Teens unaware of downloading laws: survey


MUMBAI: Microsoft Corp. announced the results of a new survey that found teenagers between seventh and 10th grades are less likely to illegally download content from the Internet when they know the laws for downloading and sharing content online.

About half of those teens, however, said they were not familiar with these laws, and only 11 percent of them clearly understood the current rules for downloading images, literature, music, movies and software. Teens who were familiar with downloading rules credited their parents, TV or stories in magazines and newspapers, and Web sites — more so than their schools — as resources for information about illegal downloading.
“Widespread access to the Internet has amplified the issue of intellectual property rights among children and teens,” said Microsoft global manager, genuine software initiative Sherri Erickson. “This survey provides more insight into the disparity between IP awareness and young people today and highlights the opportunity for schools to help prepare their students to be good online citizens.”

Microsoft has enlisted Topics Education, a developer of custom curricula, to help launch the pilot of a broad-based curriculum for middle school and high school educators titled “Intellectual Property Rights Education.” The curriculum is focused on preparing students for the digital age, helping them understand in a meaningful way how intellectual property rights affect their lives and sparking discussion to clarify the “gray areas” in protected and shared content.
To complement the curriculum and enhance the learning experience, Microsoft is also launching an interactive Web site, where kids can develop their own intellectual property and assign usage rights by mixing music online to create a custom riff that they can download as a ringtone.