Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches School Copyright Curriculum

June 8, 2009 -

A couple of weeks back GamePolitics reported that the Copyright Alliance had developed a K-12 curriculum designed to drill the IP lobbying group's message into school children.

By contrast, the more consumer-friendly Electronic Frontier Foundation has launched Teaching Copyright, a curriculum of its own. As one might expect, the EFF takes a much different approach than the Copyright Alliance.

While I'm not sure that either side in the copyright debate should be permitted to chew up precious educational time, the EFF points out that California law requires such curriculum:

In 2006, California passed a law requiring schools that accept technology funding to educate students about copyright, plagiarism, and the basics of Internet safety. Other states have since considered similar laws...

 

When we surveyed existing digital education resources related to copyright, we were dismayed to find that... the materials focused on drilling students on the prohibitions of copyright... we could not stand by and let this educational opportunity become an excuse to scare young people away from making full and fair use of the digital technologies that will continue to affect virtually every aspect of their lives.

The EFF's curriculum includes:

  • What is legal online?
  • How is creativity being enabled by new technologies?
  • What digital rights and responsibilities exist already, and what roles do we play as users of digital technology?

However, Nate Anderson of Ars Technica expressed some concerns about the EFF's educational prorgam:

The EFF's curriculum rightly says that P2P isn't just for copyright infringement... But the material glosses quickly over the absolutely epic levels of infringement taking place on P2P networks...

The [EFF] curriculum seems to presuppose, in fact, that students have already been bombarded with rightsholder concerns to the point that these can almost be left out of the discussion.

 


Comments

Re: Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches School ...

Agreed; lobbyists should stick to Congress, not classrooms (ooooh, catchy phrase! :D ).

Adding to that, we should also be concerned that teaching students what is or is not legal online may also inhibit technological advancement, albeit on a more conservative scale.

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches School ...

Even though I support this over teaching kids that "RAWR P2P EVIL", no lobby group should ever be able to dictate what kids learn.

Re: Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches School ...

urghh it better be optional like sex education so parents can ask to let their kids be excluded from the lesson lets include creationism in that too and any other religious lesson while were at it.

I dont have kids but if I ever have em I dont want them in any of those their allowed in the sex education class though presuming they dont demonise it or throw out contraceptives like sweets.

Re: Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches School ...

If this can make so that this generation knows enough about copyrights law to stop (or at least slow) scare tactics (such as the RIAA's), I'll gladly support it. The main weapons of the companies that sue individuals as scare tactics is the consumer ignorance (at least not in detail) of the copyright law. If the consumer knows about the fair use laws and that the companies don't have that much power, they won't be scared and these companies will lose their weapon.

 

That's how I think of it. Four years ago, there was a similar deal with recovering agencis (not sure of the right terms).

Re: Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches School ...

CCFC get on this and we'll respect you more.

Lobby groups should never be allowed to make curriculum in the K-12 classroom, no exceptions.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches School ...

I do not support this curriculum.

If we are going to discuss "law" at all in the K->12 range then a more general course on law is appropriate and then if there is time you can start teaching these "hot button" issues as time permits. But without a base understanding of law delivered first I can't imagine any student really caring or being interestind in any manner.

Re: Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches School ...

I am with Ars on their concerns. The CA and the EFF seem to be on opposite extremes on the pendulum. If copyright education must be a part of school curriculum, we need a healthy balance. Yes teach them about fair use and First Sale, but don't forget to teach about plagiarism and infringement.

Everyone needs to be taught respect for laws and how to obey those laws. But we also need to realize and teach that the laws aren't as rigid as the CA would have you believe.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches School ...

Unfortianitly we may never get the balance today's students deserve.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

 
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E. Zachary KnightGot that same recommendation on Twitter. So I guess that is a good sign.09/15/2014 - 8:39pm
prh99Portlandia, though I don't watch a lot of sitcoms. Heard it was good though.09/15/2014 - 8:02pm
E. Zachary KnightSitcom recommendations for someone who like Parks and Rec but hates The Office: Go.09/15/2014 - 6:08pm
NeenekoEven if they do change their policy, they can only do it moving forward and I could see the mod/pack community simply branching.09/15/2014 - 12:50pm
Michael ChandraAs for take the money and run, the guy must have a networth of 8~9 digits already.09/15/2014 - 10:33am
Michael ChandraMe, I'm more betting on some form of mod API where servers must run donations/payments through them and they take a cut.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraEspecially since they want it for promoting their phones. Killing user interest is the dumbest move to make.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraGiven how the EULA actively allows for LPs, I'm not sure Microsoft is ready for the backlash of disallowing that.09/15/2014 - 10:31am
Matthew Wilsonthey wont do that, the backlash would be too big.09/15/2014 - 10:25am
ConsterSleaker: how is that a flipside? Sounds to me like that's basically what Notch himself said, except rudely.09/15/2014 - 10:18am
MaskedPixelanteOn the plus side, no more lazy Minecraft LPs, since iirc Microsoft has a strict "no monetization period" policy when it comes to their stuff.09/15/2014 - 10:13am
james_fudgeBut it continues to sell on every platform it is on, so there's that09/15/2014 - 10:09am
james_fudgeOh, well that's another matter :)09/15/2014 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightNothing against Notch here. I think it is great that he made something so cool. I just can't understand how it is worth $2.5 bil09/15/2014 - 9:59am
InfophileWhat a world we live in: Becoming a billionaire was the easy way out for Notch.09/15/2014 - 9:42am
james_fudgelots of hate for Notch here. I don't get it. Sorry he made a game everyone loved. What a monster he is!09/15/2014 - 9:37am
SleakerOn the flipside, Notch has been a horrible CEO for Mojang, and the company has grown on sheer inertia, DESPITE being mishandled over and over.09/15/2014 - 9:33am
SleakerI can understand Notch's statements he made to Kotaku about growing bigger than he intended, and getting hate for EULA changes he didn't enact.09/15/2014 - 9:32am
MaskedPixelantehttp://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM Notch's statement about the MS acquisition. He wanted out for a long time and this was the easiest way.09/15/2014 - 9:08am
ConsterEh, I can't blame him.09/15/2014 - 9:01am
 

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