By Jon Newton 7/05/05
A very dark, very frightening corporate scheme is being carefully
orchestrated around the world with the full and active support and cooperation
of governments and public administrations.
The inter-linked, multi-national corporations are slowly and surely brainwashing our children. And many of you - especially if you're teachers or are involved in institutions administering to children - are helping.
As a parent, do you really think copyright law should be an integral part of your child’s education, or the subject for a scouting merit badge? Should it be the focus of 'educational' pamphlets distributed by Childnet? And should your son or daughter be thinking up names for a ridiculous "copyright crusading ferret"?
The answer is, of course, that IP law has a legitimate place only in a law school or special interest classes. But the software, movie studio and recording industries are using publicly funded schools and teaching staffs and institutions around the world to try to make you believe that protecting industry product is of primary importance to you and your children.
And carrying the corporate message that young children need to be subjected to intensive indoctrination on copyright laws are the same on- and offline newspapers, magazine and radio and tv stations that depend almost wholly on corporate advertising cash and goodwill to survive.
They're brainwashing our children
New technologies always threaten the old and their owners inevitably do everything they can to maintain the status quo, up to and including using the media of the day to hammer their messages home. And that's exactly what’s happening now.
The entertainment and software cartels, principally, are trying desperately to stay afloat, using outdated business models from the 1970s in the digital 21st century. They've lost control of their consumer bases and to regain it, they're painting everyone who uses non-corporate p2p applications to download digital files, and the companies which make them, as hard-core criminals.
As the Live8 shows proved, the labels could easily and effectively harness p2p power, using it to rope in hundreds of millions of paying file-sharers and their discretionary dollars.
Instead, to achieve the same end, our children are being force-fed warped values through schools and organizations such as the scouting movement and Childnet International under the pretext of ‘education'.
The BSA (Business Software Alliance) is a major trade group owned by such heavyweights as Microsoft and Adobe and they're using it to weasel their way into your child's head with a "copyright-crusading ferret" which "teaches tech-savvy kids about cyber ethics".
For cyber-ethics read copyright law.
Even the FCC is in on it. And the aim of all of these apparently separate, but in reality closely interlinked, entities is to firmly implant industry compliant behaviour patterns and attitudes into kids' brains while they're still young and highly impressionable.
Over time, say industry strategists, using schools as pre-marketing units will become accepted practice and properly obedient cash-cows will replace the people who, thanks to the emergence of the Net and blogs, are for the moment showing alarming tendencies to think for themselves and to make their own decisions about what they want and don't want, and to use online outlets which aren't corporate-owned or controlled.
Clearly, this must stop, say the corporate leaders. How better than to indoctrinate 'consumers' while they're still at school and while they're still relatively uninformed and, therefore, pliable?
No need to worry about in-depth media cooperation because the landscape is "very, very heavily dominated" by a tiny handful of "gigantic media transnational media corporations," says Mark Crispin Miller, the most important being Disney, Time Warner, Viacom, the News Corporation and Universal-Vivendi.
Viacom owns, among other important media entities, MTV. And MTV, in turn, now owns NeoPets.
Advertisers spend about $15 billion a year, targeting kids through sites like NeoPets which has product advertising cleverly hidden in games and links to websites run by McDonald's, General Mills and Procter & Gamble. Other NeoPets 'consumer' clients include Carl's Jr, Hasbro, Hershey, Kellogg's, Kraft Foods / Nabisco, LEGO, Mattel, Nestlé, Pepperidge Farm, Thinkway Toys and Wrigley.
More than 40% of the NeoPets “audience” is under the age of 13.
America's Children Now says it's a "national organization for people who care about children and want to ensure that they are the top public policy priority". But its chairwoman, Jane Gardner, is a marketing consultant, and its vice chairman, Peter D. Bewley, is the Clorox Company's senior vp, general counsel and secretary. On the board are the likes of Neal Baer, Wolf Films/Universal Television's 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' executive producer and Suzanne Nora Johnson, vice chairwoman, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
'Breaking the law for years'
"Gina Harkell was, putting the final touches to her third CD when the full weight of the music industry came crashing through her letter box,” said Britain's prestigious The Times recently.
“ ‘It was a legal document,’ she recalls. ‘There were all these huge names - 14 of them - Universal, Polydor, EMI, Capitol, Virgin, Mercury, Sony … versus, well, me, my partner, but principally my son.’
“A hundred miles away, at about the same time, Richard French, a respectable financial adviser, was calling his wife, Louise, with the news that he and his two young children had apparently been breaking the law for years, and they hadn’t even known it. If they wanted to keep out of the courts, he told her, they would have to pay £2,500.
“In fact, all over the country on that day in mid-April, the opening of dull white envelopes elicited gasps of astonishment and despair among parents as they found out that they - usually because of their children - had become the first in Britain to be hit by a clampdown on internet music piracy. After losing sales amounting to some £300 million because of music-sharing software, the industry had decided it could take no more; there was no option but to use the courts.”
The industry could "take no more". And the article goes on and on in this vein, treating the £300 million claim as though it's based on reality and as though it comes from credible sources.
And behind this victimization of children and their parents in the UK is the BPI (British Phonographic Industry), owned by the members of the Big Four record label cartel with their direct and indirect associations with the major print and electronic media outlets.
The BPI is also a leader in the UK government backed move to 'educate' British school children during class time and at tax-payer expense. And the many other cartel owned and funded organizations such as the RIAA, CRIA, JRIA, ARIA, IFPI, and etcetera, also feature the creation and implementation of 'child education' programs in their mandates.
'Consumer' of tomorrow
Our daughter, Emma, is now almost nine. She went to kindergarten but ever since, we've home-schooled her.
And we thank God we made that decision.
To some extent, we've been able to filter the outside world for her, which isn't to say she's cloistered. She has, for example, a room almost filled with Barbies and she's exposed to TV advertising aimed at kids every time she tunes into one of her favourite TV programs during the two-hours-a-day she's allowed to watch.
But thanksfully, the kind of materialistic, pernicious garbage now being fed to kids in schools (which these days can be counted as media outlets of the third kind) doesn't reach her.
We hope she'll grow up having a value system garnered not only from us, but also from other people with independent mindsets, as well as from the books she chooses to read, from the music she chooses to listen to and from the movies she chooses to watch, none of them suggested by the cartels.
Although Emma will make make up her own mind about what's good for her, and what's bad, where she'll spend her money, and when, sadly, she's part of a small minority.
But it needn't be that way if you and your teachers love and care about our children enough to take back control of what happens to them, what they're taught and by whom.
If you don't, the corporations, of which Hollywood is only the most visible, will.
Jon Newton is the editor of p2pnet.net and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.
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