A Moron In A Hurry

July 18, 2006

Pirate Hunting Merit Badges

Filed under: china, copyright — nick @ 10:00 am

The NYT reports today on the Boy Scouts of Hong Kong and their new Intellectual Property Badge Award Program:

Starting this summer the Hong Kong government plans to have 200,000 youths search Internet discussion sites for illegal copies of copyrighted songs and movies, and report them to the authorities. The campaign has delighted the entertainment industry

One of the concerns that the program, helped put in place by the Motion Picture Association, raises is that these Scouts are going to be teased and labeled uncool by their friends. In response, the MPA is flying in a bunch of movie stars to meet with the Scouts to make them feel cooler about what they’re doing.

The program actually could be good for the Scouts, even if the program was rolled out here, so long as the kids were taught both sides of copyright without all the propaganda. The Boy Scouts should be aiming to teach kids the things they need to know to be good citizens that they aren’t taught in school and teaching about copyright is a brilliant move. Of course, the lack of a Fair Use Merit Badge shows that this program is helplessly out of balance.

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