Copyright education is how the industry looks at it. To them it makes perfect sense that the school curriculum should be tailored to protect their income. They seem to have some allies in government who feel the same way, and a long and determined propaganda campaign has much of the public indoctrinated with their message. And if it was only a message to inform people of their responsibilities and their rights when dealing with copyrighted material, that would be all right. Unfortunately, the message is more often that copying is stealing, and that anyone who doesn’t pay for the privilege is evil.
The copyright education envisaged by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America,) the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and some other acronyms focuses entirely on what they will lose if they can’t stop people from sharing. As the Wired article puts it, “Downloading is Mean!” This copyright education will be fine tuned to the comprehension level of children from kindergarten through grade six. It is the childrens’ comprehension level that forces them to not complicate the material with concepts like fair use. Instead, they want to be sure that the children understand that any use of copyrighted material without permission is stealing.Meanwhile, the article on opensource.com thinks the message to children should be about what they can do, rather than what they can’t do. They can learn all the stuff about copyright and fair use later, when their brains are more sophisticated. In addition to that, they point out that there is no mention of the commons, the public domain or open licenses. The children aren’t being told that there is material out there that is free to share, or that they are actively encouraged to share by its creator. No Musopen. No Green Comet. That must be something else that they’re not ready to understand. Opensource.com counters this self-serving deception by offering links to many better sources for copyright curriculum.
If the government allows corporate propaganda in the classroom, then they’re betraying the children they’re meant to nurture.