Pro-Copyright Propaganda Enters US Classrooms

Pro-copyright lobbyists and anti-piracy outfits have a clear idea of what is needed to manipulate the minds of the younger generations. The MPAA most famously handed out a “merit patch in respecting copyright” to LA Boy Scouts, and now the Copyright Alliance has entered US classrooms in an attempt to educate today's youth about the benefits of copyright.

copyright allianceThe Copyright Alliance describes itself as a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization dedicated to promoting the value of copyright as a means to make money. The more restrictions, the more money can be made is their credo, and they go to extremes to prove their point.

One of the key research documents listed on their website is a highly critical review of Professor Lawrence Lessig’s book “Free Culture“. According to the review, Lessig is a “hypocritical demagogue” whose book imposes a “quasi-socialist utopianism” while “demonizing” copyright.

Of course, everybody is entitled to their own opinion but with regard to what’s being taught to youngsters in schools, one should at least try to get the facts right. Unfortunately, the Copyright Alliance screws up badly in this respect.

For example, in one of their their featured reports it is claimed that The Pirate Bay is selling pirated movies and music to its users. “Up until 2006, one of the largest global sellers of pirated films and music files was sold by a company based in Sweden – Pirate Bay,” it reads. Despite their blatant lies in their research reports, they have still managed to convince several schools to use their course materials.

“Think First, Copy Later,” is the working title of the pro-copyright curriculum set to be taught in several schools throughout the US. TorrentFreak contacted Aaron Engley, administrator at West Potomac Academy – one of the schools that plans to use the Copyright Alliance’s material.

Engley told TorrentFreak in a comment, “Our school has a communication and arts focus, we engaged in this relationship [with the Copyright Alliance] to assist our students protect their own intellectual property. We were teaching our students how to produce, but not educating them on how to protect what they produce.”

Of course, the Copyright Alliance itself fails to mention that thousands of artists profit from sharing their work for free, and that the lion’s share of copyright profits go to large corporations. But even if we put that aside, kids should be taught to think critically so they can make up their own minds instead of being brainwashed with pro (or anti) copyright propaganda.

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