Thursday, August 12, 2004


This site really irks me: Play it Cyber Safe. It is set up by the Business Software Alliance to teach children, parents, and teachers how to surf the net safely and responsibly. "Responsibly" is the key to what they are doing. They want to teach kids how not to share software, music, video, and anything else covered by copyright laws.

Now, I tend to pay for my music, videos, and software. Artists and developers should be able to make a living off of the work they produce. Yes, I know the arguments about copyrights and how the mainstream music industry does not pay it's artists properly. What annoys me is twofold. First, the industries have been slow to recognize that with increasing access speeds on the internet, they need to change their business models and they have been unwilling to do so (recently there's been chatter about the music industry already plotting for higher prices on download tunes as well as attempting to make them scarce by exclusive rights contracts with suppliers). Secondly, it annoys me that businesses are attempting to indoctrinate children to obey the law with this cute game and website and that they do so by using the scare tactics of pornography when appealing to parents and teachers on the site.

Should parents and teachers take the time to teach their children how to surf the net safe from pornography? Probably. Should they install filters that assist in ensuring that? Probably. Should class time be wasted teaching kids to obey copyright laws? No.

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