Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The RIAA goes to school

Kim LaCapria of the Inquisitr recently wrote a post entitled Actually indoctrinating schoolkids: the RIAA, which discusses the "Music Rules" site and its educational materials that it prepares for schoolkids to teach them right from wrong. I think that you can tell LaCapria's view on the matter, but here's a quote from the Inquisitr post anyway:

Earlier this month, parts of this country devolved into chaos when President Barack Obama made a speech to kids about such controversial issues as staying in school and achieving things.

While that tyranny was not allowed to quietly pass, far fewer people are aware of the RIAA’s foray into American classrooms. Giant corporation, vested interests in one-sided information prolifigating- what could possibly go wrong? The RIAA introduced curriculum for usage in schools to teach kids about the evils of “piracy” and “songlifting.” And though the message is not surprising, it’s not an accurate depiction of copyright concerns in the digital era, by any means, and instilling a sense of guilt in children who will do a large portion of their learning and research online is not just a disservice, it’s a handicap.

Now you know that I like to present at least two sides of a story - sometimes three - so I didn't want to let LaCapria's points go unchecked. I went to the RIAA's "Music Rules" site, but I noticed that the site had some Terms of Use. I figured that I'd better check out those terms of use before continuing; I've heard that the RIAA is kinda sorta insistent on those sorts of things.

Off-Site Links and Resources
The Music Rules! website contains links to external websites and references to outside resources available through government, nonprofit, and commercial entities. These links to external sites and references to outside resources are provided solely for informational purposes and the convenience of the user. The Recording Industry Association of America does not control, review, approve, or endorse these external sites or outside resources. Users should be aware that external sites may collect data or personal information. Once you link to an external site, you are subject to the privacy policy of that site. If you decide to access any site linked to the Music Rules! website, you do so entirely at your own risk. In addition, the external links and outside resources are in no way intended to represent an exhaustive listing.

Please note: Music Rules! web pages may carry part of the above statement with a link to further information. Clicking on that link will take you to this page.

Opinions and Interpretations
The Music Rules! website contains information gathered from many different sources. The opinions and interpretations expressed in the website do not necessarily state or reflect the views or policies of the Recording Industry Association of America, or any affiliate, contractor, or subcontractor thereof.

Privacy Policy
Providing personal information on the Internet is completely voluntary, yet different websites may do different things with that information. Before providing any personal information, you should familiarize yourself with the privacy policy of the site collecting the information. Please read carefully the Music Rules! website privacy policy (below), and the privacy policy of any external web site to which you provide personal information.

I. Information Collected and Stored Automatically
During your visit to the Music Rules! website, we will collect and store certain information about your use of the site automatically. This usage information does not identify you personally. We rely on this information to learn about the number of visitors to our site, the types of technology they use, and the areas they visit, in order to help us make our site more useful. Usage information may also be used for educational and scholarly research. We do not track or record information about individuals and their visits.

II. If You Provide Personal Information
If you choose to provide us with personal information, as in an e-mail message, we use that information to respond to your message. Personal information collected by the Music Rules! website will not be used for commercial purposes.

III. No Personal Information Collected from Children
The Music Rules! website does not collect personal information from children, meaning those under 18 years of age. We are concerned about protecting children's privacy and hope parents and teachers are involved in children's Internet activities.

User's Obligation to Obey Applicable Laws
While some of the images and documents in websites linked with the Music Rules! website may be in the public domain, others may be protected under copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property laws of the United States and foreign countries. Such laws generally prohibit (subject to civil and criminal penalties) the unauthorized reproduction, distribution, adaptation, display, and performance of protected works. It is the user's obligation to comply with these applicable laws, including, where necessary, seeking the advice of counsel regarding the application of the fair use doctrine to the proposed educational use of materials. Other federal, state, and local laws that may apply to the use of materials linked with the Music Rules! website are defamation, misappropriation, invasion of privacy, and/or publicity rights.

Neither the Recording Industry Association of America nor any affiliate thereof, nor any of their employees, nor any of their contractors, subcontractors, or their employees: (1) make any warranty, express or implied, or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any text, image, or materials in any website linked with the Music Rules! website; or (2) represent that their use would not defame or violate or infringe upon the rights, including, without limitation, copyrights, trademarks, or any other intellectual property rights, moral rights, publicity rights, or privacy rights of any other person or entity.

Acceptance of Terms
By using this site, you signify your assent to these policies. If you do not agree to these terms, please do not use this site.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
Pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, the agent to receive notification of claimed infringement is:
YMI, Inc.
90 Crown Street
New Haven, CT 06510 USA
Voice: 203-389-7283
Fax: 203-389-1512

The interesting part is the "Liability" portion. So even if LaCapria's accusations on what the RIAA is teaching are correct, it sounds like the RIAA itself says the information is unreliable.

So I guess I shouldn't bother and link to the unreliable Music Rules information. Whew! Glad I read the Terms of Use.
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