Media Lobby Indoctrination Turns into Education
Bohs Hansen / 2 years ago
About a year ago it was reported that the MPAA and RIAA were building a curriculum, targeted at kids from kindergarten through sixth grade in California, to teach about copyright law. This was however highly criticized in the media for being very one sided, not surprisingly. While teaching kids at a young age about copyright is a good thing in it self, there was barely any mention of fair-use and free-to-share copyright licenses at all. Just a lot of ‘don’t do this and don’t do that’.
Behind the entire thing are the MPAA and RIAA together with the California School Libraries Association and iKeepSafe. Torrentfreak have now discovered the final version of this curriculum, and it looks like the public outcry and media attention a year ago paid off. The new version shows big improvements.
Back then everyone involved was quick to state that it was just a pilot and that the final materials would be more balanced, and the president of the California School Library Association acknowledged that it was very one-sided and that the early drafts came straight from the content industry. “We’re moving along trying to get things a little closer to sanity. That tone and language, that came from that side of the fence, so to speak,” said Glen Warren back then.
The old draft put the emphasis on what you can’t do with copyrighted content, now it instead emphasizes that sharing can be a good thing and describes the Creative Common licenses in detail. Every lesson plan informs the children about fair use, and a lot of mandatory teacher remarks have been completely removed or changed. For example it no longer reads “we recognize that it’s hard work to produce something, and we want to get paid for our work”. It now reads, “the projects they created are fun / informative / respectful, and so they may want to share them online,” instead.
The media files that are included in the curriculum, such as videos, have doubled in length to cover fair use and Creative Common licenses. It now also informs the students that it’s totally fine to use copyrighted images and music in the Power Point presentations, as long as it’s only showed in class. The old draft warned students against this, something that would make the homework a lot harder.
Above is the old purpose and key concepts and below the new. They clearly show the difference in the approach taken before and after the revision of the material. You can read up on the entire content at iKeepSafe, if interested.
If it wasn’t for fair-use and common creative licenses, the internet would be a boring place. Just take our news for example, or any news for that matter, or all the blogs out there. We report on things other people have created, done and accomplished. If we couldn’t show you the photos and videos, this would be an entire different site. That said, it’s great to see that kids will be taught all sides and options in the future, instead of being trained into lobby sheep.
Thank you torrentfreak for proving us with this information.