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[Dfey-general-discuss] Fwd: Re: [pp.int.general] UK action idea: in scho

From: Tim Dobson
Subject: [Dfey-general-discuss] Fwd: Re: [pp.int.general] UK action idea: in schools
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2010 13:25:15 +0100
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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [pp.int.general] UK action idea: in schools
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2010 03:46:44 -0400
From: Richard Stallman <address@hidden>
Reply-To: address@hidden, Pirate Parties International -- General Talk
To: W Tovey <address@hidden>
CC: address@hidden

    I've had a quick look through the syllabuses for GCSE ICT and I can see
    is half a lesson on "Copyright Law"; from my experience of both GCSEs
    and the public understanding of copyright, this is unlikely to be either
    particularly serious or accurate.

The screenshots I saw from samlearning.com are more "sharing is wrong"
than copyright law.  Whether accurate or not, whether serious or not,
it is propaganda for the enemy.

As for the GCSE IT itself, I don't know any specifics but I asked
someone to send me a copy of the syllabus.

    As for the "study" web sites, they are more likely to be
    propaganda-filled (being  commercial thingamies, so susceptible to
    "sponsorship") but I'm not sure how much attention the average student
    pays to them in the first place.

I was told that half the schools in England recommend samlearning.com.
But even if it is only 10%, that is still a lot of students.  And
their competitors may be similar.  Their message is likely to have an
influence unless the students see arguments that sharing is good.
They may keep sharing, but they will tell themselves "I am a bad
person because I share."

    As with everything else, there is no way we can directly
    compete with the anti-sharing lot on a commercial scale (and even then,
    their "educational" campaigns are clearly failing - no one is

If "compete...on a commercial scale" means using the same tactics they
use, I am sure you are right -- but that isn't the only way to
respond.  Here are two ideas that occur to me:

* People can complain to their local schools about recommending
companies that include copyright industry propaganda in their

* Distribute counter-information to students on CDROMs that say
"Copy and Share this CDROM
 Sharing is Good"

Maybe you can think of other ways.

    Having said all that, accurate education about copyright would be very
    helpful but something of a challenge (both to publish material that
    people will read and to get the details right - the BPI et al. have been
    having trouble with both).

Education about copyright is not the response that's needed.  This is
a moral point, not a legal one, so the response has to be on the moral
plane too.

Nina Paley's one minute musical cartoon, "Copying Is Not Theft", would
be great to use as the response, by itself or together with text.  The
task is to get copies to lots of students and invite them to share it
with more students.  Maybe PPUK supporters could do this.

Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
www.fsf.org, www.gnu.org
Pirate Parties International - General Talk

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