Wednesday, May 09, 2012

INTA equates free with illegal, copyright with trademark

Tarleton Gillespie has written excellent analyses of how "copyright education" tells people that free is illegal, even as free distribution as business model, promotional tool (by some of the people behind the copyright education campaigns, like music labels), and--not for nothing--simple joy in sharing abounds.  Now comes INTA to double down on that idea, and link downloading (assumed to be illegal, though I recall my iTunes purchases being delivered via download) with exploding batteries:
“Who has downloaded music?” asked Christopher Robertson of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “I promise I’m not going to take any names.” At this, nearly everyone raised a hand. The better question, perhaps, was who hadn’t illegally downloaded music.
At a session yesterday on anticounterfeiting, Robertson was speaking to a group of students from D.C. area high schools about the risks associated with purchasing fake goods. Few people, he told them, think about the direct consequences of illegal downloading but it is not a victimless crime.
The talk was part of INTA’s Unreal campaign, an effort aimed at educating teens about trademarks and counterfeiting. … Perhaps nothing elicited as much horror from the students as when Richard Halverson, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, spoke. He told them of cough syrup created with an ingredient used in antifreeze, and showed videos of a counterfeit computer battery bursting into flames. “They will counterfeit anything, and it can all be very dangerous,” Halverson said.

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