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Pumped Up Librarians Attack MPAA And Business Software Alliance

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There is an article on wired that covers the latest vicious attacks by the American Library Association.
The American Library Association will distribute its materials through high-school librarians this winter or spring. In September, the ALA will hold focus groups with teenagers to better understand how they use the Internet, what they think about the technology and what language they use. That information will contribute to ALA-created comic books that address various copyright issues relevant to students.
Ooooh, I love those public service comic books. They are so full of action and graphic violence.

Their main concern is that groups like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Business Software Alliance (BSA) are not discussing "fair use" and just condeming everyone for breaking copyrights, especially teens.

"There is certainly concern about the fact that when the content industry talks about copyright and young people in the same sentence, they are either calling them all crooks or they are making claims for copyright that far exceed what copyright is all about," director of information technology policy for the ALA Rick Weingarten said. "Any education program that comes from that source is inherently going to be biased."
Here's the most hilarious part of the article.
A copyright-crusading cartoon ferret is the latest brainchild from the BSA. The software trade group will sponsor a contest in September to name the weasel mascot, which will be used in marketing campaigns to teach kids to be good cybercitizens. The group, which represents the most powerful software companies in the world, will also mail an antipiracy comic book and teacher's guide to subscribers of the Weekly Reader, a publication for grade-schoolers, in January. The literature is targeted at fourth-graders.


"The idea that elementary-school kids are ripping off business software is a little strange," Weingarten said. "But that's (the BSA's) problem. They'll decide where they want to focus their education efforts."

I'm a pro business guy, but these tactics by the MPAA and BSA seem totally asinine. Comic books and forcing yourself onto elementary and high school kids is not going to change their minds one bit. Maybe if they setup some sort of nationwide "child allowance" program where they gave each kid in America $14.99 a week so that they would buy their overpriced crap rather than downloading it, then it would work.

The fact of the matter is the kids downloading things are doing it because they don't have the money to buy it, not because they are devious little bastards wanting to steal to spite someone.

I applaud the ALA's attempts to explain free use rights, but a comic book is simply stupid and a waste of money in my opinion. I think commercials on TV would work better if they truly wanted to get the word out.

Maybe show some kid doing a blog and using reference websites that they use excerpts from or better yet show Michael Moore making his latest documentary which is 95% made up of borrowed material.

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Posted by Digger on August 13, 2004 08:16 PM (Permalink)

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