Here’s an idea we wouldn’t mind seeing spread: Nigeria is starting a program to teach secondary school students the importance of respecting copyright.
The Guardian Nigeria reports that the Nigerian Copyright Commission will send staff to schools talk about the issue. The program launched with a one-day “copyright sensitization workshop” for over 300 students.
Speaking at the event, Director-General, NCC, Afam Ezekude, who noted that one of the cardinal goals of the commission is to disseminate copyright knowledge, adding that the commission wants to take its campaign against piracy to the grassroots by engaging students at early stage to enable them know the importance of copyright and how to respect other people’s intellectual property.
NCC, he stated, would launch a Copyright Virtue Club, an internet club warehousing general information for children on copyright issues and great authors.
In a lesson that students everywhere could use, an NCC official also urged the students to resist the temptations of plagiarism, calling it a form of piracy.
The school initiative is part of Nigeria’s larger effort to crack down on piracy with tougher penalties and stepped up enforcement. While Nigeria clearly recognizes a need to improve copyright protection, it is apparently already doing a better job than many nations. It did not make the U.S. government’s latest list of worst offenders of intellectual property rights (its neighbor to the north, Algeria, did).
Here in the U.S., McGruff the Crime Dog’s on the case, delivering the cheery message that “it’s easy to stay on the straight and narrow.” For those dozen or so kids eager to stay on the straight and narrow, McGruff provides a list of 10 “don’ts” and other fun suggestions:
It’s easy to stay on the straight and narrow.
• When you buy a tune on the Internet and download it, make sure you don’t send a copy to a friend or someone who might sell it to others.
Random House is now encouraging its authors to report suspected online piracy of their books through its Author Portal. The portal provides information on the suspected piracy directly to Digimarc Guardian, a company working with Random House to remove stolen ebooks from the Internet. Digimarc will verify whether the link actually leads to your book (often the links are fake) and, if so, “immediate legal steps will be taken.”
For more information, see the publisher’s Random Notes blog.
Lawmakers looking to overhaul U.S. copyright law heard testimony on Thursday that underscored a crucial difference between the present and any other time in history: Copyright is now something the general public is aware of daily, which makes the issue far more contentious.
In the first in a series of hearings on copyright, the House Judiciary Committee invited five members of a study group, The Copyright Principals Project, to testify, Adi Robertson of The Verge website reported.
The U.S. government is calling out Ukraine for its shoddy enforcement of intellectual property rights laws, putting the Eastern European nation literally in a class by itself among trading partners who fail to protect copyright holders.
A new report from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative designates Ukraine a Priority Foreign Country (PFC), a benign-sounding label reserved for the worst intellectual property rights offenders. It’s been more than seven years since a U.S. trading partner had PFC status. That country? Ukraine, a PFC from 2001 to 2005, when it improved its practices enough to (temporarily) lose the designation.
File this one under behavioral science experiments. Also, file it under brilliant promotional stunts.
On Sunday Australian game developer Greenheart Games, run by brothers Patrick and Daniel Klug, released its first product, “Game Dev Tycoon.” It’s a computer game in which players pretend to be game developers of the 1980s, starting their businesses from their garages.
Just as Greenheart Games opened its virtual doors for business, Patrick Klug purposely released an unlocked version of Game Dev Tycoon on the “number one torrent sharing site” (Pirate Bay, which beat out KickassTorrents for the honors, according to TorrentFreak.). Here’s what Patrick posted: