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California Elementary Schools To Test Anti-Piracy Curriculum 356

Posted by timothy
from the if-I-can-control-the-textbooks dept.
New submitter newbie_fantod writes "Ignoring the fact that the surest way to get a child to do something is to tell them not to, the RIAA and MPAA have developed an anti-piracy curriculum for kindergarten through grade 6. The pilot project is scheduled for testing in California schools later this year." Mitch Stoltz, an EFF attorney, isn't impressed: “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.”
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California Elementary Schools To Test Anti-Piracy Curriculum

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  • by killfixx (148785) * on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:44AM (#44935191) Journal

    It's worked for years with every other product...

    Get them while they're young and you'll have a "___________" (insert appropriate noun here) for life... Customer, slave, zealot, etc...

    The only problem is that government is allowing corporations to push their agenda in the classroom... It wasn't enough to have it at the beginning of every one of their Disney movies --you know, the ones that kids watch ad infinitum, now they're allowed to spread their FUD in the schools, too! Yay!

    How long before we see "Lunch! Sponsored by McDonald's", etc...

    That's not the only issue at play here...

    The backers for this program (RIAA/MPAA) are all wealthy, so their kids will never see these things in school. They'll be free from the propaganda and allowed to be creative and free. But, not the common man, because he can't afford freedom...

    Hrmm... I wonder if that's how this is supposed to work... Freedom for those that can afford it...

    Makes me wonder if there'll ever be a Star Trek-esque Utopia...

    • by Big Hairy Ian (1155547) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:50AM (#44935317)
      So do the Sony Youth get a special knife?
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:55AM (#44935417) Journal
      "It's worked for years with every other product..."

      Not always. DARE, despite being only incrementally less popular than apple pie and jesus, consistently turns in effectiveness numbers somewhere between 'useless' and 'teaches impressionable children about cool drugs that they should try' whenever some killjoy stops taking its effectiveness on faith and tries studying it.
    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:55AM (#44935421) Homepage

      The only problem is that government is allowing corporations to push their agenda in the classroom...

      Well, it's not the only problem: I distinctly remember as an elementary school student getting "lessons" about how awesome the latest war effort was, and being required to sing patriotic songs, and of course the reciting of the Pledge of Allegience which requires students to profess a belief in God. Oh, and watching "Channel 1 News", which was sometimes informative but often not and supported by commercials.

      Basically, the problem is that it's easier to dupe kids than it is adults, so there are lots of organizations who are positively salivating at the prospect.

      • by nbauman (624611) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @02:21PM (#44940041) Homepage Journal

        Well, it's not the only problem: I distinctly remember as an elementary school student getting "lessons" about how awesome the latest war effort was, and being required to sing patriotic songs, and of course the reciting of the Pledge of Allegience which requires students to profess a belief in God.

        I was in high school when they inserted "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. I refused to say it, and my home room teacher had a shit fit. (Stupid nationalistic gym teacher.)

        I haven't said it since.

        And I won't say it until we really do have liberty and justice for all -- which isn't the direction we're going in right now.

    • "Makes me wonder if there'll ever be a Star Trek-esque Utopia..." Monsanto will own all the patents for replicator recipes for food. Feeding your family will require a monthly licensing fee.
    • by johanw (1001493) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @10:20AM (#44935897)

      "Makes me wonder if there'll ever be a Star Trek-esque Utopia..."

      The USA seems to me more en route to a Babylon 5 police state under president Clark.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The USA seems to me more en route to a Babylon 5 police state under president Clark.

        The Trek universe ain't all sweetness and light, or else we'd never have heard the words "Rape Gangs". They had a lot of chaos before they got to the shiny happy mythical future.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @10:27AM (#44936031)

      How long before we see "Lunch! Sponsored by McDonald's", etc...

      You are way behind the times, my friend. 10 years ago my friend went ballastic because his Kindergartner came home talking about how much she liked Pizza Hut. Having never been to Pizza Hut, he was curious what she was talking about. Turns out that Pizza Hut donated a bunch of Pizza Hut themed supplies to the Kindergarten in return for getting to spend the day leading the kids in various songs and play about how great Pizza Hut is. That shit has been going on for a decade. You should check out what your public schools are doing to grovel for money.

      • That they have to grovel for money in the first place is sad enough.
      • by MitchDev (2526834)

        a little over 10 years ago when the company I was working for was replacing computers and server at a prosperous school distirct, the High School Cafeteria had a mini-Pizza Hut, a Mini-McDonalds, AND a mini-Subway in it....

    • by paiute (550198)

      Makes me wonder if there'll ever be a Star Trek-esque Utopia...

      Only after the Eugenics Wars.

  • School == Copying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RichMan (8097) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:46AM (#44935247)

    We learn by copying. Write what you see on the board. Repeat after me. Read the book aloud ....

    Overlaying an "anti-piracy" theme is just going to be confusing and counter to the whole process.

    • by JWW (79176)

      The "new" kindergarten.

      Remember, kids, its good to share, unless we punish you for it.

    • Re:School == Copying (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gmuslera (3436) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @10:18AM (#44935873) Homepage Journal

      Science is about copying. Civilization is about copying. Human culture, and maybe even what is being human is about copying. We would never be where we are if a lot of people weren't standing on the shoulders of giants. Denying copying is worse than asking to reinvent the wheel each time, is forbidding to invent or use it because someone else have the exclusive rights over a basic, common sense idea.

      If you want to define intellectual property stealing, is taking exclusivity over an idea, not letting anyone to have it, no matter how common sense, how easy is to get there (i.e. adding "on internet", "on mobile" or "on computer" to common activities to patent it) or how indepently other people get it.

      And doing that in the current scenario where the US government is blatantly copying whatever US citizens and the rest of the people of the entire planet do, write, and create is to consider people retards and saying it aloud.

    • Aren't you told to write what's seen on the board? I think that's the author giving you explicit permission to copy it.

      Counter to your examples, try copying your fellow student's test, paper, etc.

      Similarly, schoolbook authors (well, publishers), know and accept that their books will be copied to an extent (excerpts photocopied, parts recited, etc.) but would still frown on you running the whole thing through OCR and dropping the PDF onto the world.

      While I think 'piracy education' is a waste of time if it's

      • by RichMan (8097) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @11:31AM (#44937309)

        Yes you are told to write what you see on the board. But did the teacher copy that from somewhere. Did they have a performance license is it transferable?

        If asked to read from a book does the student have to get a performance license first or enquire about the existence of such? Does the teacher have a performance license to read from a book. Does the school have a license to play the recording of the national anthem in the morning?
        When passed a test the student should refuse to do anything until the teacher either asserts that the creation of the test was original work and that the copy thus produced was allowed or provide a certified copy of licensing agreement allowing the reproduction of question from the book onto the test.

        And you expect grade school kids to catch onto this? Some of them will talk to parents and latch on to things do stuff like the above and drive the whole process to a standstill. Are you going to have the teachers say "we don't worry about that in the class room", if word of that gets out the parent calls the school and reports the teacher.

    • by MrNemesis (587188)

      I don't really see what the problem with that is - all it'll mean is that everything you learn from copying something will mean we need a system in place to automatically make royalty payments to the people you copied it from. All you need do is when you create a New Work, Learning Concept (TM) or Factoid Slam (TM) is register it with the Education Attribution Corporation and we'll leverage our multi-source bottom-line scoping architect to provide our top-down talent-nurturing stakeholders with enough pre-p

  • Fuck ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:46AM (#44935259)

    Industry trade groups have no fucking business writing curriculum for children.

    These assholes are of the impression the own everything, and that all of our laws and rights are subject to their approval.

    Whatever idiot in the education system decided that indoctrinating children to the viewpoint of corporations should fired.

    I can almost bet this will have things which are an incorrect interpretation of the law as it exists, and is nothing more than corporate propaganda.

    This is the problem with America, whatever a company wants is considered right and good -- even when it's bullshit.

    • by gtall (79522)

      You could use Texas as a another entity that should be keep far away from anything "education" seeing as most their legislators and certainly their governor have never met a scientific theory they liked. Word is they'll be gunning for the theory of gravity next, all that relativity is likely to warp the moral compass of their kids.

  • by silas_moeckel (234313) <silas@dsmi[ ]corp.com ['nc-' in gap]> on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:47AM (#44935271) Homepage

    Most family's are forced to send there child to public schools by there circumstances. What idiot is letting a private organization force propaganda on them DARE was bad enough.

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:52AM (#44935361) Homepage

      Most family's are forced to send there child to public schools by there circumstances.

      And some people fail to take advantage of even that standard of education, failing at basic grammar.

    • Helloooo??? It's in California, home of the movie industry? How do you suppose this change came about?


      And, as long as we're talking about schooling,

      Most family's are forced to send there child to public schools by there circumstances

      That's "families" plural, not "family's" possessive, and "their", as in 'belonging to them', not "there", 'a place other than here'.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by intermodal (534361)

      In High School, most of the people I saw wearing DARE T-shirts were stoned out of their gourds.

      That said, if there was any doubt that schools have vastly strayed from the job of educating, here's proof.

    • We let it happen all over the country with all sorts of issues. If it is important to the parents or the politicians then it will get in, at least briefly. The question is: Are the parents informed enough to challenge it?
    • by alexo (9335)

      Most family's are forced to send there child to public schools by there circumstances.

      I sympathize.

    • by fermion (181285)
      You don't know the half of it. When I was a kid we had to look at these graphic movies in which kids were shown to degrade and eventually die due to drug use. These were urban school in areas with a significant crime rate and drug use, even to this day. The film was shown in all elementary schools, although we were a selective school.

      It was more traumatic than you could possible imagine, close to a snuff film. I don't think it really effected the drug use of anyone, given the arrest rates. Kids who a

  • Is this a joke? (Score:5, Informative)

    by pablo_max (626328) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:49AM (#44935311)

    Is it really the case that you have companies and special interest groups creating the curriculum for your children?
    How do you, as parents stand for this? You do know that you can go to the school board and freak out right? I think step 1 would be to organize a district wide freakout on the school board. Step 2, private school.

    • Re:Is this a joke? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:59AM (#44935511) Homepage

      You do know that you can go to the school board and freak out right? I think step 1 would be to organize a district wide freakout on the school board. Step 2, private school.

      Which I should think would have about the same effect as telling your elected representative your displeasure ... the people who pay them huge money in campaign donations get their ear, and the rest of us can go pound sand.

      The *AAs likely made some donations contingent on having their views on copyright be required in school. And they will skew the facts the way they always do on the topic of copyright, so the kids will be getting lied to.

      And, I'm betting the vast majority of parents can't afford to send their children to private school.

    • by jythie (914043)
      Schools increasingly depend on corporate sponsorship to stay afloat since parents have been complaining about property taxes for decades.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      How do you, as parents stand for this? You do know that you can go to the school board and freak out right? I think step 1 would be to organize a district wide freakout on the school board. Step 2, private school.

      People can't afford to send their kids to private school, they're busy both working full-time just to meet ends already. And people are divided, unless all the parents bitch at once nobody cares.

  • I got an idea... (Score:3, Informative)

    by GrimShady (2714901) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:50AM (#44935319)
    Maybe they should teach them other stuff like math, science and reading before consuming resources protecting the income of Justin Beiber. Just sayin...
  • by Esion Modnar (632431) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:55AM (#44935423)
    working together. There's a word for that.
  • by barlevg (2111272) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:57AM (#44935465)
    The real problem with "kids these days" is that the internet has made it easier than ever to copy someone else's work and pawn it off as one's own. Of course, it's also become easier to Google a few sentences of a kid's paper and find that they cribbed it from a website, but even so, this is a pervasive problem. So if you're educating children that taking other people's intellectual property is wrong, how about starting with academic dishonesty and plagiarism?
  • by Aguazul2 (2591049) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:59AM (#44935493)

    Maybe it would be better to pay religions to convince the faithful that they will be tortured in Hell for copying things. Religions have a lot more experience with this kind of thing. I mean, WWJD? Would he download that torrent? Really? (Ignoring the incident with the money changer's tables for a moment.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      WWJD? Make copies of fish and bread and feed everyone. Duh.

    • by johanw (1001493)

      Sounds like scientology to me...

    • Have you seen the copyright warning in Revelations 22:19?

      And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

  • by jeff13 (255285)

    Well, yea but, how can we make this Obama's fault?

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Well, yea but, how can we make this Obama's fault?

      Um, ok, I'll bite [huffingtonpost.com].

      But really, it's more widespread than that. Were it entirely an Obama problem, we'd only have to live with it for a few more years. For people who actually believe that, I have a shiny new bridge to sell them.

  • by JDG1980 (2438906)

    How can it possibly be justified to use scarce instructional time on this industry propaganda? California public schools have enough trouble teaching the stuff that society expects and needs them to teach, and they're seriously considering this garbage?

  • by wiredlogic (135348) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @10:03AM (#44935589)

    The Don't Copy That Floppy [youtube.com] campaign has been a marvelous success. Floppy disk piracy is now down 100%. Cali can expect similar success with their initiative.

    • Urrrrgh. So close. Darn you for getting there first.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I know you're being funny, but personally, I think that copying has gotten a little bit out of hand. It was one thing when we copied floppies from friends. At least they had a copy, or they knew someone who had a copy who they got it from originally. But now, with technologies like BitTorrent, a single person can have a copy of a game, movie or music album, and from that one copy, can effectively transmit it to the entire world. Basically, everyone downloads from a single source. That would have been pr
  • The RIAA and MPAA message to children:

    "To care is not to share"

    The message I hope this sends to children is that possessing music or movies, even if legally bought, is potentially dangerous and to be avoided.

    Lets move towards a world that is devoid of song and stories, and forget the fact these were a part of the fabric of humanity for thousands of years.

  • There will be less piracy of Barney videos and KidzBop disks, but this isn't going to affect Justin Bieber's work much. It's after grade 6 that people start watching and listening to stuff the RIAA and MPAA are annoyed people want to consume without paying for!!

  • that building on others’ ideas always requires permission

    Well shit, I guess all those games I played on the playground as a child were bad, i never once asked for permission to use them or add new rules.

  • Remind me again why schools are funded by taxes?

    If they are going to be teaching propaganda instead of teaching them what they're supposed to be teaching them, I think I'd rather have them teaching creationism.

  • by roc97007 (608802)

    It's like they're trying to fail. I guess the same people who choose to stick with a business model that clearly doesn't work anymore, don't have the judgement to create effective deterrents either.

  • by aussersterne (212916) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @10:14AM (#44935809) Homepage

    with beginning grad students. In papers, they often feel like they have to cite every . last . factual . assertion . and . word . that . they . use, to the point of having paragraphs with 20 citations in them, unreadable. But they're so terrified of "plagiarism" and heard that lecture so many times at the beginning of so many classes that it's hard to talk them out of citing Pythagorus or some writing about him when using the Pythagorean theorem, Perskyi when using the word "television," and so on. Exhausting.

    As an analog to this, they often hesitate to say anything new (i.e. anything they can't find a citation for). It's as though they feel like only institutions and the famous have license to make new things in the world, and then be cited. It recalls for me the similar divide between creators/consumers, with a hard territorial border in between the two camps, that RIAA/MPAA/BSA et. al. have tried to inculcate into the cultural consciousness.

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @10:22AM (#44935923) Journal

    Hopefully parents will have the courage to let even their youngest children in on the fact that not everything Teacher says is true. She may even lie.

    Most Americans have WAY to much respect for authority and to strong a faith in government. This might be a good instructive moment.

    Tell the child look your teacher is telling you mommy is a criminal who should be in jail; do thing that's true? Well keep that in mind when the man on TV behind the podium says things about someone like 'snowden' it may or may not be true; so always draw your own conclusions.

  • Morality should be taught at home. Leave the three Rs to schools.

  • by chthon (580889)

    "I always do what Teddy says"

  • I think they need a short, pithy slogan to really push their message home.
    One that is tried and true; that has worked well in the past.
    Wait...wait...it's coming to me...ah!

    Just say no.

  • The Teachers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @11:04AM (#44936791) Homepage Journal

    If any teacher in the California public school system has even an ounce of self-respect, they will refuse to teach such skewed bullshit to their students.

    Skewed how, you might ask? from TFA:

    [The Internet Keep Safe Coalition's] president, Marsali Hancock, says fair use is not a part of the teaching material because K-6 graders don’t have the ability to grasp it.

    That's not teaching.

  • Why not? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @11:50AM (#44937623)

    Why not let the RIAA and MPAA write curriculum? Thanks to Common Core and Race to the Top, we are already paying big businesses such as Pearson tons of money to write curriculum that teachers aren't allowed to veer from. Then we pay these companies more to administer tons of non-developmentally-appropriate tests which parents and teachers are forbidden from seeing. Then, when the kids inevitably fail (in New York, only 30% of kids passed the tests... many of these kids were straight A students who were now considered failures), these companies "helpfully" have textbooks, teacher seminars, extra help sessions for students, instruction for administrators, etc all designed to improve the students' scores on the tests the companies wrote. And all available for a price, of course.

    Don't even get me started on our education commissioner who was looking into taking legal action against parents who refused to let their kids take these tests.

    Then there's the fact that charter schools are being pushed hard. These are schools which take public school funds, but are run by businesses, don't need to take any of the tests, don't require their teachers to have any sort of training in education, can pick and choose which students are allowed in. (Bad grades? You're out. Need special services? You're out.) Politicians seem to love charter schools so much and push them whenever they can. Governor Andrew Cuomo has already suggested using the "death penalty" for public schools that don't pass the overly hard tests. Of course, you can guess what he would replace them with. (No comments from him on what would happen to the kids that the charter schools refused to serve. Would a K-12 education become only for the select few that businesses decide can have it?)

    I have a fifth grader and first grader who are dealing with all of this now so, yes, I might be a bit bitter.

  • by Monsuco (998964) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @04:17PM (#44941477) Homepage
    The fact that a couple of antiquated cartels are trying to cling desperately to their obsolete business model isn't surprising. The only thing that is surprising is that the State of California is cooperating. If the MPAA / RIAA want to spread an anti-piracy message to children, let them buy advertising time on Nickelodeon, Disney & Cartoon Network. I don't really have a problem with their message, I just see no reason for the state to spend its resources to spread it.

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