Friday, January 28, 2005

Copyright Propaganda: Indiana & China

I'm not sure where I'd like to get my kicks: this "Digital Karma" festival in Indiana (US), or this anti-piracy concert in Beijing. Both are daylong events to celebrate copyright. The Digital Karma festival is organised by Indiana University (IU) to educate their students the intricate ways of legal downloading. An IU technology official says that the event can be entertaining and educational at the same time, and students can experience new technologies while learning about general copyright issues. The state-sponsored Beijing concert has a line-up of 100 artists, of which 40 "gathered in a suburban Beijing hotel to announce a 'declaration of war' on pirated audio-video products". Yikes!

The beautiful thing is that they are both top-down propaganda to let their listeners swing to the traditional copyright mantra. Though I'd like to see those Chinese musical conspirators who signed the 'declaration of war', the Indiana University has given me 10 reasons to go to their festival. On this page are the reasons why I should go there, conveniently placed next to a column full of corporate logos:
10. You think "copyright" is a copy machine brand.
9. You confuse MPAA with NCAA.

8. You think RIAA is a degree offered by the College of Arts & Sciences.
7. You've heard "If it's on the Internet, it must be free!"
6. You assume only philosophers cared about ethics.
5. You believe an RIAA or MPAA subpoena is a lottery prize you want to win.
4. You assume "I didn't know it was illegal" is a good excuse.
3. It beats talking to the Dean about your downloading habits.
2. You confuse "fair use" with "free to use."
1. Two words: FREE STUFF!
(Aah, just noticed the IU festival was yesterday. Got to start packing for Beijing!)

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