Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches School Copyright Curriculum

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.

 

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