NPR logo The Battle Over Copyright Reaches The Fifth Grade


The Battle Over Copyright Reaches The Fifth Grade

Look out Fifth graders, the copyright fight is coming to a classroom near you. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created a curriculum for students of all grade levels to teach them about their digital rights. The EFF, a non-profit that leans libertarian when it comes to the Internet, designed the curriculum to counter lesson plans created by the Copyright Alliance.

The Alliance gets much of its support from the recording, broadcast and software industries. The cover of the Alliance lesson plan says, "Think First, Copy Later."

The EFF believes that the Alliance is trying to scare kids from being creative on the Internet by, for example, making it seem as if all digital downloads are illegal when many are perfectly legal. EFF staff attorney Corynne McSherry counters saying that kids, "need to understand their digital rights and responsibilities in order to create, critique, and comment on their culture."

The Alliance says its out there trying to make sure that kids respect copyright laws.

Well, clearly plenty of kids and adults are out there sharing unauthorized files of movies and music. Surely, they aren't all confused about what the law says. In the end, the battle over copyright is may be won or lost based on what Internet users find convenient and fun rather than legal or illegal.