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Microsoft Education Your Rights Online

Microsoft Pushes Copyright Education Curriculum 251

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 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.
  • Irony (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Alcoholic Synonymous ( 990318 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:36PM (#22413952)
    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 support to keep gaming, and the shear ease by which your average person lost the OEM install disc, the number of pirated systems grew. When it came time for the hardware upgrade, they got another copy of Windows with the box, and then a year later, pirated another version of Windows over it to keep up with the new gaming features again. For every $5 lost OEM install (C'mon, who really goes out and buys a copy of Windows?), they made a few $50 sales of Age of Empires or Halo, or a $300 (never actually priced it) sale of Office. So MS owes perhaps the majority of its install base to pirate upgrades.

    Had Vista not been such ass to deal with, almost certainly no one would be using XP today regardless of how awful it is. In one sense, it would just be a lot more logical for MS to declare Windows Home editions free for home use and keep that install base not looking over their shoulders and not learning about alternatives.
  • 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 emjay88 ( 1178161 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @09:33PM (#22414530)

    1. "How would YOU like it if..." (fairness)
    MyBytes lets you choose whether the songs you create are "free" or "restricted". This has no effect on whether other users can download/remix/use your song. You can then see how many people are paying for (or not) the use of your song.
    From []

    All users have the choice to either pay or not pay credits for songs they take, just like in real life. You'll get to see if other users like your tracks, and if they're giving you credit for using your creation.
    That sounds like "How would YOU like it if..."
  • 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),

System restarting, wait...