October 20, 2006

L.A. Boy Scouts new merit badge: ‘Respect Copyrights’ [6:05 pm]

As a past scout, I’m speechless: L.A. Boy Scouts new merit badge: ‘Respect Copyrights’ - pdf

Boy Scouts in the Los Angeles area will now be able to earn a merit patch for learning about the evils of downloading pirated movies and music.

The patch shows a film reel, a music CD and the international copyright symbol, a “C” enclosed in a circle.

The movie industry has developed the curriculum.

A later APWire piece [pdf] includes an image of the badge….

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A Reporter’s Story: How H-P Kept Tabs On Me for a Year - WSJ.com [8:48 am]

A Reporter’s Story: How H-P Kept Tabs On Me for a Year - pdf

At first, I thought the company had simply accessed a month’s worth of my phone records.

But I grew more concerned as the scope of H-P’s tactics became clearer. I learned from documents released to Congress last month — but not by Mr. Schultz yesterday — that H-P’s investigative team unearthed factoids about myself that I never knew. In one PowerPoint slide prepared for Ms. Dunn, H-P’s team noted that I live precisely two miles away from former H-P director Mr. Keyworth. In another slide that mapped out — like a spider’s web — Mr. Keyworth’s relationships with the press and others, I learned that my real-estate agent, Mavis Delacroix, had once worked with his wife. When I called Ms. Delacroix to tell her that her name had popped up in H-P’s probe, she said: “I end up in the weirdest places.”

Via Slashdot’s Reporter’s Story — How HP Kept Tabs On Me

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Charles Cooper Decides He Needs Clicks [8:44 am]

By producing a purposely obtuse opinion piece: Web 2.0 as a metaphor for ‘rip-off’

Like Napster, YouTube may be the extreme case. Still, both companies, which relied on the use of “free” content, were nourished by the widely held conviction that all Net content should be free. I want to be charitable, but it’s hard to argue against the proposition that Napster and YouTube flourished because of theft.

You can’t get away with that idea in other walks of life. Believe me, I would love to waltz into the local bookstore, browse through the aisles, and walk out with a bag full of novels without making a pit stop at the cashier. Same goes for the record store, or the neighborhood video joint. Life doesn’t work that way. Our social arrangements don’t allow some people to work for others without the remotest chance of receiving compensation. You may remember that this nation fought a civil war to eradicate that despicable practice.

However, when it comes to the Internet, woe to the stick-in-the mud (like me) who fails to swim with the crowd that believes all Internet content must be there for the taking. In other words, it’s a big candy store in the clouds, open to one and all.

Of course, there are free lunch mentalities on both sides of this argument — just no one willing to admit it.

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