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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ZippyDSMleeA shame we can't have good convos in the forums, seems to me its time to nuke and restart fresh on them.10/02/2014 - 11:45am
Papa MidnightOh, no problem! Just wanted to let you know that it's what we're discussing. By all means, join in!10/02/2014 - 11:36am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, No problem. In juicy conversations, key points of discussion get pushed off quickly.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoA rather scary censorship. I have known too many people and small companies destroyed by such pressure, so this unnerves me at a pretty personal level.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoMy bad, I always have trouble working out what is going on in shoutbox10/02/2014 - 11:34am
Papa MidnightTo a point stated earlier, it very much is a form of indirect censorship. Rather than engage in rhetoric and debate, one side has instead chosen to cut-off opposing viewpoints at the knees and silence them via destroying their means of income.10/02/2014 - 11:28am
Papa MidnightNeeneko: the topic of Intel's dropping of Gamasutra is indeed part of this very ongoing conversation.10/02/2014 - 11:26am
NeenekoThis can't be good... http://games.slashdot.org/story/14/10/02/1558213/intel-drops-gamasutra-sponsorship-over-controversial-editorials10/02/2014 - 11:25am
Andrew EisenAnd there's also the consideration that the fact that a former IGN editor was one of the people who worked on the game's localization may be unknown (although in this specific case, probably not. Drakes been very visible at events IGN covers).10/02/2014 - 11:24am
Papa MidnightAlso, let's face it: people seem to believe that a conflict of interest can yield only positive coverage. Who is to say that Audrey Drake did not leave on bad terms with IGN (with several bridges burned in their wake)? That could yield negative coverage.10/02/2014 - 11:23am
Papa MidnightThat's a fair question, and it's where things get difficult. While Jose Otero may not have any cause to show favor, Jose's editor may, as may the senior editor (and anyone else involved in the process before it reaches publication).10/02/2014 - 11:21am
Andrew EisenWould such disclosure still be required if Fantasy Life were reviewed by Jose Otero, who wasn't hired by IGN until sometime after Drake left?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
Papa MidnightIn that case, a disclosure might be in order. The problem, of course, is applying it on a case-by-case basis; As EZK said, what's the cut-off?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
E. Zachary KnightAndrew, a disclosure would probably be in order as she likely still has a strong relationship with IGN staff. My follow up question would be "What is the statute of limitations on such a requirement?"10/02/2014 - 11:09am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, my hyperbole was intended to illustrate the difference and similarity between direct censorship and indirect censorship.10/02/2014 - 11:07am
Andrew EisenOpen Question: Former IGN Nintendo editor Audrey Drake now works in the Nintendo Treehouse. Do you think it's important for IGN to disclose this fact in the review of Fantasy Life, a game she worked on? Should IGN recuse itself from reviewing the game?10/02/2014 - 11:07am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, My thoughts on disclosure: http://gamepolitics.com/2014/09/25/what-your-gamergate-wish-list#comment-29598710/02/2014 - 11:02am
Sleaker@EZK - using hyperbole is a bit silly. I'm asking a serious question. Where's the line on disclosure as relates to journalistic involvement in the culture they report on?10/02/2014 - 10:59am
E. Zachary KnightSo a journalist reporting on general gaming news mentions a specific developer and their game involved in said news, and it is suddenly some nefarious conspiracy to hide a conflict of interest. I think someone is reaching for validation.10/02/2014 - 10:53am
Andrew EisenYes, imagine anyone insisting that two utterences of the phrase "Depression Quest creator Zoe Quinn" wasn't influenced by something happening in the future!10/02/2014 - 10:52am
 

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