Microsoft pushes copyright education curriculum

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Last week, RIAA President Cary Sherman, said that there’d be less piracy if users simply knew what they were doing was illegal and that AT&T’s upcoming piracy filters should aid in that regard by merely warning users of copyright infringement.

Well, Microsoft seems to agree with this premise and today issued the results of a survey that claims teens are less likely to download illegally when they know the laws. According to the survey, about half of US teenagers are not familiar with digital piracy laws, with only 11% fully understanding the legality of downloading music, movies, software and pictures. Those familiar with the matter credited their parents, TV, magazines, newspapers and websites, rather than their schools, as resources for information about illegal downloading.

In light of these findings, Microsoft is launching a new intellectual property curriculum to educate middle school kids and high school teachers about IP law. To support its teachings, they’re launching a site called MyBytes where teens can have hands-on experience developing their own intellectual property and assigning the rights. Indeed, such educational efforts will be praised by intellectual property stakeholders, but whether or not knowledge of piracy laws will impact piracy remains to be seen.

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