The MPAA, RIAA, and America's major ISPs have teamed up to produce a stilted, propagandistic copyright curriculum for California's public schools. The material does not mention fair use at all (it's not "age appropriate," apparently) and suggests that you may not build on others' ideas without explicit permission, something that is both legally and morally nonsensical. Here's the sixth grade curriculum [PDF], here's grade five [PDF], and here's grade two [PDF], and grade one [PDF]. The plan is to roll this out across America.
“This thinly disguised corporate propaganda is inaccurate and inappropriate,” says Mitch Stoltz, an intellectual property attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who reviewed the material at WIRED’s request.
“It suggests, falsely, that ideas are property and that building on others’ ideas always requires permission,” Stoltz says. “The overriding message of this curriculum is that students’ time should be consumed not in creating but in worrying about their impact on corporate profits.”
The material was prepared by the California School Library Association and the Internet Keep Safe Coalition in conjunction with the Center For Copyright Infringement, whose board members include executives from the MPAA, RIAA, Verizon, Comcast and AT&T.
Each grade’s material includes a short video, and comes with a worksheet for teachers to use that’s packed with talking points to share with students.
Downloading Is Mean! Content Industry Drafts Anti-Piracy Curriculum for Elementary Schools [David Kravets/Wired]
Researcher Yarden Katz scraped the database of Intellectual Ventures, a giant business that buys up patents, but produces nothing but lawsuits (previously), and discovered that IV claims ownership of nearly 500 patents that were created at public expense by researchers employed by public universities, and another 100 or so patents filed by the US Navy.
Kids’ author/droid builder Kurt Zimmerman created “Artoo Deco,” an Art Deco take on R2-D2, capable of movement under radio control, and with an in-built sound-system that makes cool, droidish noises.
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