This painfully reductive video obtained by Wired represents what the movie and recording industries want our kids to know about copyright. It does a really nice job of making “share” sound like a bad word.
The video — which was designed for sixth graders — explains that illegally sharing copyrighted material puts working creative people out of work. Which is true to a certain point. And from what we can tell, the lesson doesn’t go so far as to indoctrinate children into some of the more controversial pro-censorship views of the content industry.
Now, while there’s nothing objectionable per se in the video, it’s a little weird that the Center for Copyright Information is getting involved in designing lesson plans. Launched last year as a pro-industry lobby, uh, “education group”, the CCI was basically created to administer the Copyright Alert System. The “six-strike” response system seeks to teach baddies caught pirating content that what they’re doing is wrong, as well as to make sure they know there are legal options for obtaining content. If offenders don’t learn, their ISP will throttle their data connection. It’s simple, mostly painless, and importantly it keeps hapless people from getting sued into oblivion.
So far, there’s no data on whether or not the seven-month-old effort is having any effect. Even if it is, we should all ask ourselves where the CCI’s impact should begin and end. Do you want lobbyist groups designing lesson plans for your kids? [Wired]