Feeds

Patent chief teaches children a lesson about copyrights

There's business in justice

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Nothing turns a stomach foul quicker than a sixth-grader lacking sufficient knowledge about copyrights and intellectual property.

So, hats off to director of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Jon Dudas, who yesterday gave a rousing speech at Legacy Elementary School in American Fork, Utah, extolling the virtues of keeping Hollywood safe. Dudas had the wee ones in his hands by using the 'Revenge of the Sith' video game as an example of American IP (intellectual property) in need of protecting. The bureaucrat "reminded the graduating class that copying or downloading others’ property without their permission is a crime and that they have a responsibility to help stop it," the USPTO said.

(Reminder: This is the last call for submissions in our "Biting the Pigopolists" badge design contest. Be sure to show off your PhotoShop skills before it's TOO LATE.)

It may seem unusual to see a government official browbeating teenagers in person at an elementary school, but there was some reason behind the madness. Dudas travelled to Utah for a two-day “Conference on the Global Intellectual Property Marketplace" - an event meant to nurture IP awareness with small businesses - and found time to pitch the youth.

“Illegally copying computer games, DVDs and other products is just as wrong as stealing these items from the store,” Dudas said. “Copying and downloading Star Wars video games and movies is not okay - it’s breaking the law because it is stealing someone else’s property. It’s important that people - especially children - show respect for others’ property, whether it’s your next door neighbor, your classmate or a company that’s far, far away.”

Picture of two Legacy Elementary School Students

We always pay attention to politicians when we're not watching Britney Spears

The music and movie industries, with help from the government, have used lawsuits to teach many children the real value of copyrights. It's hard to say whether a speech from Dudas or the threat of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches behind bars is worse.

Without doubt, however, the children learned a valuable lesson about protecting business concerns for the good of America's future economy. Now back to passing notes and awkward flirtations. ®

Related stories

Deleting spyware: a criminal act?
Google Books under fire
Witty worm traced to 'Patient Zero'
Underground showdown: defacers take on phishers
BOFH: Lucky in computing...
Software piracy down, but piracy losses up

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.