ESA Wants Access to Elementary Schools for Anti-piracy Message

October 3, 2007 -

Allowing lobbyists to push their agenda to kindergarten and elementary school kids?

What a pleasant thought...

Cnet reports that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which represents the interests of U.S. game publishers, would like to indoctrinate K-5 schoolchildren with the organization's anti-piracy message.

The news comes out of an anti-piracy summit in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce According to the Cnet story, the ESA's chief IP enforcer, Ric Hirsch, said:
 

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. 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 already developed a curriculum designed to teach copyright respect to the K-5's. Hirsch didn't reveal whether or not the organization has had any success in placing the program in schools.

GP: Let's hope not. While we certainly don't condone IP theft, allowing corporations to waste valuable classroom time to push their agenda is a disturbing concept.


Comments

The proposed Father Ted US version has me shaking from fear nearly, as no one will be able to make a show like that under its name ever again. RIP Father Ted. I mean, look how the US pilots for Red Dwarf turned out. *shudders*

You can't have Father Ted in US-speak, it won't work! You NEED Irish insanity.

I don't think I saw the US pilots for Red Dwarf. I can't see the dry brit humor working in the US. It's too dry for them...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

@minshi

That is actually a lot closer to the truth of where the complexity lies than many against mod chips and legal backups will ever understand. By the rules they want us to play by, we would have to rebuy a disc every time our child destroyed the first by fire or scratches, as opposed to allow them to destroy a backup we made for private use all day long. A lot of valid uses for the technology that also allows unexcused theft, all rendered illegal in the eyes of the ESA and RIAA.

This is just stupid. That's right, punish the innocent for the actions of the guilty. Everyone is guilty until proven innocent.

Amazing, all those kids who weren't aware of piratings' existence will now be pointed in the right direction, a whole new generation of software pirates made aware of it's existence by the ESA itself, how much more thoroughly do they want to shoot themselves in the foot by raising the awareness of something they dislike? It's almost as bad as the popularity that Manhunt 2 and GTA got from people who wanted to destroy them.

Or are they under the mistaken idea that kids will not do it because they said it was 'bad'? I mean, that's REALLY working well for the RIAA isn't it?

@Zebthemarmot

See, to me that's still a big stretch. Ok, so Channel One had commercials, big deal, they have to pay for stuff somehow, and as I remember it Channel One ran roughly 10-15 minutes with at most 2-3 minutes of commercials.

I don't maybe its changed since last I saw it, back in 2000, but that was its format the entire time I watched it from middle school through high school ('93 - '00). I will admit that it sucked that not paying attention at your school brought punishment, I encountered nothing like that. In fact, if people were actually paying attention it was a miracle.

Still, I don't consider that as setting a precedent for something like this. Now, something I would consider a little more akin to setting precedent would be when we had a tooth care thing in elementary school. I honestly don't know if the people that came in were actual dentists or not, I'm guessing not. They gave everyone a bag Crest stuff, toothpaste, brushes, floss, etc. There was even a video if I remember correctly.

You know I liked that DARE program where a cop would come to our class and tell us about stuff like how drugs are bad and other things. I mean I rather have that going on than some corporate cadookies comeing into our kid's elementary schools and telling them that our profits depend on you not doing this. School is not for that sort of thing in my oppinion.

How dare we teach ethical values in the schools??? How dare we teach children what is right and wrong. How dare we suggest that other people's property, including that of artists, writers, programmers and publishers belongs to their creators, along with the right to derive income from that work?

Someone needs to be telling kids in a serious manner (no goofy videos or cartoon characters) about intellectual property rights for all types of media and that copying and redistributing it is wrong and that there are actual victims of it (the people who should rightfully recieve payment for their work ... not all creative folks are rich performing artists who are wealthy enough to live on past earnings).

If not the ESA, then let's offer some constructive suggestion for who ought to be doing the instruction. But not parents. They are likely to be as clueless as their kids.

This is an outright horrible idea. Teachers have to waste enough time teaching students how to take test and not the information they will need on the test. The curriculum is already pretty far in the crapper, we do not need another thing wasting time in classes.

Verbinator: I rather my kids learn about stuff like spelling, math, and other essential educational things rather than piracy. Thats the job of the parents. Frankly I would tell my kid that piracy is bad. As an anime fan I know how piracy can screw over an indutrsy so bad it can hurt it. I buy the cd's from cd stores.

I'm not saying its a dumb idea I'm just saying that its the responsibility of the parents to tell their kids piracy is bad. And frankly if the parents won't then that makes them bad parents.

At best, copyright laws should get a small mention in an 8th grade Constitution test or in one of those campy PSAs on TV. Teaching kids about copyright law is nothing new. Remember..."Don't copy that Floppy!" I'm all for teaching rules and morality in schools, and that wouldn't shock me, unless it is enforced by private corporations.

This reminds me of that South Park episode where parents and teachers thought that children needed to be taught sex education in kindergarden... the only difference is that South Park was funny.

k-5....really???? I bet its those 1st graders making illegal copies of Blues Clues that drew their attention to that age group >.>

Something I will say, about a month ago I purchased a copy of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas for the PC, simply because I wanted to mod it and play with it a little bit. Well, I got the game ,got it home, turns out I needed a DVD drive to play it ,which I do not have. I tried to return the game, and lo and behold, thanks to these BS laws I cannot return it. I'm stuck with a game I cannot play unless I get a good deal on a DVD drive. I admit I was at fault for not checking, but it wasn't very obvious. I would say how I was still able to play the game, I'll jsut say I'm glad I bought it legally first.

@Kurisu

And THAT is where my problem with the current laws lie, the ESA and other corporate entities are basically trying to turn the Video Game market into a lucky dip at $50-ish dollars a go, the package cannot be opened for a preview of the game, and once bought it cannot be returned. You are stuffed coming AND going, organisations such as this claim they are only after the 'Pirates' but even if Piracy stopped tomorrow and the industry stopped losing money, do you believe for one moment that prices would drop because they weren't losing that money any more, despite the fact they blame Piracy for the high prices in the first place?

Indoctrinating the Children...

I’m all for brainwashing children. If we’re talking about programming elementary school kids to be trained assassins, I’ll be the first to throw my support behind any government project that makes that happen. Who better to take out t...

On one hand, I don't like the idea of taking time out of a school day for non-educational purposes. On the other hand, this isn't really any different from McGruff or some anti-drug people showing up. Piracy is a crime, lest we forget.

@GoodRobotUs

If anything prices would go up because they're no longer trying to make the product look more appealing to the customer, at least on the price tag front.

Somehow I doubt that their curriculum on copyright law will present a balanced view of the broken system we have.

@DragonBomber
Teach him to be a freeman and to own the things he purchases, not to bow to our government and let the coporations own the things we buy from them.

Somewhere in the foulest pits on earth there is a murmur going through some of the most putrid scumfilled creatures that live there, as the RIAA wonders why they haven't thought of it first.

Morality?

What the hell is moral about 75-120 year copy right laws lobied for on behalf of multinational corporations that see artistic expression only as a mean to an end, especially when these profits rarely end up in the hands of the actual artists? (profit)

I suggest, instead, that children should be taught of the ridiculous, counter-productive, and backwards nature of current copy-right laws and licensing contracts.

This is what happens when we try to pass off religious superstition as morality and allow big buisness to corrupt most aspects of public life.

@Jabrwock,

Love that show, yeah, that's the whole problem with the complaints about Piracy, they seem to have the impression that todays' 'Pirates' are tomorrows rapists, muggers, murderers and probably Terrorists, at least, that's what they try to convince the part of the public that doesn't download.

It used to be a simple warning of 'Software Piracy is illegal, don't do it' oddly enough, the more 'hard hitting' the commercial for anti-piracy the more people become aware and the more it happens.

@Pandralisk

Shut up, just shut the f*ck up! You're as bad as those you bash! Sure, religion can cause a lot of problems, but it's the people who find themselves superiority in it. And then, there are people like YOU! Who find superiority in trying to destroy it.

I was saving this for Leftie, but it'll work:

There are no such things as wrong opinions. But there are stupid ones. You, sir, are a distributer of such.

You two are the same. Both are closer to the infamous nutcase than all of you would like to admit. He goes around bashing us, you go around bashing religion, and Leftie goes around bashing the ESRB. Maybe you should all join up; the Chauvinist Trio.

Depending on what they're allowed to say will determine if its an okay step or not.

If they limit it to 'stealing is wrong', I wouldn't really have a problem with it. Special interests make it into the class every day. D.A.R.E. for example. As long as they're moderated on what they say, its not a horrible thing to teach 'general' right from wrong. ('Gernal' does not necessarily = 'Moral' take note).

If they go into a classroom and say something along the lines of:
"Hello, represent the people who make the games you play. They're worried because people download our games without paying for them. That makes it hard for us to make new games for you."

I wouldn't have a problem with that. Now if they go in there and say:
"Hello, stealing is wrong and you will go to hell for it"

That I have a problem with.
Remember, these are elementry school children. They're probably not going to go into specifics about the DMCA or Copy Protections.

As long as its regulated corectly, meh.

@Pandralisk

Mr McCauley should have kick your ass out when you started these tirades.

Hate speech is not protected speech.

@pandralisk

it's called "I make you, you no steal it"

"In the 15- to 24-year-old (range), reaching that demographic with morality-based messages is an impossible proposition…"

How do you figure?
At the very least, that's a nasty stereotype.

Is there anything ESA doesn't copy from the "Evil Corporations 101" textbook these days?

They really are trying hard to blend in with the MAFIAA.

@Dan, I thought that too when I read it, it's almost saying that from 15 onwards people are incapable of learning new moral standpoints, which is kind of odd since young adulthood are the most singuarly defining years of your life, they define the kind of adult you will be. In many ways a lot of youth Apathy and rebellion comes from the fact that assumptions like these are made about them.

Wow, can I just say: HOLY %#@!#
I just looked up that Channel one thing that you Americans have.
And now I am of the understanding as to why the ESA thinks it's worth a shot.
(Seriously, I thought the simpsons was joking when it had that episode with corporate sponsored lessons)

Also, comparing drugs with piracy is, erm, idiotic.
Drugs harm/ kill people.
Piracy reduces profit.

So can you understand that on the scale of importance profit sits much lower than a persons life?

Yes, I thought you could.

Well, I'm off to quake in the fear that this Americanism creeps over to where I live, and my kids spend half their time watching commercials rather than educational programs.
*Shudders*

@Dan

I SUSPECT they mean, by saying we can't be indoctrinated at 15+, that basically we're too smart, too cowed by peer pressure, already doing what they're trying to stop, or too rebellious to be imprinted with some corporate/industrial bottom line.

In fact, that set off some huge alarms in my head--if what you're teaching can't effectively be accepted by teenagers, then you're basically saying you think you need to brainwash the kids while they're still moldable. If somebody came to me with such a request, to get to the kids while they're most vulnerable to authority figures' influence (which younger children are, before peer or non-parental figures become more important to them), I think I'd bolt the door.

At this point, though, I don't think it even matters if this SHOULD be taught to elementary school children. That age range is so under-served, educationally, as an average in the U.S. that we can't exactly afford to spend a whole class on something this niche. Let's first focus on making them capable of succeeding in a world where an undergraduate degree nets you a fast-food job and NCLB cripples so many schools' lessons and funding, and give them the basic knowledge they actually NEED.

My Tax dollars were wasted enough with the Mod-Chip storm. Don't waste them any further...

----
Papa Midnight

Oh god like schools need more corperate propaganda in them....

lets get out the coke/snack propaganda for elmerety school and condom propaganda for high school maybe credit card propaganda as well seeing as high schoolers work

(note:sex ed and condom propaganda are 2 sepreate things once promotes safe sex as a alternative to absunace,the other supports sex with condoms any time anywhere)

I couldn't understand some parts of this article ESA Wants Access to Elementary Schools for Anti-piracy Message, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.
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