Copyright

Copyright 101 by Microsoft.


I came across a very angst ridden article on Microsoft’s new IP curriculum. The full text of the article can be found here.

Basically the author seems upset about the attempts of Microsoft to brainwash children with an education program relating to copyright protection. The awareness program is based on the premise that if kids knew about the criminal repercussions and law relating to copyright infringement they would be less likely to indulge in it. Fair enough I guess but I don’t see the chances of children these days taking to this point of view very easily. Specially when I think of it in the context of my younger brother who seems to go to school only to swap pirated game cds. Apart from that I’m assuming most infringers are adults who really can’t be put through a crash course on copyright at their age.

I’m all for IP education amongst the youth but the wrong message might possibly be sent out by one sided programs which fail to highlight things like fair use provisions in IP regimes. Also, although I feel that Microsoft is entitled to start awareness programs if it wants to there are a few concerns:
1. What is the point of such a program when most infringers are probably adults.
2. What are the repercussions for other countries. Is Microsoft really reaching out to infringers if it concentrates on the USA when Canada, China and Russia are the big infringers in the game?
3. Is it appropriate to include content which may be biased in the EDUCATION curriculum for children?
4. What are the repercussions for developing countries like India? Are we going to find big companies insisting on invading our classrooms as well?
5. Although I can understand the effort is this really any manner in which infringement can be effectively curbed?

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