It’s been a while since I’ve devoted a posting to intellectual property issues and my focus is usually on science/technology and how intellectual property issues relate to those fields. As a writer, I support a more relaxed approach to copyright and patent law and, in particular, I want to see the continuation of ‘fair use’ as it’s called in the US and ‘fair dealing’ as it’s called in Canada. I support the principle of making money from your work so you can continue to contribute creatively. But, the application of intellectual property law seems to have been turned into a weapon against creativity of all sorts. (At the end of this post you’ll find links to three typical posts from the many I have written on this topic.)
I do take the point being made in the following video (but for seven-year-olds and up!!!) about trademarks/logos and trademark infringement from the UK’s Intellectual Property Office,
Here’s the description from Youtube’s Logo Mania webpage,
Published on Jan 16, 2018
Brian Wheeler’s January 17, 2018 article for BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) online news on UK Politics sheds a bit of light on this ‘campaign’ (Note: A link has been removed),
A campaign to teach children about copyright infringement on the internet, is employing cartoons and puns on pop stars’ names, to get the message across.
Even its makers admit it is a “dry” and “niche” subject for a cartoon aimed at seven-year-olds.
But the Intellectual Property Office adds learning to “respect” copyrights and trademarks is a “key life skill”.
And it is hoping the adventures of Nancy and the Meerkats can finally make intellectual property “fun”.
The series, which began life five years ago on Fun Kids Radio, was re-launched this week with the aim of getting its message into primary schools.
The Intellectual Property Office is leading the government’s efforts to crack down on internet piracy and protect the revenues of Britain’s creative industries.
The government agency is spending £20,000 of its own money on the latest Nancy campaign, which is part-funded by the UK music industry.
Catherine Davies, head of the IPO’s education outreach department, which already produces teaching materials for GCSE students, admitted IP was a “complex subject” for small children and something of a challenge to make accessible and entertaining.
Wheeler’s article is definitely worth reading in its entirety. In fact, I was so intrigued I chased down the government press release (from the www.gov.uk webpage),
Along with ‘Logo Mania’, you can find such gems as ‘Track Attack’ concerning song lyrics and, presumably, copyright issues, ‘The Hum Bone’ concerning patents, and ‘Pirates on the Internet’ about illegal downloading on the Fun Kids Radio website. Previous seasons have included ‘Are forks just for eating with?’, ‘Is a kaleidoscope useful?’, ‘Rubber Bands’, ‘Cornish Pasties’, and more. It seems Fun Kids Radio has moved from its focus on the types of questions and topics that might interest children to topics of interest for the music industry and the UK’s Intellectual Property Office. At a guess, I’m guessing those groups might be maximalists where copyright is concerned.
By the way, for those interested in teaching resources and more, go to http://crackingideas.com/third_party/Nancy+and+the+Meerkats.
Finally, I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. I do know that I’m curious about how they decided to focus on seven to 11-year-olds. Are children in the UK heavily involved in content piracy? Is there a generation of grade school pop stars about to enter the music market? Where is the data and how did they gather it?
Should anyone be inclined to answer those questions, I look forward to reading your reply in the Comments section.
ETA January 19, 2018 (five minutes later) Oops! Here are the links promised earlier,
October 31, 2011: Patents as weapons and obstacles
March 28, 2013: Intellectual property, innovation, and hindrances
There are many, many more posts. Just click on the category for ‘intellectual property’.