Jammie Thomas had to shell out divided by the $7.8 million worth of damages stated here, this is saying that children in the US have downloaded a combined 97.5 songs!

Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29468091)

I can't wait until Coca-Cola publishes educational materials targeted towards children that shows them why Coca-Cola products are superior, and why you should never drink off-brand cola!

President Obama (3, Insightful)

ehaggis (879721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468109)

And people were up in arms about President Obama speaking in the schools? I'd much rather have an inspirational speech by our president than propaganda by a private organization.

"Little Brother" Doctorow, DCMA, then DHS? (1)

Globally Mobile (1635415) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468117)

Reminds me of a section in Chapter 13 of Cory Doctorow's book Little Brother [craphound.com]. In chapter thirteen, or if you grep/search/seek out the phrase "Under what circumstances should the federal government be prepared to suspend the Bill of Rights?" Then you will see a classroom discussion about a little text that is released by the DHS, after things go ary, which eerily reminds me of this DCMA edu-mercial. The title of the educational material is called WHAT EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HOMELAND SECURITY. During the scene the boy & the teacher go back and forth about rights, and the constitution, etc.

Eeery. Orwell, Dick, & Brunner were all right on point. *shivers*

DVD sniffing dogs? (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468179)

The dogs can sniff out a DVD? Do they work on DVD only, or can they do BluRay as well?

Re:DVD sniffing dogs? (1)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468201)

They can sniff BluRay, but you'll only really notice a difference with a High Definition owner. Plus you need to connect the owner to the dog with a special HDMI leash.

Erm... EPIC FAIL (4, Insightful)

M-RES (653754) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468195)

Compounding the bias, it includes insights such as that taking music without paying for it is 'songlifting,' and that making copies for personal use and then playing them while your friends come over is illegal.

Erm, no it isn't illegal. What if the music you're 'taking without paying for it' has been released as CC or Public Domain? Personally, since all the crap first started kicking off back in the Napster days I've released all of my own music as CC and sold some for commercial use, but my small fanbase always appreciated that I'd give them tracks for free and sell them CDs for the cost of the materials and they were free to share them around with friends (I encouraged it), because it was free publicity that got me bigger attendances at gigs and thus better gigs with better pay. Filesharing is a great thing for artists. Major labels are bad bad bad things for artists and will only screw them over to exploit their talent without fair compensation. I bet the RIAA don't talk about THAT fact do they?

What's wrong with teaching? (3, Insightful)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468203)

I bet I'll lose a ton of karma here, but...

What's wrong with teaching kids about respecting copyright? I agree completely that the US system is far from perfect, but we do have copyright laws on the books, and they're there for a good reason.

Most artists are not rich. The ability to control their music, pictures, paintings, designs, etc. allows them to pay bills very much in line with the ordinary Joe. It's a job. They should get paid for their job, if their work is in demand.

The Internet generation seems to think that if you can touch something, you can have it. I've started to see that 'entitlement' thing that the older folks keep talking about. Stuff on the Internet is not necessarily free. Sure, there are plenty of people who do make their songs, pictures etc. available for free legitimately. Why not download that? I'm betting it's because much of the time, it's not nearly as good as the paid-for stuff.

More people should be taught to respect copyright; even if it only leads to a change in the laws on the books (specifically, I hate the lifetime+70. Far too long.). But illegal downloading really IS stealing. I know that's an unpopular view, and the cartels have done nefarious things trying to enforce the laws, but it remains a fact.

And as to the fair use argument:

1) Fair Use is an admissive defense for copyright infringement. Meaning, you don't get to do something because it's fair use, you do it and if you get sued, you make a case for fair use.

2) Fair Use generally does not encompass making copies of something to give to someone else. It also does not encompass putting complete or majority portions of a work, say, online for review or critique purposes.

3) People should be able to make backups of CDs and movies (except for the lousy 'decryption' provision), and even shift between media.

But let's not pretend that downloading something you don't own or have license to use is somehow OK; much less Fair Use.

Re:What's wrong with teaching? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29468319)

The ability to control their music, pictures, paintings, designs, etc. allows them to pay bills very much in line with the ordinary Joe. It's a job. They should get paid for their job, if their work is in demand.
Let's say I invent the cure for cancer. How long do I get to control this? Why should someone who wrote a song have more control over their work?

Re:What's wrong with teaching? (2, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468449)

What's wrong with teaching kids about respecting copyright?

Nothing, as long as you are teaching them actual law.

Back in the day, when plain paper copy machine began to pop up in places like public libraries, people had an understanding of copyright that was simple and wrong. Most people thought that you could copy anything you wanted in any amount if it was for personal use. No-one was prosecuted for copying too many pages out of a book. Now, with the Internet, things are more complicated, but people haven't kept up.

A good teacher would make a passing reference to the RIAA's literature, then ask the class, "What do you think copyright *should* be?", and then go into a discussion about the history of copyright, how laws are created, and how to get them changed.

Re:What's wrong with teaching? (2)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468461)

Did you read the summary? They are telling kids it is illegal to put a CD and play it when friends are over, because your friends don't have a license, so that is stealing.

Is anyone listening? (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468215)

So the RIAA has created this literature, is there any evidence that a significant number of schools are taking time away from the SOL test preparation in order to teach this stuff. (School payola, perhaps the RIAA will be caught bribing teachers to present this stuff, wouldn't that be a hoot?)

Make the check payable to... (1)

scanrate (470160) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468261)

Send me that "measly" $7.8 million would ya? Since it's just a drop in the bucket...

The D.A.R.E. effect... (1)

lucky130 (267588) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468271)

Don't they remember the effect D.A.R.E. had? It actually increased drug use...

Basically, they'll be telling kids how to get all the stuff they want for free.

Quite Honestly (2, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468279)

We need some copyright and IP law education in our schools. Your average citizen wouldn't realize that it's a copyright violation to scan that wedding picture that a professional photographer took (99 times out of 100 unless you negotiated that in the contract.) The average citizen thinks you can just grab stuff off the web and use it. The average citizen thinks that if it's there it must be legal. And I'm willing to bet that your average congressman knows not much more than your average citizen.

We're in this mess now because we ignored these issues and didn't complain when Congress kept tipping the scales in favor of the large corporations who own most of the copyrights. Copyright law offers us very little protection now, and it offers the artists who actually create the work very little protection either. And nothing will change it until more people know what's going on with it and are angry enough to make some changes.

I'm not saying that the very parasites who have effected this situation in the first place should be the ones in charge of that education, but I think a well balanced program is required.

Corporate propaganda (2, Insightful)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468311)

Corporate propaganda passed off as school curriculum? Only in the United States of Avarice.

Raising good Corperate Consumer citizens.... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468335)

Sharing? that's bad, Stop sharing with billy.

and children, you do know that you kill kittens when you share? Also you are being very bad if you sing a song you heard on the radio without paying for the right to do so?

yes billy, your mother is a criminal for singing "happy birthday" to you yesterday. She is evil and should be put away.

you know kids, it's up to you to watch your parents and report any suspicious or bad behavior.

Capitalism as a Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29468363)

Reading the summary reminded me for some reason of the discussion when the Discovery Institute came out with textbooks for teaching Intelligent Design in school. Much like everything about religion, this sounds like an attempt at indoctrinating children so they feel guilty for breaking rules they've been taught to believe from a young age. This has absolutely nothing to do with education and everything to do with corporate interest. If this is legitimately put into any schools I would be amazed and disgusted. There are better things for children to be spending their school time on than how to make sure the RIAA is still profitable.

NO WAY (2, Funny)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468385)

There is absolutely now way I would EVER send my kid to a school run by the RIAA.
Unless it was free. AND I would have to get 25 free mp3s.

I'm a musician (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 4 years ago | (#29468455)

Sooner or later they're going to come after me because the A440 I play sounds a bit too similar to Green Day's A440.

God help the drummers with their 40 essential rudiments.

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