MPAA indoctrination of Scouts

The MPAA has release their badge requirements for the dreaded Scout Copyright merit badge. Not surprisingly it is full of loaded terms such as "Copyright Theft", "Stealing IP", "piracy" and "bootleg". Also not surprisingly it focuses exclusively on protecting the monopoly rights of copyright holders, without even giving an acknowledgement that the consumers of copyrighted works have any rights at all.

Any copyright 'curriculum' which makes no mention of the public domain and term of copyright, or fair use rights cannot be considered balanced. Labeling people who infringe copyright as 'copyright thieves' is an attempt to influence opinion through word association. The term theft cannot properly apply to copyright as the copyright owner is never deprived of what he owns.

For the Boy Scouts of America to endorse this extremely biased 'merit' badge, they are being very negligent in their duty. What will be next I wonder? will there be a merit badge for healthy eating sponsored by McDonald's.

Unfortunately Scouts Canada does not fair much better, and probably only because they have not been approached by Big Media yet. The Scouts Canada 'computer' challenge badge asks questions like "what is wrong with sharing software?", which of course presumes that there indeed is something wrong with it. Which is most definitely not always the case. There is much work to do on both sides of the border to undo the misinformation which is being spread in scouting regarding Intellectual Monopolies.