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Tech-Ed Funding to be Tied to Copyright-Ed? 367

feminazi writes "Ars Technica is reporting that California Assemblyman Ed Chavez has proposed legislation that would require recipients of an educational technology grant program to educate their students in copyright law as well. There are three areas of education that would be required: 'ethical behavior in regards to the use of information technology,' 'the concept, purpose, and significance of a copyright,' and 'the implications of illegal peer-to-peer network file sharing.'"
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Tech-Ed Funding to be Tied to Copyright-Ed?

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  • Devil's Advocate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XorNand ( 517466 ) * on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:04PM (#14727109)
    First off, let me say that I'm a strong supporter of the EFF, Creative Commons, and hold many libertarian (lower-case "l") beliefs. The thought of the government mandating the instruction of agenda-based ethics makes my skin crawl. However, in the interest of balance, here's a different viewpoint:

    Like it or not, copyright violation is against the law. When you're learning about how to handle firearms, drive a car, invest in stocks, skydive--pratically anything that involves risk, the you're *always* taught how do those activities safely and in accordance with the law. Many people hate mandatory motorcycle helmet laws. However, does anyone really beleive that riders shouldn't be educated on this law and the reasons for having it? People who misuse technology are doing risky things: opening themselves (or their parents) upto identity theft by getting a trojan from a P2P app, allowing their PC to be turned into a DDoS zombie, sexual predators, and criminal and civil liablity incurred by swapping pirated music and software. Many of these risks are blown out of proportion by the press, but that doesn't make them any less dangerous. Computer users need all the education they can get. Too much technical training is focused on the nuts-and-bolts on how to do something with a PC. As pervasive as the Internet has become in our lives, perhaps we should begin to explore the larger social issues in intro-level instruction as well?
    • Agreed. The problem is that ideally, this "education" would be carried out in an environment with open discussion, rather than having it crammed down student's throats. The reality would most likely not be up to this standard.
    • by john83 ( 923470 )
      You mean my engineering degree was lacking because it didn't teach me that file-sharing is wrong? FFS. While I agree that some brief outline of copyright and patent law would have been welcome, peer-to-peer networking is clearly agenda-driven and off-topic.
      • Re:Devil's Advocate (Score:5, Interesting)

        by the phantom ( 107624 ) * on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:18PM (#14727269) Homepage
        I agree. I teach computers to elementary school children. When they use the internet for research, I tend to go over some basic points:

        1) Not everything on the internet is true.
        2) You cannot simply copy another person's work, and claim it as your own -- you need to rewrite things in your own words, and give credit to the original author (generally, that means you need an author and url in a bibliography, if nothing else).

        We might spend 45 minutes discussing why these things are important (the difference between plagarism and research, for instance). It is important that children, who are using the internet for research, understand what research entails, and, hopefully, can apply those ethics to other domains. P2P is irrelevant, and off-topic. It needn't be mentioned in class, unless the lecture for the day is "Using P2P."
        • the difference between plagarism and research

          Appropriately, I have this sign hanging in my office:

          "To copy from one work is plagiarism. To copy from many is research."
        • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:34PM (#14727428)
          Why stick to just focusing on the Internet, though? What makes what they are told by the mass media TV news broadcasts any more "truer" than what they might find on the Internet? Very little, if anything.

          Instead of teaching them to "not trust" all the content they find on the Internet, perhaps you should teach them how they can differentiate poor quality information from high quality information. Teach them how to do basic fact checking between multiple sources, for instance. Teach them how to see where the interests lie; as in who is funding studies, who donates to politicians, and which corporations are owned by which other corporations.

          If the emphasis were placed on teaching students how to effectively investigate and comprehend the world around them, then they wouldn't need to have to take "copyright courses". They'd be able to consider the reasons behind copyright legislation, how it has been affected by corporations over the years, and how it affects them today. At that point they'd be able to come up with their own ideas regarding it, and wouldn't have to resort to learning about the subject via such courses.

          • by the phantom ( 107624 ) * on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @06:36PM (#14727984) Homepage
            I am sorry if the original post did not make this clear. What you have said falls into the "45 minutes of discussion." Generally, I start by asking them if everything they read is true. Invariably, several will say yes. So, I ask them if everything in Harry Potter really happened. We then move onto movies, television, &c. So, we have first established the fact that not everything you see is true.

            Once we have this broad concept established, we start figuring out ways to verify truth. You find a tidbit of information -- is that tidbit restricted to one book or website, or are there many websites that say the same thing? Who is the author, and does that author have any reason to lie or strech the truth (an example of this might be a candy company -- let's say you go to the Hershey's website; let's say that, on that website, Hershey's claims that their milk chocolate bar is part of a healthy breakfast; should we believe this? or should we investigate it?)?

            I agree that it is far more important to teach children to think than it is to tell them the rules. On the other hand, you have to realize these kids are 12 and under. They do not have fully developed brains, or thinking processes. The lessons that you speak of in your second paragraph are really more appropriate to older children -- for the kids I work with, I feel I have succeded if I can show them that not everything they see is true, but that things are more likely to be true if they come from multiple sources.

            As to sticking with just the internet, that is my job. They are learning to research in their classrooms, using whatever other sources their teachers want them to use. When they come into my classroom, they are working with the computers. Much of my speil is redundant, and basically comes down to "Everything that your classroom teacher has taught you about plagarism is true, even when you are using a computer. Everything that your classroom teacher has told you about verifying facts is true, even when you are using a computer."
      • You mean my engineering degree was lacking because it didn't teach me that file-sharing is wrong?

        If you got your degree within the past 10 years, you were taught that, although you may not have realized it. Part of the accreditation requirements for engineering schools is a certain number of hours of "engineering ethics".

        Among other topics, an overview of copyright law is part of that. At my school, it was lumped into the Junior Seminar, a class that covered everything that ACE required, but wasn't in the
    • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:09PM (#14727166)
      Keep in mind that laws have to have widespread public support in order to be truly effective and beneficial. Such legislation must deal with a problem that society in general finds to be in need of remedy. When you consider how many people actively engage in filesharing, it becomes quite clear that the vast segment of the populace does not consider such activities to be morally or ethically wrong, regardless of what the law might be.

    • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:12PM (#14727195) Homepage Journal
      Like it or not, copyright violation is against the law.

      So is drinking milk on a sidewalk every third Saturday in some place or another, but that doesn't make it wrong.

      Actually, I'm not against these courses either, as long as they're taught correctly:

      ethical behavior in regards to the use of information technology

      "Thou shalt not kill." OK, got it.

      the concept, purpose, and significance of a copyright

      It was designed to encourage the creation of a large public domain with which to advance society. Check.

      the implications of illegal peer-to-peer network file sharing.

      It implies that the {MP,RI}AA memberships better get their collective butts in gear if they want to become relevant again. Chasing societal norms requires a little bit of work sometimes. Alright, done.

      • Although i consider myself a law abiding citizen, keep in mind that at one point, slavery was legal. Legal does not always = right.
        For a black man to sit at a lunch counter in Alabama was illegal not to long ago. illegal does not always = wrong.
        I could invoke Godwin's law and go into what was legal and illegal at certain times in the 30s and 40s.
        • For a black man to sit at a lunch counter in Alabama was illegal not to long ago. illegal does not always = wrong.

          Darn straight. I think one day we'll look back on Prohibition 2 and wonder what on Earth we were thinking.

      • by raddan ( 519638 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @06:48PM (#14728122)
        There's a flipside to all of this. An educator can also talk about the downsides of intellectual property law, i.e., the social cost, as well as the affirmative rights of copright law, i.e., fair use. I suspect that having more people educated about copyright law will lead to a wider shift in perception of computer-based enforcement of copyright as being unfair. Hopefully that will bring about either a change in technology such that so-called "rights-management" technologies will be more permissive, or a change in law to strengthen the fair use component of copyright law.

        The important question is, will this education be a vehicle for {RI,MP}AA propaganda, or will it actually be informative?

    • by Goalie_Ca ( 584234 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:17PM (#14727252)
      Actually copyright education is exactly what the people need. People need to understand why a copyright exists, why there are time limits, fair usse, and what other forms of IP protection exist. If people were more educated and understood the history then we wouldn't be facing the kind of bullshit that we are today.
    • by Stripe7 ( 571267 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:21PM (#14727294)
      Copyright law also includes fair use. So if they should also be told what can be copyrighted and copied and what cannot. DRM removes our fair use rights and the students should be educated about that too.
      • by Rufus88 ( 748752 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @06:38PM (#14728021)
        DRM removes our fair use rights

        No, DRM removes your fair-use abilities. The removal of fair-use rights was accomplished by the DMCA.
      • Re:Devil's Advocate (Score:4, Interesting)

        by cvd6262 ( 180823 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @10:21PM (#14729441)
        I'm going to agree with you on this.

        I teach an ed tech class for pre-service teachers, and we base our curriculum on ISTE's NETS-T ( http://cnets.iste.org/Teachers/t_stands.html [iste.org] ), which are now part of NCATE. Standard VI, indicator A states that teachers should "model and teach legal and ethical practice related to technology use." I separate the "legal" and "ethical" in my lessons.

        I teach them the fair use guidelines, some of the case history, and give them sample situations and have them decide which are fair use, and which are not.

        Then, I present Lawrence Lessig's part of it. I talk about "common sense revolts", Dmitry Sklyarov, Dr. Ed Felton, DMCA, etc. I show them the evidence and let them decide whether copyright "law" is "ethical" or not.
    • Re:Devil's Advocate (Score:3, Interesting)

      by damsa ( 840364 )
      I see your point. Some things are illegal and people should be educated. But if you get a ticket for shooting someone in a quail hunt. You can't use the freedom of speech as a defense. You can in copyright law.

      So if you teach kids about respecting copyrights, I think you should also educate kids about governments respecting first amendment rights. I have no problem with that.
    • When you're learning about how to handle firearms, drive a car, invest in stocks, skydive--pratically anything that involves risk, the you're *always* taught how do those activities safely and in accordance with the law.

      Perhaps we should take that money and invest in "re-education" camps instead. Then, when we find someone not operating their vehicle correctly, sharing copyright material on P2P networks or saying bad things about our glorious, lawyer-shooting leaders then we could send them to the camp f

    • that the "copyright education" given under the terms of that legislation will be anything but Hollywood content cartel propaganda in which the concept of "fair use" and legal P2P applications will be somehow missing? Remember that the only demand for this kind of legislation is from the *AA organizations and member companies, no consumer ever woke up and said "Hmmm, I need to have the use of the content I paid Hollywood thugs for to be restricted so I can't screw the suits at content companies out of the mo
    • The problem is, in my mind, whether with road money or education money, the Fed makes us pay the money, and then makes us jusmp through hoops to get it back. And then the Fed acts like they are giving us a big gift when they give the money we pay (at the threat of jail), back to our states and institutions...
      Schools could always be like Hillsdale....http://www.hillsdale.edu/ [hillsdale.edu]
      In 1979, this continuing battle with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) began to intensify. The College filed a
    • The irony here is that high school civics teachers are going to eat this up. If the law is written as described, a lot of them are going to see it as a challenge, and wind up teaching really good classes on the basis for copyright law. And we're going to wind up with a generation of kids coming up who actually know what copyright law is all about - where it applies, where it doesn't, and what the real ethical implications are.

      Yes, there will be some line-toeing teachers who teach the MPAA party line.
    • Also, at culinary institutes they should make the future chef's take a course about why stabbing someone with a chef's knofe is a crime.

      If I go into a store, maybe the clerk should explain to me about why shoplifting is a crime?
    • by uncoveror ( 570620 ) <webmasterNO@SPAMuncoveror.com> on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @06:06PM (#14727730) Homepage
      While students should learn about copyright law, they don't need to be fed Hollywood and the recording industry's propaganda. Any course in copyright law should start with the US Constitution, Section VIII.

      Congress shall have the power to... promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries

      That is the constitutional basis of copyright law, and patent as well. The term "intellectual property" is a recenty invented bit of lawyerspeak, and a misnomer. Copyright is a loan from the public domain created by Congress, not property. A Supreme Court ruling to that effect was issued in the 1834 Wharton V Peters case. The court said that copyright is not a birth right, but a "wholely statutory" grant. The Copyright grant exists by the grace of the public as a public investment for the public benefit, much like a loan. "The sole interest of the United States and the primary object in conferring the monopoly lie in the general benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors".

      Until lobbyists recently bought draconian legislation from Congress, copyright infringement was a civil offense, not a criminal offense such as stealing something that physically exists like a TV, or a CD in a store. The entertainment industry with their lawyers and lobbyists have made so-called intellectual propery even more valuable than things you can hold in your hand. This is patently absurd. Teaching students this absurdity in a classroom is as out of place as intelligent design.

  • by jabber ( 13196 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:06PM (#14727142) Homepage
    Sure, at face value this is about getting kids under control for the benefit of the Copyright holders. But, so long as the education is accurate, can you think of a better thing than a population who understands copyright law, what a mess has been made of it, and how crippling the status quo is? Anything that serves to inform is good.

    Regardless of what people's personal opinions are on p2p file sharing, the fact is that it is against copyright law. Should it be? Well, only people who understand the issue can intelligently consider that. So bring on the truth.
    • by Znork ( 31774 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:19PM (#14727280)
      "But, so long as the education is accurate, can you think of a better thing than a population who understands copyright law"

      I suspect that they're not planning on teaching the subject from an economics, information sciences, social sciences or other scientific point of view.

      Think "The Gospel according to our beloved prophets of Monopoly, the RIAA and MPAA".
    • Careful there! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mopslik ( 688435 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:33PM (#14727421)

      Regardless of what people's personal opinions are on p2p file sharing, the fact is that it is against copyright law.

      P2P file-sharing isn't against copyright law. Sharing copyrighted files, via a P2P file-sharing program, without the copyright owner's permission is against copyright law.

    • But, so long as the education is accurate, can you think of a better thing than a population who understands copyright law, what a mess has been made of it, and how crippling the status quo is? Anything that serves to inform is good.

      You've obviously never heard of abstainence only sex education.
    • I agree wholeheartedly with the need for copyright education -- provided there is an open balance of viewpoints presented. Part of the reason why copyright is in the messed up state it's in is because only rights-holders to date have bothered to understand copyright and to advance an agenda of increasing restrictions and controls with plausible-sounding rationales and suave justifications.

      Meanwhile the general populace doesn't even realize the erosion of fair use until they get sued for something innocuous
    • Sure, at face value this is about getting kids under control for the benefit of the Copyright holders. But, so long as the education is accurate, can you think of a better thing than a population who understands copyright law, what a mess has been made of it, and how crippling the status quo is? Anything that serves to inform is good.

      The MPAA has (rather unsuccessfully) held classes in high schools across the US (such as one they had about a year or two ago in Urbana, Illinois) ostensibly aimed at tea

  • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:07PM (#14727146)
    Will this really work? Perhaps on a few individuals. As with many such compulsory "lessons", the students and teachers would go through with it. But they'd both know to disregard it. Thus it will have no effect but to waste time, money, and other resources.

  • Fuck you Ed. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Soporific ( 595477 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:07PM (#14727151)
    Fuck you Ed. Politicians should be required to take ethics courses...

    ~S
  • Gimme a break!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gasmonso ( 929871 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:09PM (#14727167) Homepage

    "Many students, teachers, and parents do not realize that downloading a copyrighted song or film over the Internet is illegal and no different than stealing a CD or DVD from a retail store."

    Maybe that because it is different. Depriving a retailer of a physical product is not the same as downloading a digital copy from someone! If I download a movie off the net which I would never purchase anyways is far different than stuffing one down my shorts at Walmart. Walmart paid for that DVD and by stealing it, I have stolen money from them. If I download a movie I haven't taken something away from anyone. I'm not saying its legal or moral, but it isn't stealing!

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
    • Broken (Score:3, Insightful)

      allow me to play devil's advocate for a moment

      to me, it seems that the gist of your argument is that since you haven't gotten your hands on a physical thing, you haven't stolen anything. you aren't depriving a retailer of a product or the money they could have gotten in exchange for it.
      i submit that a physical object is not necessarily required for theft. if you're a gamer, does it incur your ire when someone steals from you in game? if you developed a neat idea and had it on your hard drive, would it bothe
    • Actually, Wal-Mart doesn't pay for many stolen, damaged, or unsold goods. The manufacturers/distributors do as Wal-Mart just sells them for them for a nice "slotting fee." Anything that does not sell is not Wal-Mart's problem as it technically is not Wal-Mart's to begin with.

      Sound goofy? It's true and also why lots of suppliers don't like to sell to Wal-Mart.
  • What tech-degree individuals really need is a class which teaches them how to navigate the tens of thousands of frivilous patents and copyrights in the industry.
  • Unbiased Education (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Baricom ( 763970 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:09PM (#14727175)
    I think formal, unbiased education on copyright law would be a great thing. Unfortunately, I don't think it'll stay that way for long. The copyright industries are going to see an "in" and send their lobbyists on a feeding frenzy.
    • True, half the course for copy-right, half the course for F/LOSS/GPL/CC/Copy-Left/Public-Domain, what the differences are, what their implications are, a whole lecture series on Disney and the infinite copyright, and what it means for the public domain, and why the only thing you'll ever see on TVs in movies and TV shows are Really Old Videos.

      But will this happen? No, it'll be inundated by "free" pre-packaged lessons by the RIAA/MPAA and related friendly institutions with polished and shiney powerpoints an
  • by jwiegley ( 520444 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:10PM (#14727179)
    Do they mean implications such as "everybody enjoys a greater amount of entertainment at a cheaper cost and publishers, made useless by modern advances in technology, no longer become billionaires on the backs of artists?"

    Or did they just want the standard "corporate big-wigs getting rich should have their methods and profits guaranteed?"

    Just want to know which I should be teaching...

  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:11PM (#14727184) Journal
    To tell them to go to hell.

    I was nodding along, thinking "sure, why not" right up until I read the part about "the implications of illegal peer-to-peer network file sharing."

    Schools are not there for those kind of shenanigans.

    I find this incredibly offensive, if PSAs and advertising doesn't cut it, then that is their problem.

    The curriculum should not be set by interest groups.
    • I too didn't think it was that bad until I got to that point. However, I see it more as these big copyright holders given a stage to spout whatever they feel the implications of p2p. That would be incredibly biased because from all that we've seen, the RIAA has been saying p2p will kill the industry for years. It sounds too much like propaganda than a serious education to me. If I was one of these tech ed students, I'd be damn pissed if I had to pay for a class to hear this dribble.
    • Well hey,

      perhaps all those getting a law education should be required to get a mandatory tech education as well. Perhaps they should have to learn what is and is not possible/reasonable in the tech world before being turned loose to make laws trying to govern technology?

      Just a zany thought.

      all the best,

      drew
    • As others have commented, there's a lot missing from this syllabus.

      For example, "the implications of DRM on the public domain"

      Maybe some more about the history and purpose of copyright (i.e. enlarging the public domain and preserving peoples right to copy)

      "Ethical behaviour in the use of copy-preventing technology" (which could be taught using Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, and other common programs which let you inhibit peoples' right to copy just by ticking the appropriate box)
  • by nonsense28sal ( 680645 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:12PM (#14727191) Homepage
    I could maybe get behind this idea if one of the areas covered included fair use. Why am I not surprised this area is left out, especially in California. Remember, according to Jack Valenti "fair use is not in the law" [ernietheattorney.net].
  • About a decade ago I got to know some of my relatives living in places like Poland and the Ukraine. Many of them grew up under the various communist regimes. This sounds an awful lot like what they had to go through at various levels of education. At least some of them were aware that it was nothing but indoctrination, and they went along with it because they had very little choice otherwise. But in their hearts they knew it was nothing but indoctrination, if not outright brainwashing. I would hope those in
  • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:12PM (#14727202) Homepage Journal
    I earned my degree through a business/technology college. The CS/BSIT/BSMT degrees are all geared for consultants and entrepreneurs. A class on copyright law, application for, and general information about would be extremely useful. And a significantly better legal requirement then the manditory Constitution Day class.

    -Rick
  • by kwalker ( 1383 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:14PM (#14727217) Journal
    I can easily see this having the opposite effect of its intention, namely programmers understanding the limitations and loopholes of copyright better than they do now. I mean how many projects have been shutdown by C&D letters sent under the DMCA? How many of those were bogus if you actually knew the law? If they're really going to teach copyright (Including the extensions and expansions), then maybe some programmers would better understand fair use and the "protections" provided by the DMCA.

    Or maybe that's just my wishful thinking.
  • by santiago ( 42242 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:16PM (#14727232) Homepage
    They can call it C.A.R.E.--Copyright Abuse Resistance Education. Maybe even have cops come in and show off a simulated pirated download, so the kids can identify them when they encounter them. Teach the students to avoid peer-to-peer pressure...
  • Copyright is a tricky area. There are many myths that education might help to dispel. Consider these myths: 1) If it doesn't have a copyright notice, it's not copyrighted. 2) If I don't charge for it, it's not a violation. 3) If it's posted to Usenet it's in the public domain. 4) My posting was just fair use! 5) If you don't defend your copyright you lose it. 6) If I make up my own stories, but base them on another work, my new work belongs to me. 7) They can't get me, defendants in court have powerful rig
  • by plopez ( 54068 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:16PM (#14727237) Journal
    If the students are *really* taught what copyrights are, how they were originally intended to work in the Constitution and the concepts of fair use, then the students will know when and how full of crap any 'anti-piracy' group might be. An educated group of consumers.

    This may end up as a blow *against* the industry lobbyists, as it could create an educated group of consumers. Any EFF volunteers want to teach a class or two?

    Better for the MPAA/RIAA to leave them ignorant and terrified so they fold when the letter arrives in the mail. :)

  • So I guess the kids are in the clear if they stick to newsgroups, filebots, and other asymmetric methods? :D
  • An education system depends on quality educators in order to function well. That almost goes without saying. The end result of ideas like this may result in the destruction of the system in which it is "infecting". That will hold especially true if those who would receive such funding end up avoiding California.

    Much the same has reportedly been happening with Kansas. As the debate over intelligent design heats up, many talented educators (at all levels, be it university or high school) are now considering e
  • Something tells me they won't be talking much about Fair Use rights in all of this. Its all going to be "file sharing is bad and you're a criminal!" rather than "file sharing is infringing on a copyright, not theft" and "you are able to copy your media under these conditions".

    I think someone should put together a website that monitors this program, corrects any incorrect info that they try to teach and also gives useful info (like I mentioned above) that isn't taught. This could then be made known to the

  • I preface this by saying not all kids are juvenile delinquents, but how can anyone reasonably expect to teach them copyright law? And what makes you think if you did, it would alter one thing? Schools try to teach kids civic responsibility, such as the importance of voting, but I don't see a lot of young people flocking to the polls. Kids will do what they want, and only those who respect the rights of others will get this. This is not a solution, it is a continuance of the problem.

  • why?

    because kids aren't stupid. they can think independently and abstractly. i want to be there when a kid first stands up and says to the teacher: "but these laws are based on technology that is obsolete, shouldn't the laws change with the new p2p technology?"

    kids aren't programmed by their teachers. they are introduced to topics by their teachers and they arrive at their own conclusions. therefore, introducing copyright issues to them will mean that which would otherwise stay in the shadows unchanged (goo
  • Suppose, just suppose, that the "Copyright-Ed" course was taught by a good teacher, someone who actually got students to think about copyrights. "How long should a copyright last?" "Are copyrights really valuable to society?" "How is copyright infringement different from theft?"

    Nothing ever works out this well, but imagine if it could. This could turn out really well, with a whole mass of people starting to question some of the more absurd copyright/patent 'abuses.'
  • Now my initial thoughts on this were: No, no-one taking a tech ed course is so bone-headed as to require their teacher to beat them with a mental stick going "NO! Copyright infrignment wrong, bad file-sharer!"

    It may however have a beneficial effect. Sure, why not discuss copyight law? An excellent exercise would be for student to come up with an estimate as to how much money is spent across the various levels of government paying for licences for Windows, Microsoft Office, etc. They could then work out h
  • hello (Score:2, Funny)

    by Tachikoma ( 878191 )
    "Hello, My name is Ed Chavez, I'd like to begin today by saying I am a puppet of 'particular music and filmed entertainment industries'. In this speech I will use buzz words and phrases to spread FUD in order to train you, such as 'content', 'illegal file-sharing' and 'costs to taxpayers'. I'm sure you're all aware of how precious bandwidth is. Oh so precious, like oxygen, gold, puppies and smiling babies. We should bow to the industry, for they provide us with such precious content for our precious ban
    • You forgot to add that Ed Chavez is a Democrat and a member of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride Coalition [64.233.179.104]. As such, I'm pretty sure he's not going to be going out of his way to denigrate communism any time soon. More likely would be some sort of anti-war [peace-action.org] rant.

      But don't take my word for it, feel free to call or write one of his offices below and express your opinion:

      Industry Office:
      13181 Crossroads Parkway North
      Suite #160
      Industry, CA 91746
      (626) 961-8492

      Capitol Office:
      State Capitol
      P.O. Box 942849
      Sacramento,
  • And they can start the day with:

    I pledge allegiance to the RIAA
    and to the media conglomerates for which it stands.
    One nation, under DRM.
    With perpetual copyright and a compliant Congress,
    for those with the most lobbyists.
  • Apparently he "decided this legislation is needed after "after observing studies that show that the largest groups of P2P users are teens and people in their 20s".

    So campaign fund contributions had nothing to do with it and are purely co-incidental?

    Please, this is the same guy who blocked the popular 'financial privacy protection bill' after receiving over $100,000 from the finance industry. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/ch ronicle/archive/2003/06/30/MN275013.DTL [sfgate.com]

    I wonder how much it cost t
    • "
      And there was me thinking the USA had a democracy!"

      nope, it's a republic.
      ".. the republic for which it stands..." ring any bells?

      I don't want to seem pendantic, but understanding what a republic is, is an absolute nessesity if you desire to effect change.

  • Does he really want ethics taught, or does he really mean that students should be told how to behave? You see, ethics isn't about following a set of rules (at least to those of us that aren't religious), it is about thinking and making your own decisions.

    So, Ed, who is being more ethical, the man who buys a Madonna album in a shop for $20, or the man who downloads the album via P2P and then donates $20 to a charity to educate African children. Tricky isn't it?
     
  • by Digital_Quartz ( 75366 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:43PM (#14727516) Homepage
    'ethical behavior in regards to the use of information technology,'

    This would be the part where they teach kids that using technology to build a copyright mechanism that takes over your customer's computer, and creates security holes, such as the recent Sony-BMG scandal, is unethical. Or perhaps this would be teaching kids about the ethics of setting up a cartel wherein labels make a lot of money off record sales, and artists don't.

    'the concept, purpose, and significance of a copyright,'

    From this page [udel.edu]:
    "By granting the copyright holder exclusive rights over a work for a limited period of time, the system fosters the long-term dissemination of new intellectual works for society as a whole." (emphasis added). This would encourage children to discuss why the current copyright system in the United States, where the period of copyrighted works is continually extended, is fundamentally broken.

    'the implications of illegal peer-to-peer network file sharing.'

    And finally, children would learn that the big record labels took about 5 years too long to get into the online music distribution buisness, so that by the time they did, there were illegal free alternatives which produce superior (read: not DRMed, and therefore superior from the consumer viewpoint) products. We could teach kids that file sharing networks allow people to hear artists they wouldn't otherwise hear on pop-dominated radio stations and TV, and promote more diverse and creative music. And, we could teach them that illegal file sharing doesn't seem to have an impact [unc.edu] on record sales.

    Somehow I don't think this is what Chavez had in mind.
  • We'll be producing students who don't have basic math, science, reading comprehension or writing skills, who know nothing about history, but hey, they'll be well versed in I.P. law. What a joke! Let's worry about producing students with a firm grasp of math and science who can read, comprehend and write at an acceptable level before we worry about teaching them anything else.

    I have nothing but praise for the education I received attending a public school but I only received a good education because I chos

  • The Obvious (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EmuProphet ( 953239 )
    From a high school student perspective they'll take this about as serious as D.A.R.E. or Sex Ed; just another hour for kids to draw ligers and unicorns.
  • I think that Richard Stallman [wikipedia.org] would make a wonderful guest lecturer on the subject!
    • by mabhatter654 ( 561290 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @06:07PM (#14727743)
      Get RMS & Lessing to co-write a text with the help of the EFF & FSF. Be sure to include things like RMS "Future vision" article & Lessing's arguments to the supreme court. Then as a civic service release the book under a combination of Creative Commons and GPLD licences.. Be sure to assign the tradmark to the FSF. Then explain how copyright and trademark are working and why they made the license decisions they did right from the very first page!


      The ultimate in subversion... after all, why should the public schools pay for books when they're willing to provide it for free!!

  • blowback (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The_Rook ( 136658 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @05:49PM (#14727569)
    i find this kind of proposed legislation amusing, particularly since i don't think the movie and record companies really understand what kind of curricula could result from a mandate like this.

    clearly what hollywood wants is a class that will teach junior and senior high school students to be good little consumers who will buy movies and music from regular retailers without question. they want these kids to each buy their own deeveedees and ceedees and encourage their friends to buy the same and not share.

    however, a good civics curricula on copyright will include an historical discussion of copyright - why it was created by the english parliament in the 15th and 16th centuries, what the constitution says about copyright and the legislation congress has passed over the past 200+ years. also, a list of important court cases about copyright ought to be discussed. a discussion of what is legal and what is not should be an essential discussion of copyright.

    i think a class on the subject would be a good thing, especially considering how importat content and information have become in modern society.

    of course, when the media industries figure out that having a public that is fully conversant with copyright law, its purposes and limitations, then the legislation in question will probably die a quick death. the media industry's arguments about copyright being a 'property right' are based on a misinterpretation of copyright law and many of the media industry's positions on copyright are built on the public not knowing what copyright is about or what it's really for.

    much of what the media industry wants in copyright legislation is dependent on the public being confused about about copyright. anything that clarifies copyright for the public will work against the media industries goals.
  • I think it's pretty clear who's made large contributions to Ed Chavez's campaign.

    If only I were pulling this outta my ass:

    "Chavez top recipient of lobbyists' campaign donations" [mercurynews.com]

    I guess ed's the most popular whore in Sacremento.
  • Will they have to watch the Don't Copy That Floppy [netilium.org] video?
  • So how long before this implies that:

    a) The school is expected to police their students and hand them over to the *AA's asa condition of their funding. Failure to adequately prevent copyright infringement would clearly indicate the school hasn't lived up to their obligations.

    b) That students will be summarily dismissed from their programs if they are found to be using P2P, because, after all, they were told it was naughty. And we don't educate naughty people.

    This will be a heavily one-sides presentation
  • I love it! Have the EFF's lawyers teach the kids about copyright so they'll know when they're being screwed by the copyright cartel.

    Wait, the EFF didn't donate to this guy. Probably gonna be copyright cartel propaganda.
  • Well, what do you expect? This kind of political intrusion into education is an inevitable consequence of a socialised education system. The moment you take something out of private hands and let the Government run it, it's going to become a poorly-funded, poorly-run political football.

    The solution is to privatise education completely, and let parents, businesses and charitable trusts run schools - and, more importantly, let parents send children to the best schools they can afford, schools of their own c
    • let parents send children to the best schools they can afford, schools of their own choosing (or, alternatively, homeschool).

      I agree in theory, but then what happens to schools that can't be profitable and have to close down? What if you can't afford to send your kids to school? What if the only school you can afford offers a poorer education than the current public schools now do? Personally I think it's important for everyone to have some level of education. Unfortunately there are many people in o
  • and 'the implications of illegal peer-to-peer network file sharing.'

    That reminded me I forgot to fire up aMule, running now!

  • by GuyverDH ( 232921 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @07:46PM (#14728557)
    ie - through the poorly thought out and worded DMCA laws, that, through encryption technologies, will virtually extend copyrights to infinity..

    Oh - that work is encrypted - you cannot decrypt it without authorization, meaning you can NEVER *legally* view / reproduce it without the encryption.

    Encryption technologies for copyrighted works should have embedded date calculations that disable the encryption once the copyright period has expired, otherwise, the product illegaly extends copyright.
  • by jafac ( 1449 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @11:23PM (#14729727) Homepage
    Entitled "Ethics in the Information Age" at University of Maryland (UMUC)

    The text books for this class were
    Case Studies in Information Technology Ethics (second edition) by Richard A Spinello, published by Prentice Hall.
    Ethics in Information Technology by George Reynolds published by Thompson.

    This class was anything but a "anti download" brainwashing session.
    Most of it focussed on the kinds of issues we developers and engineers have to contend with in terms of protecting the privacy of customer data, product liability, international/cross-cultural issues, and things like that.

    The course started with an overview of how to do an Ethical Analysis of a situation, then we discussed case studies for the rest of the term, and wrote opinions, etc. I think it was a very valuable experience, and I think that all IT professionals should, indeed, take this class.

    Yes, we did talk about software piracy, and other forms of copyright/patent violation. By and large, the mood of the class in analyzing these issues was that yes, illegal copying is wrong, but not as wrong relative to say, stealing a car or killing someone. Mainly, I think we learned that making unauthorized copies of software in a professional capacity is especially bad (even if it's for charity) mainly because you're exposing a broader group of stakeholders (ie. your employers, their stockholders, etc) to the liability. It was really an interesting and enlightening class, and it make me think about some things I never thought about before.
  • by xtal ( 49134 ) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @01:00AM (#14730120)
    ..complete with handcuff pictures.

    These advertisements were openly mocked when I was in school, and I can just imagine how badly they'll be laughed at. I find it interesting that they focus on peer-to-peer networks though. What about the evils of sharing music with your friends? ..what about countries where it's legal to do that? Will they talk about countries that don't have any copyright law?

    How about some history, or will that be re-written? Many developing countries didn't always hold foreign patent protection in the highest regard.

    I actually don't have a problem with this in schools, so long as it's facts and not biased, legally processed corporate driven being presented.

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