No Piracy Here, Scouts Honor!

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The Motion Picture Association of America hopes to convert young mp3-downloaders into copyright enforcers, and who better to enlist than the Boy Scouts? Scouts in L.A., all 50,000 of them, can now add another patch to their sleeve.

boyscoutcopyrightpatch.jpg

Boy Scouts will earn the “Respect Copyrights” merit patch after following the curriculum designed by the M.P.A.A., which includes the basics of copyright law and instructions on how to identify five types of copyrighted works, and three ways copyrighted materials may be stolen. Scouts must also choose one activity from a list that includes visiting a movie studio to meet the “victims” of piracy (likely not the stars of films like Brokeback Mountain).

Check out other examples of Intellectual Property Run Amok that Mother Jones unearthed this spring:

-To prevent piracy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a Montreal Cineplex monitored audiences with metal detectors and night vision goggle and checked popcorn for video cameras.

-Last year Disney and other media companies sued two small L.A. shops for selling $15 pinatas of Winnie the Pooh, The Incredibles, and Nemo.

-A French Director had to pay $1,300 after a character in his film whistled the communist anthem, “The Internationale,” without permission.

Find the rest here, and sources here.

–Koshlan Mayer-Blackwell

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WE CAME UP SHORT.

We just wrapped up a shorter-than-normal, urgent-as-ever fundraising drive and we came up about $45,000 short of our $300,000 goal.

That means we're going to have upwards of $350,000, maybe more, to raise in online donations between now and June 30, when our fiscal year ends and we have to get to break-even. And even though there's zero cushion to miss the mark, we won't be all that in your face about our fundraising again until June.

So we urgently need this specific ask, what you're reading right now, to start bringing in more donations than it ever has. The reality, for these next few months and next few years, is that we have to start finding ways to grow our online supporter base in a big way—and we're optimistic we can keep making real headway by being real with you about this.

Because the bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. The only investors who won’t let independent, investigative journalism down are the people who actually care about its future—you.

And we hope you might consider pitching in before moving on to whatever it is you're about to do next. We really need to see if we'll be able to raise more with this real estate on a daily basis than we have been, so we're hoping to see a promising start.

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