I guess I should rephrase that question–is uploading/downloading “copyrighted” music through p2p file sharing legal? I’ve had this conversation with kids (even my own) frequently, and generally it winds up being an argument that is pointless. The kids tell me it is so easy, will never end, and can’t be stopped, and not only that but movies and even games are now in the mix.
Google Alert – RIAA
So I’ve set myself up a Google alert in my reader to read anything and everything that is being said about the RIAA (the Recording Industry Association of America.) THIS is what i want students to do–manage their interests online by having the computer tell them when something new is posted! The databases that are so unloved at school offer feeds for information, but again, sigh, they have not been presented in an interesting way–which could indirectly be my fault. But that’s another post.
As I was reading up on today’s links offered through my google alert I wondered about using the information for school this week. Yes, it seems Thursday, January 22 there is a court case that will offer live video of the case as it unfolds. The case involves a Boston University student against the RIAA in a case regarding the legality of uploading/downloading music using p2p sharing.
30,000+ has made no difference
In my reading I have learned that the RIAA has sued well over 30,000 individuals primarily for uploading copyrighted music to these p2p sites, but the vast majority have been settled out of court. But a recent statistic I read said 95% of teens download their music from these types of sites. The RIAA decided recently to change their tactics as well, mainly because they were getting huge amounts of negative PR, so much in fact that even musicians were getting angered with them–the very ones the RIAA is trying to protect. So the changed mode of attack now is to get ISP’s to send warnings and after that, close out the user’s internet account. Significantly less publicity for sure, but will that work? What is the incentive to the ISP to participate?
BU Student Becomes Poster Child for RIAA – more negative PR?
With this change, the BU student’s defense has something to do with BU not using an ISP, and so the case does not fit what the RIAA is against, and therefore should be dismissed. Of course I may not be 100% sure of all the facts, as this is just a passing interest in my reader that doesn’t get my devoted attention (in reading or researching.) But we educators must teach students about copyright, fair use, creative commons, and other issues regarding the ownership of information (including music) so somehow I think this is relevant. Kids are absolutely BORED to tears when we teach citations and why they are necessary, but I do believe we can HOOK them on learning about it if we share material like this. Since much of literacy is about making connrctions, couldn’t we teach this topic with a connection to this hot topic in the music industry, and a place where many of our kids are at–>the file sharing sites. We could encourage the connections through conversations in our instruction by just making it relevant to where they are at. This, folks, is where our kids are at–for kids of all ages.
A Backchannel for Learning
I may investigate this, though it’s awful short notice, and I may not have time. I am looking for the time frame for this interesting court case, and maybe I can get some classes to come in and watch, and maybe create a backchannel through a live blog (cover-it-live) so they can also participate in a discussion of their own. It’s worth investigating, no?
mage: ‘LOL, LIMEWIRE‘