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<nettime> Coming soon to kindergarten class: antipiracy ed
nettime's caring parent on Wed, 3 Oct 2007 14:09:56 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Coming soon to kindergarten class: antipiracy ed

Coming soon to kindergarten class: antipiracy ed
by Anne Broache, October 2, 2007


WASHINGTON--Tired of their antipiracy messages being ignored by the
teen- and college-age set, the entertainment industry is attempting to
indoctrinate far younger disciples.

Representatives from the Entertainment Software Association, the video
game industry's trade group, and the Canadian Recording Industry
Association shed some light on their strategies at an antipiracy
summit hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce here.

"In the 15- to 24-year-old (range), reaching that demographic with
morality-based messages is an impossible proposition...which is why
we have really focused our efforts on elementary school children,"
said Ric Hirsch, the ESA's senior vice president of intellectual
property enforcement. "At those ages, children are open to receiving
messages, guidelines, rules of the road, if you will, with respect to
intellectual property."

The ESA has gone so far as to develop a copyright education curriculum
geared toward the kindergarten through fifth-grade set. Since 2005,
the organization has been trying to find ways to get teachers to
incorporate its tenets into their everyday lessons, although Hirsch
did not say how successful that effort has been. The components,
which include charts, teachers guides, lesson plans and a wall poster
imploring students to "Join the ? Team," are also now available

The reason for targeting youth at that age is that they're at an
"inflection point" where they're just learning how to use computers
and the Internet, and the classroom seems a perfect opportunity for
delivering copyright education, Hirsch said. The ESA devised its
own curriculum after finding "very little out there in the form of
institutional education addressing this issue," he said.

The video game industry isn't alone in trying to infiltrate classrooms
with its antipiracy messages, although it appears to be targeting
younger kids than some of its counterparts. The Recording Industry
Association of America offers a similar set of curriculum ideas, but
none of them appears to target students younger than third grade. The
Motion Picture Association of America last year released a "Respect
Copyrights" curriculum (PDF) tailored to merit-badge-seeking Boy
Scouts in the Los Angeles area.

Some fair-use advocates have argued the copyright-dependent industries
send contradictory messages through such materials. They've
criticized, for example, an RIAA video intended for college students
that they argue gives mixed messages about when it's legal to copy
music for personal listening or to share with friends.

The Canadian record industry group, for its part, would like to
work with provincial governments to help schools develop their own
copyright-minded curriculums "so it's organic...it's not something
they're tacking on," said Graham Henderson, the group's president.

Youthful voices may be able to help to influence parents who
themselves don't set such a great example on the copyright-protection
front, much in the same way some kids have been able to pressure
adults to stop harmful habits like smoking, he suggested.

Parents--and mothers in particular--do represent an important audience
to educate, though, Henderson added. That means planting messages in
places that may seem less-than-traditional, such as women's interest
or general parenting magazines, he said.

I don't know about you, but I have to wonder what's next: exposing
babies still in the womb to antipiracy audio messages, a la the
so-called Mozart effect?

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