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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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  • 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 thrillseeker (518224) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:10PM (#22413630)
    ...All in all you're just another brick in the wall
  • 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 QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:18PM (#22413738) Homepage Journal
    Ya know it's not illegal right?

    Seems the education campaigns are already working.

  • by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slash ... m ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:20PM (#22413762) Homepage Journal
    I know that copying music is illegal... I know it's wrong, that's enough for me.

    See, that's the difference between the sheeple and informed people. You really don't know it's wrong. You've just been educated to think it's wrong.

    As for me, I know that copying music is illegal in some countries, but I know it's NOT wrong - specially if the RIAA engages in monopolistic behavior.

    Reality isn't black and white, my friend. And it doesn't have shades of gray either, that would be thinking in 1-D. Reality comes in COLORS. Some nice, some ugly. And there are many viewpoints.

  • 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.
  • by gnick (1211984) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:37PM (#22413964) Homepage

    You really don't know it's wrong.
    Would you be more comfortable with "Copying music feels wrong"? Artists deserve to be compensated for their work. I agree that illegally copying music isn't always immoral, but you'd have to be pretty convincing to persuade me that it's never immoral - If you're telling yourself that stealing music is part of your personal stand against the RIAA, I think that you're probably deluding yourself. Hopefully you at least endorse your bands of choice through concerts or merchandising if you refuse to pay for their CDs/MP3s. Does that make me one of your "sheeple"?
  • by Shaterri (253660) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:44PM (#22414052)

    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 and by encouraging the commoditization of computing, Bill Gates has probably done more to ensure the development of more free software than anyone else in the history of computing...
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

  • Re:Duh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by theophilosophilus (606876) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @09:22PM (#22414414) Homepage Journal
    MSCopyright Rule #2: Go back to #1.
  • 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.
  • Re:Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shark72 (702619) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @09:33PM (#22414524)

    "The only people who go to jail for infringement are commercial bootleggers and I can't imagine that'd include anyone under the age of 18 AKA high school students."

    Not correct from either a factual or practical standpoint. I grant you that this is what many people believe to be the case, but nonetheless, it's incorrect. This may be one of the reasons why Microsoft is launching the education campaign: to counter falsehoods like the one you've relayed.

    At any rate, Kevin Gonzalez uploaded a work print of The Hulk to a P2P network. He did this not for money; perhaps he was part of the scene or he just did it because he thinks information should be free. He was sentenced to six months of home confinement. William Fitzgerald was a fellow who traded warez via IRC; his mistake was making them available on his web server. Again, not for money. Nonetheless, he got four months in prison and four months in home confinement. Then there was Operation Buccaneer, which targeted some of the warez rings (again: amateur warez traders, not bootleggers!) and handed out jail sentences of 18 to 46 months. That's almost four years for non-commercial warez trading.

    The "you have to sell it for it to be criminal infringement" is one of those Slashdot memes that will never go away (your post is indeed already 4, informative when it's quite simply incorrect, while this correction will likely languish at 2 or lower). We'll continue to tell each other this, and we'll want it to be true. But the fact remains that Gonzalez and the rest did the jail time. Microsoft will actually be doing a disservice to teens if they don't explain the hard realities of copyright law.

  • 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?
  • by DebianDog (472284) <dan.danslagle@com> 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?
  • 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.
  • Re:Duh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KillerCow (213458) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @10:31PM (#22415006)

    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:Duh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @10:39PM (#22415074) Homepage Journal
    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?"
  • Re:Duh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday February 14, 2008 @12:30AM (#22416244) Homepage Journal
    copying != uploading.

    The claim is that copying will get you arrested.

  • 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.

Please go away.

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