Teaching 7 Year Olds About Online Piracy

Recently I observed our discipline is blighted by so-called risk and RAFM professionals who do not understand or respect the most essential concepts of intellectual property. Their ignorance is being put into context by a new education campaign which uses YouTube videos to explain the essentials of copyright and trademark law, online piracy, cyberbullying and respect for property to children as young as 7 years old.

The UK’s Intellectual Property Office, backed by financial contributions from the UK music industry, has produced teaching materials that seek to make intellectual property ‘fun’ for primary school children between 7 and 11. In a series of short animated videos the kids are introduced to Nancy, a puppy who also wants to be a pop star, and her enemy Kitty Perry, an idea-stealing cat who engages in web piracy and other naughty behavior. Other characters include Nancy’s manager Big Joe, international celebrity Justin Beaver, and Ed Shearling, a sheep singer-songwriter who is also Nancy’s biggest fan.

If the cartoons sound a bit simple, consider how many telecoms risk and assurance professionals you know who have yet to grasp these basics, all quoted from the videos:

  • “Whether it’s words you’ve written on your blog, or a video posted on YouTube, or a song you’ve uploaded, if you created it, you own the copyright.”
  • “People aren’t allowed to copy anything without your permission.”
  • “The good thing about copyright is that it’s automatic.”
  • “You don’t need to do anything to get copyright. The person who produced the original automatically owns the copyright.”

I can vouch that I have met dozens of practitioners who claim to be competent to work in risk management, fraud prevention and law enforcement but who behave like they are totally ignorant of these rules. There are 7 year olds who literally know more about intellectual property than dumbass revenue assurance managers like Ikwe Gideon. If you work with 7 year olds, or with somebody as braindead as Gideon, then show them the video below!

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.