Los Angeles area Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts have a new way to earn an activity patch — there’s a new “Respect Copyrights” activity patch offered by the LA area Boy Scouts and the MPAA.
I find this industry intervention creepy. I have no problem with Scouts being instructed in copyright law, but I’d bet a paycheck that the MPAA won’t be giving them an accurate description of the doctrine of fair use. So their badge isn’t going to signify a knowledge of copyright law so much as a knowledge of what the MPAA thinks copyright law should be.
This is about the money! The motion picture industry is a major economic engine. It contributes about $38 billion in revenue to the state of California alone. $34 billion of that revenue goes directly to Los Angeles County where the movie industry is the third largest job producer having created more than 246,000 jobs in 2005 alone. The worldwide motion picture industry, including foreign and domestic producers, distributors, theaters, video stores and pay-per-view operators estimated a loss of $18.2 billion in 2005 as a result of piracy–over $7 billion of which is attributed to Internet piracy and more than $11 billion attributed to hard goods piracy including bootlegging and illegal copying. We all know that motion picture piracy hurts more than the motion picture industry, and results in lost jobs and wages for American workers both inside and outside the movie industry and lost tax revenue for all levels of government.
I find this MPAA shallow attempt at fighting piracy, and rooting out pirates in the Scouts to be the lamest thing ever…they should give this patch out right after the ‘I can think for myself’ badge! I think consumer advocates should pull together and develop a “Respect Fair Use” activity patch.
The 52,000 Scouts in Los Angeles will not be required to act as spies to earn their badge, although snitching is not discouraged.