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Microsoft Education Your Rights Online

Microsoft Pushes Copyright Education Curriculum 251

Posted by samzenpus
from the problem-solved dept.
Dotnaught writes "Backed by a study that says teens show more respect for copyrights when told of possible jail time for infringement, Microsoft is launching a new intellectual property curriculum to educate kids about IP law. To support its teachings, Microsoft has launched MyBytes, a Web site where students can create custom ringtones, share content — "their own content," as Microsoft makes clear — and learn more about intellectual property rights."
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Microsoft Pushes Copyright Education Curriculum

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  • Duh (Score:5, Funny)

    by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:10PM (#22413624) Homepage Journal

    possible jail time for infringement
    hehehe.. no shit. I don't know if "respect" is the right word though.

    • Re:Duh (Score:4, Funny)

      by Divebus (860563) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:19PM (#22413750)
      MSCopyright Rule #1: Everything belongs to us. By reading this, you are bound to the terms of the EULA. Sign here.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      "However, by posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting ("Posting") your Submission you are granting Microsoft, its affiliated companies and necessary sublicensees permission to use your Submission in connection with the operation of their Internet businesses (including, without limitation, all Microsoft Services), including, without limitation, the license rights to: copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate and reformat your Submission; to publish your name in connection with your Submission; and the right to sublicense such rights to any supplier of the Services.

      No compensation will be paid with respect to the use of your Submission, as provided herein. Microsoft is under no obligation to post or use any Submission you may provide and Microsoft may remove any Submission at any time in its sole discretion."

      • by jonfr (888673) * on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @09:23PM (#22414418) Homepage
        I am pretty sure that this is an theft. Because Microsoft is taking the rights away from the creator of the art in question (ring tones for example. They hid this type of bullshit in there Eula, not in plain sight, but deep in there Eula and hope that nobody notices this type of clause.

        Social network sites (Facebook, MySpace, etc) also do this, that is why my profiles on there is mostly empty.

        But in short, this is an corporation theft, but they hide behind lawyers and some shadow explanations on this crap in there Eula. They don't tell kids about this stuff on there copyright web page. It doesn't fit them to tell them the truth, that they are making money on kids creations.

        I hope that this web page of there goes to /dev/null and never returns.
    • by Wolfier (94144)
      Respect has to be earned. So far I have not seen the pro-DMCA side doing anything worthy of earning our respect.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by KillerCow (213458)

      Backed by a study that says teens show more respect for copyrights when told of possible jail time for infringement,


      Don't break the law because it's against the law! That might work on teens, but it won't work on any free-thinking individual. Too bad our schools don't teach independent thought anymore.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by QuantumG (50515)
        Apparently they don't even teach teens enough to say "what law? Show me this law, written down and approved by vote, which says what you claim. Oh, there is no law? You were just lying?"
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:10PM (#22413628) Journal
    Urgh.

    I have no problems at all with educating kids on copyright law (at about the same time that other civics classes are taught), but this just reeks of propaganda.

    /P

    • by croddy (659025) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:11PM (#22413644)
      Eduganda?
      • by GeekZilla (398185)
        Damnit! Where are my mod points? :) That was funny!
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        If that caught on, i'd certainly feel bad for Uganda.
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:12PM (#22413658) Journal
      As long as the course also teaches about ethical business practices and fair play, and about how abusive monopolies can create a situation where the consumer receives very expensive and sub-par products. Students could get hands-on use with laptops sold as Vista-capable in late 2006 actually running Vista as an example of just this sort of thing.
      • by Adambomb (118938)
        This is entirely the problems. Given that theres a simpsons for everything:

        "When I grow up I want to go to Bovine University!".
      • As long as the course also teaches about ethical business practices and fair play, and about how abusive monopolies can create a situation where the consumer receives very expensive and sub-par products.

        Somehow I don't quite see that happening. I sincerely doubt that they even get around to mentioning "fair use" (save a quick mention in passing), let alone "fair play".

        /P

    • I have no problems at all with educating kids on copyright law
      Totally, keyword being educate, I mean I'm only 24 but daaaaaaamn I swear kids are much more blatantly ignorant or downright idiotic then I can recall >10 years ago.
    • by cptdondo (59460) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:39PM (#22413984) Journal
      From the terms of use:

      Microsoft does not claim ownership of the materials you provide to Microsoft (including feedback and suggestions) or post, upload, input or submit to any Services or its associated services for review by the general public, or by the members of any public or private community, (each a "Submission" and collectively "Submissions"). However, by posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting ("Posting") your Submission you are granting Microsoft, its affiliated companies and necessary sublicensees permission to use your Submission in connection with the operation of their Internet businesses (including, without limitation, all Microsoft Services), including, without limitation, the license rights to: copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate and reformat your Submission; to publish your name in connection with your Submission; and the right to sublicense such rights to any supplier of the Services.

      No compensation will be paid with respect to the use of your Submission, as provided herein. Microsoft is under no obligation to post or use any Submission you may provide and Microsoft may remove any Submission at any time in its sole discretion.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Mystery00 (1100379)
        Obviously they're not teaching kids about copyright law, they're teaching kids to read disclaimers and the fine print.
    • by wpegden (931091) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:43PM (#22414036)
      I have no problems with educating kids on copyright law, so long as it's done correctly. In particular, I am opposed to "abstinence only" education. While it is true that abstaining from file sharing is an effective deterrent to its harmful effects (financial ruin, bankruptcy, incarceration if the RIAA gets its way), studies have shown that students in abstinence-only copyright education classes aren't any less likely to download copyrighted materials. Therefore, classes should also cover "safer" downloading practices, which effectively avoid the scrutiny of law-enforcement and reduce chances of being the victim of harmful effects of file-sharing. The use of encrypted connections and anonymizing networks such as Tor [eff.org], and basic techniques used to procure copyrighted material from newsgroups rather than insecure p2p protocols, etc., would all be covered in a well designed cirriculum.
    • by cgenman (325138) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:20AM (#22416610) Homepage
      It is propaganda that moment anyone uses the term "Intellectual Property." The law recognizes no such thing. The law recognizes limitations on rights to duplicate *real* property, of attempting to pass as someone else, and a limited span of prevention of use of certain registered inventions. But nothing "intellectual" is ever owned.

  • ...All in all you're just another brick in the wall
    • by gnick (1211984)
      Another nice quote from the same band that seems appropriate here - From Dogs of War:

      Discovery is to be disowned.
      How do you think that would jive in MS 101?
  • All this will do is teach the kids IP is a corporate crock to be obliterated when they are in power, and open doors to possibilities about 'free' stuff they never even thought of.

    What they should do is try to give value to purchasing a right to use, not just trying to scare kids.
    • What about the wider subject of ethics? Pretty handy for MS to focus only on the area that is of interest to them while acting like complete bastards in other areas (offence to bastards unintended).
  • by quinnanya (1081787) * on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:16PM (#22413704) Homepage
    When you create a profile, one of the avatars you can pick is a copyright symbol.
    • by GeekZilla (398185)
      You know, I thought you were kidding. I'm thinking, "hee-hee. That's pretty silly." :-P

      Then I went to MyBytes.

      You were serious.

      I... don't know what to say.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:25PM (#22413802) Homepage
    In the beginning, there were computers... the hardware... the software was free. People were paid to write programs, but the programs weren't sold "as a product without guarantees." Then Bill Gates said "let there be profit where there was none!" And so there was.

    And it came to pass that there was wailing and gnashing of teeth while Microsoft made billions upon billions of dollars and a monopoly was built.

    And it came to pass that while open source and free software was never really gone, but it has regained popularity as much of the afore mentioned wailing and gnashing goes on. And as open source and industries using it gained popularity, there were flying chairs as well.

    There are other ways to get your computers to deliver the results you want and it doesn't have to cost any money. Microsoft doesn't want anyone to know that so they'll frighten kids with fire and brimstone to protect their business model. Brilliant! But should Microsoft be teaching religion in schools? What they SHOULD be teaching is their programmers to write safe and secure code.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Shaterri (253660)

      In the beginning, there were computers... the hardware... the software was free. People were paid to write programs, but the programs weren't sold "as a product without guarantees." Then Bill Gates said "let there be profit where there was none!" And so there was.

      ...ummm, were you actually coding back then? I hate to break this to you, but by propagating (bit by bit, and admittedly occasionally by accident) the concept of a common computing environment with well-defined, public (and mostly-open) APIs an

      • by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:50PM (#22414116) Homepage

        Bill Gates has probably done more to ensure the development of more free software than anyone else

        Well, what would the Bible be without the Devil...

      • by erroneus (253617)
        ...which is why more people are running insecure OSes and apps than anyone could have predicted 20 years ago and why those who are trying to escape B.Gate's unified utopia is moving as far away from Microsoft as possible?

        If you think anyone other than IBM had anything to do with commoditization of computing, I'd say you're over-estimating what Microsoft actually does and what they actually did. I think if people dig into what Microsoft has contributed, you'd be hard pressed to find even a SINGLE thing they
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        This is why the Free Software community is based around Microsoft systems?

        No it's based around Unix systems, which were around before Microsoft - and it's what large parts of Windows is based on as well ...

        There was already a large community based around a common system with a common API before Microsoft and their still is ...and it has nothing to do with Microsoft ...

    • Microsoft doesn't want anyone to know that so they'll frighten kids with fire and brimstone to protect their business model. Brilliant!

      If they, or anyone else, do make inroads, I expect much of their success will go the way of the Just Say No or abstinence programs, but not before bits of it start infiltrating the educational system.

      Maybe what they need to is start earlier. Instead of allowing kindergarten teachers to instruct little Jimmy that sharing is A Good Thing, and that people who don't share are r
  • I have never found mere escape of punishment to be a good reason to do anything. I admit it can be motivation, but not a reason.
  • ... MyBytes site users elect to release their content under the GPL.
  • User Poll (Score:5, Informative)

    by Amorymeltzer (1213818) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:28PM (#22413854)
    Hey all, the current poll available on mybytes [mybytes.com] is:

    How many times should you be allowed to burn a copy of a CD that you purchased?
    Zero
    One or two
    Three to seven
    As many as I like; I own it.
    I think you know what to do...
    • by owlnation (858981)
      Mod parent up!

      It's working! 95% of the votes so far are for "As many as I like; I own it."

      And I think we can safely say we now pwn that poll.
    • by mstahl (701501)
      You need to be logged in to vote, though.
    • Zero: 0%
      One or two: 1%
      Three to seven: 0%
      As many as I like; I own it: 98%

      10:20PM EST, 2/13
      Fact is, that's correct - even to an incorrect law. They never specified what their use was. I could burn 5,000 CD's and make a (uncomfortable) suit out of them; it'd still be legal (for now, and assuming it covered some ...important... areas)
  • I wonder how much of this Microsoft sponsered curriculum with cover public licensing.

    Unfortunately, as a true slashdotter I am single with no kids, but if it were one of my kids that were being put through this indoctrination, I will give them a quick overview of the creative commons license and suggest that they applied it to all their uploaded content. Wouldn't that be interesting!
  • Children are thus raised to squeal and squawk whenever anyone seems to be "stealing IP" - which not only implies they dont copy games, music, etc. but in that they report infringement whenever they see it (parents, schools, comrades, jobs).

    Years later, when every copy of every commercial product is dutifully paid for, more people than ever will be clamoring for alternatives to the expensive world of vendor-dictated pricing, feature and upgrade schedules.

    And so, this generation will adopt FO
    • by QuantumG (50515)
      ya dreaming. What would happen if all this IP propaganda was actually effective is that eventually this generation would discover FOSS and think it is "just wrong" because it "doesn't reward artists" and all sorts of other clap-trap that they have been taught. Some of this generation might become congressmen and happily pass laws that make FOSS impractical or impossible.

    • by nexuspal (720736)
      Nice, the more the push for the profits, the more attractive open source is. How can you keep growing at 10% a year without increasing prices, and as they increase the prices the "alternative" (free open source) becomes that much more attractive. Microsoft's strategy now is, get everyone to pay a little and often (which will come into frutition within the next 5 or 6 years)... OR/AND get rid of the competition! Which they have already alluded to through IP litigation.
  • by LoadWB (592248) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:34PM (#22413922) Journal
    Just keep this crap away from public schools. This is the type of corporate propaganda that belongs in marketing, advertisements, and sponsored events. NOT in a tax-supported educational system.

    And screw them all:

    1) I not only make digital copies of software media, but I will happily provide a replacement to friends, family, or customers who lose theirs. Why? Because its the PRODUCT KEY which makes the magic, NOT the CD.

    1a) I am sensitive, however, to certain products which just require media from a previous version to qualify for an upgrade. I do not just "hand out" copies; you have to prove to me that you legitimately own the product. And I am quite fond of saying "NO."

    2) I make copies of my CDs in VBR MP3 format for use on my portable devices and home computers.

    3) I rip and convert my DVDs for use on my portable devices.

    Oh, and I do not always put caps back on pens, fold or hang my laundry, and every once in a while I also use the last of the toilet paper without replacing it.

    I also do not use a single bit of pirated or unpaid software (I would say "unregistered," but there are a few free packages like RealPlayer I refuse to register due to spam issues.) No, really. But sometimes I wish I did, as it seems the pirates have fewer hurdles through which to jump and are able to spend more time enjoying software than dealing with licensing issues.
    • by LoadWB (592248)
      Oh, and I forgot, "Don't Copy That Floppy" and "Home Taping is Killing Music."
      • by sconeu (64226)
        "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."

        -- Jack Valenti
    • by QuantumG (50515)
      You refuse to help friends and family?

      Is your loyalty to the copyright holder and the copyright system really worth betraying your Mom?

      You sicken me.
    • 3) I rip and convert my DVDs for use on my portable devices.

      ...

      I also do not use a single bit of pirated or unpaid software (I would say "unregistered," but there are a few free packages like RealPlayer I refuse to register due to spam issues.) No, really.

      Then you may be splitting hairs on your definition of "pirated". You're certainly using the DVDs outside of the terms of your license. Are you ready to tell kids, without qualifying any of your statements, that they should thumb their noses at th

      • by JonathanR (852748)

        You're certainly using the DVDs outside of the terms of your license.
        Since when was there a licence agreement when you purchase a DVD? I would have thought when buying a DVD, that you've purchased a copy of the work through a licenced distribution network. Thus you are bound only by the restrictions imposed by copyright law. You have no contractual relationship with the copyright holder, only an obligation to be law-abiding.
      • by LoadWB (592248)
        I am quite ready to tell kids AND qualify my statements, in terms of legality, ethics, and morality. Which I see as fact, theory, and opinion, respectively.

        Also, to split hairs, I did mention that none of my SOFTWARE is pirated.
      • Then you may be splitting hairs on your definition of "pirated".

        +1 Irony. there is a *big* difference between downloading a copy of something for which you did not actually buy and ripping a backup copy of a cd that you legally bought. the first is very much under the definition of piracy, the second is fair use. after all isn't it the RIAA making the claim that you don't own the cd, just the right to use it? If they're going to make the point that you only own the right to use it, then it follows that

      • by Divebus (860563)
        Under the DMCA (despite the Sabre Rattling Lawyers of the **AA) recognizes and excepts "Fair Use Rights" relating to personal use of media. The spotlight is usually pointed at anyone circumventing encryption but the DMCA apparently allows fair use copying except for "willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain" [pbs.org].

        "The DMCA recognizes consumers' "fair use rights," which allow limited reproduction of copyrighted works for specific purposes, as long as the consumer does not infringe copyrights (by distributing unauthorized digital copies to friends, for example)."

        This creates a quandary which the **AA activists are attempting to warp toward their own favor - circumventing encryption is illegal but sometimes required to exe

        • by LoadWB (592248)
          Please mod parent up. Here's the key:

          Anyone out there a voter? We allowed ourselves to get into this mess and we need to get ourselves out.

          It begins at the lowest level and works its way up. Now more than ever we need to seriously become more involved in our political process lest we lose every liberty we have, or should have, before us now.

          I, like many others, have always had a problem with voting for the "lesser of two evils." I found it a compromise of my principles to do so, and therefore I did not vote. But we also have to remember that the system has measures to help protect us, and part of those

  • Irony (Score:2, Interesting)

    MS pushing copyright education (and the whole WGA thing) is somewhat ironic when you consider MS owes their monopoly almost entirely to piracy. And buy pushing this agenda, they actually are more at risk of pushing the install base to "get legal" with more economical alternatives (i.e. Linux).

    Had MS not been the required platform for gaming through the 90s, users would have been less likely to become familiar and congregate around it. Since home users constantly needed the new whiz-bang DirectX or 32-bit OS
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:40PM (#22414000)
    Do they tell you how to work the OEM / CAL / coa / ETC rules that some IT people have a hard time working them selfs?
  • by bgfay (5362) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:40PM (#22414010) Homepage
    As a high school teacher I'm all for this program.

    That's why I downloaded it over bittorrent, made fifty copies and am selling the curriculum to other teachers for $50 a copy (digital). I'm so glad that Microsoft has found a way for me to make some money.

    Thank you MS. You guys are the greatest!
  • Education isnt just about teaching people about the law but also showing them solutions that fit their lifestyle. What would you bet that the Microsoft rep never mentions to the students that rather than breaking the law and stealing proprietary software they could download a FOSS solution and avoid all legal entanglements.
  • by owlnation (858981) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:49PM (#22414106)
    So...

    When a grown-up told you that something was naughty what was the first thing you did when their back was turned?

    Exactly. Expect copyright infringement to grow exponentially as a direct result of this MS program.
  • I wouldn't be so quick to judge this MyBytes site. I'd first give it some thought, before I recognize it as the typical media industry propaganda. It's interesting, however, to look at their model. Kids can "release" their tracks under "Free" licenses, even if they require people to pay for them. They also get to select what "rules" they believe media should be distributed under, with it looks like choices running the whole spectrum of "I bought it, it's mine and I can do what I want with it" to "It's wrong
  • it won't do any good.

    the cat is already out of the bag. kids today KNOW about ip rights. you think they don't? ha! really - HA! they know far more than you do, you cigar smoking fat old useless overpaid mafiaa guy.

    the 'just say no to drugs' also had a real laugh of an impact on youth. they still do as they wish, just like when I was growing up all those decades ago. we were smart enough to know when we were being fed a line of bull and kids today are smarter, not dumber. at least street smarter; and
  • Microsoft has launched MyBytes,

    It's supposed to read MS Bytes

  • http://www.mybytes.com/polls.html [mybytes.com]

    You're stranded on a desert island. Which device couldn't you live without?

    1. Computer
    2. Cell phone
    3. MP3 player
    4. Video camera



    Ummm, if I were stranded on a desert island, the one device I'd wish to have was a 406Mhz PLB or EPIRB. I mean, come on.
  • by sizzzzlerz (714878) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @09:19PM (#22414382)

    Backed by a study that says teens show more respect for copyrights when told of possible jail time for infringement

    These are the same teens who are having unprotected sex, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, driving cars at unsafe speeds, and continuing to indulge in drugs. Maybe if we told them about the consequences of those behaviours, they'd stop doing them as well.

  • Makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stanislav_J (947290) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @09:48PM (#22414650)
    Just like teens will stop using pot when told of possible jail time for toking. How could this possibly not work?
  • accepting monopolistic business practice gets extra credit! mymonopoly.com owned by Microsoft coming soon! *(with "Jail" removed from the game)
  • From the Terms of Use:

    However, by posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting ("Posting") your Submission you are granting Microsoft, its affiliated companies and necessary sublicensees permission to use your Submission in connection with the operation of their Internet businesses (including, without limitation, all Microsoft Services), including, without limitation, the license rights to: copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate and reformat you

  • by DebianDog (472284) <dan@BLUEdanslagle.com minus berry> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @10:02PM (#22414788) Homepage
    Yes the "War on Drugs" and the threat of "jail time" has made drugs almost non-existent amongst the youth!

    So...
    1. Educate youth with FUD
    2. ...
    3. Profit!

    I have an idea. How about a fast OS you WANT to pay for?
  • by NullProg (70833) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @10:06PM (#22414810) Homepage Journal
    Kids want to share with their friends what they deem cool. When I was a kid, we shared electronics, books, tapes (copies), records (copies) and knowledge.

    The survey link results from the information week article is broken. The URL leads to:
    We're sorry, but we were unable to service your request. You may wish to choose from the links below for information about Microsoft products and services.
    So we don't even get to read the sampling/demographics on the kids they surveyed.

    Nevertheless, Microsoft wants to correct teens' woeful ignorance. To do so, it has turned to Topics Education, a developer of custom curricula, to create a curriculum called "Intellectual Property Rights Education" for middle school and high school teachers. The Microsoft-sponsored curriculum consists of Web-based resources and case-study driven lesson plans that aim to engage students about intellectual property issues.

    I will sue my local school district and Microsoft if they don't offer a counter curriculum called "Fair Use" and "Public domain". This course needs to teach kids about past copying abuses by Microsoft and how they used their Monopoly money to pay for the court sealed settlements that people are not allowed to read.

    To support its teachings, Microsoft has launched MyBytes, a Web site where students can create custom ringtones, share content -- "their own content," as Microsoft makes clear -- and learn more about intellectual property rights.
    To support my teachings to my kids on property rights, I've installed x/k/Ubuntu on all the computers in the house. They can create, share, sell, and distribute anything they what. They can even pass out Linux CDs to all their friends (they have). I teach my kids its OK to grab an MP3 off the main home server and play it on your MP3 player. Its not OK for them to give that MP3 away to their friends. I teach my kids the difference between ownership and free speech/ownership restrictive EULAs.

    In August 2006, the site was shuttered and this explanation was subsequently posted: "Despite the significant progress we made on addressing the concerns raised about the original Captain Copyright initiative, as well as the positive feedback and requests for literally hundreds of lesson kits from teachers and librarians, we have come to the conclusion that the current climate around copyright issues will not allow a project like this one to be successful."

    Here we go again, Microsofts favorite defender Captain Copyright. I forget what Captain Copyright said about Kerberos authentication. I also forget about what Captain Copyright did to the evil villains who were pillaging STAC. The DrDOS People counted on Captain Copyright but he didn't show up to defend them. What did Captain Copyright say again to the people who built their own computers without Windows? Oh Yeah, were thief's for not installing Windows.

    If Microsoft would just worry about writing good programs for computers (Apple/Linux/ARM/Palm/Whatever) and stop trying to be the cyber police I might look at their products again (!Not. BSD/Linux is much faster and less maintenance). Until then Microsoft is still just a marketing company which happens to make an O/S for PCs.

    My opinion (my animosity towards Microsoft does not equate to animosity for people who use Microsoft products),
    Enjoy.

  • Subvert it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by syousef (465911) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @10:26PM (#22414968) Journal
    I have no problem with education. Even about copyright law. So lets educate the kids. Lets teach them what cut of the profits the artist actually gets. Lets teach them the very limits of absurdity that the existing laws can support. Show them that the current laws are unfair not only to the consumer but also to the artist. Oh yeah and gladly take MS' money to do it. Oh they want to CONTROL THE CONTENT. Not a chance. Find another patsy. But we'll take your money happily.
  • As I understand it, and I am not an Attorney, it is NOT illegal to download illegally provided intellectual property. It *IS* illegal to offer it for down load. But again, I am not a legal professional.

    That said, is it honest to take Intellectual Property (songs, tv shows, books, and other) that is copyrighted and not offered by the owner for free? It surely is NOT.

    That Linux and other programs are offered by their owners, are valuable, and give value to the user are free, doesn't mean that we can ignore th
    • Hmm.. intellectual property. What is it? Is it like that car? No? Oh, it must be like land.. What, it isn't?

      I know about copyrights too. They were originally were 20 or so years at most. They aren't anymore, and are extended when the time "runs out" on them. That's not part of the "limited" we read in the Constitution.

      I also know about patents. My pops has a bunch of them, and they're for neat inventions on vehicle systems. The company he works for only has 17 or so years for sole profitability. After that,
  • I think they've heard about me [ricegf.com].
  • as long as they teach the kids under which conditions copying intellectual property is illegal. A responsible class should point out that it is not illegal to copy or download certain pieces of software, and teach kids where to find software from the Internet without being in violation of license.

    However, as we all probably know, Microsoft doesn't intend to anything of the sort. Their only purpose with this campaign is to scare kids into buying Microsoft product, not get a real education on intellectual pr

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