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The RIAA Strikes Back
October 24, 2003 3:48 PM   Subscribe

The RIAA Strikes Back. (c/o arstechnica.com) What do you do when nothing else seems to be working and you're the RIAA? Do it Soviet style! Take your message to the classroom! Indoctrinate the kiddies! Get them to rat on their friends! I don't know about everyone else, but I think that this latest RIAA tactic is particularly insidious. But what is worse is that schools apparently are welcoming the RIAA. And you thought that Coke machines in the cafeteria were bad...
posted by tgrundke (37 comments total)

 
Slight clarification: I meant MPAA, not RIAA. They're both fascist and run together in my mind.
posted by tgrundke at 3:49 PM on October 24, 2003


Man, kids are bad enough at math already.
posted by hammurderer at 3:56 PM on October 24, 2003


Clearly, a job for Troy McClure.

"Hi. I'm Troy McClure. You may remember me from such filmstrips as Locker Room Towel Fight: The Blinding of Larry Driscoll and Fuzzy Bunny's Guide to You-Know-What ."
posted by keswick at 3:57 PM on October 24, 2003


So creepy.

The article also mentions some students disagreeing with the program's debates during the classes.

I'm sure their names were noted for future reference.

Skinner: Uh oh. Two independent thought alarms in one day. The students are overstimulated. Willie! Remove all the colored chalk from the classrooms.
Willie: I warned ya! Didn't I warn ya?! That colored chalk was forged by Lucifer himself!

posted by milovoo at 4:10 PM on October 24, 2003


Never underestimate the child's ability to play along enough to win free shit.
(and then go home and download a movie and an album or two)

With all of the media sources and websites available today, would such a 'propaganda-istic' program even work?

Propaganda also involves control and limiting external media sources, right?

on Preview: (sorry, I can't think of a pertinent Simpsons quote . . .)
posted by cinderful at 4:13 PM on October 24, 2003


Understand that file sharing is legally theft especially if profiting from it. But buying a cd then having friends come over to hear it or vice versa, or me lending it, is that stealing? Seeing technology making it easier to un-privatize our purchases, do what I want with them.

When reel to reel came out, was copying a record then giving a copy to a friend theft? What is next; charging by the person, like they do with pay per view events shown in a bar. Hey you! too many ears at your house listening; pay up. The sad part this stuff has been going on in school already with the drug wars, my mom & dad toke up teacher help me help arrest them.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:16 PM on October 24, 2003


How about "I'm going to Bovine University!"
posted by keswick at 4:17 PM on October 24, 2003


Sleep! That's where I'm a Viking!
posted by gottabefunky at 4:34 PM on October 24, 2003


An underfunded public school system is one with a "we sell our students' souls, cheap!" sign on its front lawn.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:35 PM on October 24, 2003


Understand that file sharing is legally theft

What?

File sharing is not legally theft. When you get arrested for having Kazaa running, you are not charged with theft. Making digital copies of digital media is not theft. It may be infringing on someone's copyright (and thus, copyright infringement), but non-authorized duplication != theft.

The fact that I have to point this out proves MPAA/RIAA propaganda does work.
posted by Jairus at 4:42 PM on October 24, 2003


What's a "diff?" I just can't keep track of the lingo of today's youth. Is it slang for a file? Yeah, I downloaded a few diffs today.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:46 PM on October 24, 2003


If you look through the materials the main argument they keep on about is that "It's not fair". Not the most persuasive I've seen, anyway...

Also, this pdf pretty much sums it up.
posted by modofo at 5:08 PM on October 24, 2003


Diff is just short for difference, Doublethink.
posted by Tlogmer at 5:41 PM on October 24, 2003


Understand that file sharing is legally theft copyright infringement.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:00 PM on October 24, 2003


I teach Computer Apps in a performing arts high school for an hour and a half each day. Now these are performing arts students, lots of musicians, writers, actors, etc. Theoretically these should be the easiest high school students to convince that P2P is evil. It is their future career paths that are being thrown into chaos. But they are rabid file sharers. We have been covering lots of issues with the DMCA, the RIAA lawsuits, etc. None of them have even uninstalled Kazaa. Some of them have moved to lesser known networks but as a rule they are worried about lawsuits and they aren't worried about ethical issues. These kids were in 4th and 5th grade when Napster hit. As long as they have been interested in music, there has been P2P. Breaking them of the habit is going to be harder than their teacher going over some canned program about how it is wrong. We see how well that has worked in ending teenage drug abuse, and that has the potential to kill you. I take the party line of "copyright infringement is wrong and illegal" (I do not want to be accused of encouraging illegal activity, the jackbooted RIAA thugs might come drag me out of the classroom), but these kids aren't worried about the ethical issues involved. They want to know if EarthStationV will protect them from lawsuits and if eDonkey was as good as they have heard for movies. I plead ignorance ("I wouldn't know because that is just wrong") but try to at least get them to think about it a little more. And they all know that downloading is NOT theft, its copyright infringement.

An interest corollary: these kids have absurdly broad and far reaching taste in music for ninth graders. Sure there are the boyband kids and the Linkin Park kids, but a suprisingly large number of them are listening to Japanese bands and european wierdness. The Seniors graduating this year had nowhere close to the diverse and obscure tastes when they were freshman.

I wonder if I can win a DVD player. I wonder if Wednesday's Angel is through downloading.

And I have never ever heard one of my students use the term "diff."
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 6:05 PM on October 24, 2003


The eDonkey network is that good for movies, but emule is the better client. Or so the cool kids tell me.
posted by bonehead at 6:54 PM on October 24, 2003


Move to Canada.
posted by VeGiTo at 7:01 PM on October 24, 2003


Teachers win too!

The three teachers/instructors judged most effective and influential in imparting the message to their students will win:

First Prize: A Sony DVD player and a library of 14 of the biggest hit movies on DVD.
Second Prize: A selection of 21 all-time Hollywood classics on DVD.
Third Prize: Free movie pass for the teacher and a guest for one year to a theater in their neighborhood.


uber-scary (PDF, page 3). "let's bribe the teachers to brainwash the kids!"

following in the tradition of Channel One. almost as bad as D.A.R.E. i'm sure most would disagree, but i don't think public schools should be promoting or regulatin behavior except as it pertains to school.

ha. i wonder if a good analogy is evolution. they should teach copyright law the same way: "some people believe that it's illegal, but man still aren't convinced." double ha.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:23 PM on October 24, 2003


actually, downloading isn't even copyright infringement, only uploading/sharing. even with the recent idiotic changes to copyright law, you are still allowed to download something like $1000/month worth of craptacular hollywood movies.

of course, now that most p2p software forces you to share...

side note: what was that thing where coke/pepsi went to high schools, and some kid got in trouble for saying that he liked pepsi/coke even though they'd been coached in advance not to oppose their corporate masters that day? ah, there we go.
posted by dorian at 9:13 PM on October 24, 2003


The MPAA is what the RIAA would be if the RIAA wasn't full of retards.
posted by delmoi at 9:22 PM on October 24, 2003


But the MPAA is full of retards.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:26 PM on October 24, 2003


"Son! Where on earth did you learn to duplicate these files?"

(tearfully) "From you, dad. I learned by watching you!"
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:27 PM on October 24, 2003


you are still allowed to download something like $1000/month worth of craptacular hollywood movies

Was not aware of that. Interesting.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 11:03 PM on October 24, 2003


Only the craptacular ones, though. No "Citizen Kane", but it's all you can eat "Lethal Weapon VIII" night.

'cause you know, I liked the lethal weapon franchise better when they were still indie and cool. you know, like around III or so.

warning: the preceding message may have contained sarcasm, and should not have been viewed by the attempted-humour-impaired.
posted by arto at 1:20 AM on October 25, 2003


Don't Copy That Floppy!
posted by Yiggs at 2:28 AM on October 25, 2003


Being young and schooled, I think this will just raise awareness that you can go out there and download whatever music you want. This may further spread piracy by enlightening those who would do it if they knew how. Now, I understand that they are not going to tell them how to do it. This is where asking other classmates about it comes in.
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:29 AM on October 25, 2003


i agree with keyser. it reminds me of the day in sixth grade when the dare officer came to my class and told us all how we could get high from paint fumes and air conditioner coolant. from that day on we would all look forward to friday dare class, or as we called it the "officer jones telling us how to get high" hour.
posted by joedan at 3:51 AM on October 25, 2003


While it is safe to say that this will influence no one, it is also safe to say that student time could be better spent
posted by Outlawyr at 4:23 AM on October 25, 2003


this is comedy gold, it's a Monty Python skit

it's a mix of North Korea tactics and gleeful disdain for the whole idea of education (as outlawyr said, these kids should spend their classroom time trying to learn something a little more important, like English grammar or history or, God forbid, a foreign language)
and it's all coming from the people who gave consumers inflated prices, 6 different regional standards for DVD's, relentless cynical marketing of the sorriest crap ever committed to film, and corrupt product placement.
not to mention their lust for self-promotion, their bad habit of patting themselves on the back (you know, Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson winning Best Director Oscars, Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese winning none), their talent for damaging the box-office chances of more interesting, more creative independent and foreign films
posted by matteo at 6:42 AM on October 25, 2003


Several of the parents in a local area school here are talking litigation against RIAA.
posted by omidius at 8:45 AM on October 25, 2003


you could always invite them to your school, then trap them in a corner and hammer them with dodgeballs until they relent...

gah, our dvd players have been region-free for so long that I'd almost forgotten the ricoculousness of the region coding system.
posted by dorian at 9:21 AM on October 25, 2003


While I certainly don't agree with the MPAA going to public schools to preach, I also find it oddly scary that all the comments here seem to say that pirating movies and music is more-or-less OK. I'm not saying people should stop pirating. I just think they should admit that it's wrong. When did we go from "breaking the law to get something we want for free" to "fighting the man and taking what we deserve for free"?
posted by kcalder at 9:35 AM on October 25, 2003


I imagine this'll work about as well as "don't copy that floppy."

The risk/reward ratio for this works out to be this: You can get whatever songs you want instantly in maybe an hour, tops, without leaving your house, and that costs $0, whereas you could go to the store, have to find the CD, buy the CD, and bring it back home, and that costs $15. Pragmatism triumphs over morals.
posted by Veritron at 9:50 AM on October 25, 2003


I just think they should admit that it's wrong.

"Illegal" does not mean "Wrong." Law has very little to do with morality. Unenforceable laws with no public support will eventually get changed.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:10 AM on October 25, 2003


I can just imagine Alec Baldwin called in to deliver the seminar.

"'Cause the good news is that you're arrested. The bad news is you've got one week to redeem yourselves. First prize is a Sony DVD player. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is....you're arrested."
posted by ed at 11:45 AM on October 25, 2003


You know who really loses out here? The online porn industry. These kids should be stealing Dad's credit card and signing up for "all-access", but instead they're wasting their time with "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"? Kids today... Who will think of the Pornographers?! Won't someone think of the Pornographers?!
posted by hoborg at 3:07 PM on October 25, 2003


I have a copy of the "Don't Copy that Floppy" video.
posted by drezdn at 1:25 AM on October 26, 2003


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