Wednesday, August 11, 2004

weasels... umm, ferrets, that is

The Business Software Alliance, whose mission is to enforce software licenses and copyrights for big players like Microsoft and Adobe, has decided that buying off your representatives isn't enough... so now they're going after your kids.

The BSA has been a major force behind the passing of draconian laws like the DMCA. Now they're publishing cartoons in the Weekly Reader, whose materials are used by over 90% of the school districts in the US. The cartoons feature a 'Copyright Crusader' weasel (they claim it's a ferret) which the kids will have the opportunity to name in a contest on the BSA's website.

The campaign also includes an online game in which the ferret races to destroy pirated copies of software while collecting valid licensing agreements.

Gee, Wally, that sounds like a lot of fucking fun. Sure to be more popular than Doom III.

This campaign is aimed at 4th grade students. At a time when millions of kids are being left behind by the 'No Child Left Behind' program, they're teaching your kids about valid licensing agreements? Some of those kids can't even *spell* 'valid licensing agreements'.

The interesting thing about the campaign is that they talk continually about teaching kids to 'safely' use the internet. What is it they'll be safe from once they've been appropriately brainwashed? They'll be safe from the BSA and their pocketed politicians. It's the same business model the mafia uses.

Whatever your stance is on *any* issue, do you want your kids curriculum to be decided by corporations? Your tax dollars are being used to help these companies turn your kids into über-consumers... as if they stood a chance anyway, spending their whole young lives in the thrall of eMpTyVee and Nintendo.

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by all of this: they were trying to sell us a load of shit when I was in the 4th grade too... but at least then it didn't have a brand-name on it.