The Great Britain Intellectual Property Office has been recently reported to introduce IP education into the UK school curriculum. From now on British subjects starting 7 to 11 years of age will be taught that piracy is theft.
Educational resources include cartoon series Nancy and Meerkats with characters, such as Nancy, a French bull dog and a would be pop star, and her friends Ed Shearling and Justin Beaver who created their first tracks and uploaded them in the online magazine just to find out that nobody buy them through piracy and that is why they can’t earn money enough to appear on stage.
This is an attempt to introduce pupils – through fun – to basics of intellectual property law, its key concepts thus teaching children that stealing somebody else’s work , including illegal uploads and downloads is against the law. Most of the lessons are delivered by Nancy’s manager big Joe.
The education resource containing Cracking Ideas, a special training package addressing the issue appeared as far back as in 2014. Later on it was updated and completed with a new material created by the British Intellectual Property Office supported by local right holders.
The five minute cartoons of 1918 are trying to explain the IP major concepts including copy rights, trade marks, ways and means to protect the products created.
According to Catherine Davies, head of the IPO’s education outreach department “a basic understanding of IP and a respect for others’ IP rights is a key life skill today.”
The critics have, nevertheless, managed to emphasize a few over simplistic arguments available in the package, pointing out that it did not mention more liberal licenses to creative products, such as , say, Creative Commons. They suggest that Nancy and Meerkats should release free tracks for remixes to show that creative works and copyrights are not associated with restrictions only and solely.
But the a.m. education resources are only targeted at kids and a simplistic approach to basic concepts would not get in the way.