Take a Quiz… No, Wait. Don’t.

copyright_symbol.gifWTF? I know that RIAA and all the other bloodsuckers out there would like our kids to worship at the alters of © and ™ daily, thanking the Powers that Be for crappy content at outrageous prices. But this quiz — supposedly intended to “educate” kids about do’s and don’ts in the world of rights management — is phenomenally misleading.

Take the question: “It’s OK to copy content from the Internet for your own personal use.” The answer, according to the Business Software Alliance, is FALSE:

It is illegal to copy any part of a copyrighted work without the copyright holder’s permission, whether you plan to keep the copy to yourself or distribute it to others. The only exception is “fair use,” which permits copying a limited amount of a copyrighted work without the copyright holder’s permission for purposes such as scholarship and research. U.S. copyright law also contains specific provisions regarding archival copies of copyrighted works that you have purchased and temporary copies of copyrighted works that have been broadcast.

Have they never heard of public domain content — like Project Gutenberg or the millions of pages of content posted with a Creative Commons designation? I know, I know: to the lawyers at the BSA, the whole concept of Open Source and public domain is like Kryptonite: scary, dangerous stuff that undermines their very reason for being. The only exeception is “fair use”? Really: get your facts straight before you wag your big finger in our faces, will you?

Oh, or this gem: “It’s OK to trade copies of music, films, and software through a file-sharing network?” Guess what? According to the BSA the answer is FALSE. But, really now, doesn’t it very much depend on the explicit copyright status of the item shared? I mean, even though these bastards would like to get a cut every time we breathe, sharing per se isn’t illegal yet, is it now?

My local school has decided that a link to this crap is warranted; at least they also provide a link to the much more useful Creative Commons.

Update (11/5/09): seriously, the lawyers, lobbyists and other idiots (but I repeat myself) who are working on this stuff are completely delusional. Apparently, I can  now be sent to jail for ripping a CD to my computer so I don’t have to schlep around the damn thing to hear the songs I bought?!? Meanwhile, Sir Change-a-Lot and his administration have refused to publicize their plans for overhaul of copyright legislation on the basis of “national security” — what, the North Koreans are going to flood us with counterfeit DVDs if they find out what our goons are planning?