BSA rolls out cartoon mascot in fight against piracy.

Problem: Some of the biggest users of P2P software for sharing of copyrighted materials are kids.
Solution: Develop a cartoon ferret to teach kids why this is a “bad thing” as part of a “Play It Cybersafe” campaign.

At least, that’s the solution if you happen to be the BSA and rather clueless about the age groups you’re targeting.

Ferreting out copyright scofflaws – CNET News.com
The “Play It Safe in Cyber Space” campaign will culminate with a four-page comic book, distributed in conjunction with tot journal the Weekly Reader, meant to impress kids with the idea that it’s not OK to freely swap software, games, music and other copyrighted content.

The comic will feature the droopy-drawers ferret, who for now is referred to as the “Copyright Crusader.” Kids are urged to help select his final name by submitting votes next month through the BSA’s Web site.

They even have a game featuring the ferret where you run around destroying pirated software while collecting legal licenses.

Oh yeah, that’ll go over really well. I don’t know if I was the exception, but I seem to recall that my friends and I saw these sorts of campaigns as propaganda more than anything else. It seems to me the age group that they most likely want to target is already too old for this sort of approach to work with. If anything it’ll probably only encourage them to continue as a way of rebelling against authority. Mind you, it’s not that I completely disagree with the BSA, just with their approach. It’s silly at best.

7 thoughts on “BSA rolls out cartoon mascot in fight against piracy.

  1. Kids who are doing this are not going to stop because of a “cool cartoon mascot.”  I can see that providing indoctrination for 3-4-year-olds (“Crusader Ferret says only *you* can prevent software piracy!”), but that’s the only level it’s going to work on.

    Plus one assumes the game will be pretty lame, which won’t help.

    Make kids *aware* of piracy, and give them *reasons* not to do so, and you’re liable to be a lot more effective.

  2. Makes me want to see a cartoon “Freeware Freddie” mascot who throws commercial software away with disgust and prefers freeware.  “Yuck – this is not only illegal, it’s a bloated piece of commercial crap!” (Pirate CD hits trash can) “Here’s a much leaner freeware application that’s also legal to copy!”

    I use freeware whenever possible but am not nearly cute enough to be a mascot.

  3. All of you forget that copyright is dying, dying, dying.  Your young could not care less about copyrights; People shall scarce remember, nor understand, the word “copyright” in 50 years, along with keyboards and mice.

    “Touch the node to See-n-Do”

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