Children make excellent spies - 04/10/2008, 14:09... or at least that's what the IMPI (Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Intelectual / Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property) has found out lately.
GWolf wrote in his blog (gwolf.org/node/1856) how he read about a contest published in El Universal, a mexican newspaper, in which children are ultimately invited to join some sort of thought police, becoming "inspectors" and reporting "piracy cases in their own community and home" (I'm not making it up, it says so here: www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/vi_539801.html).
While their use of the word "piracy" is debatable (I prefer to use the more exact term "unauthorized copies"), I find their brain-washing campaign more worrisome.
For all I care, they can raid Tepito a hundred times a day, but seriously, it should be illegal to brainwash children into denouncing these kinds of things, especially because children can't see all the consequences. Is the police allowed to freely enter schools and homes? Why should it? The pseudo "crime" is not worth the surveillance -- it's not like great atrocities are being commited: the industry is as fat as can be, and even the alternatives which IMPI in such a hypocrite fashion ignores are flourishing. And to anyone who says that the industry loses every cent that goes into unauthorized copies - I doubt it. Not everyone would be able to afford all that stuff, let alone feel motivated to buy it at such high prices. And here's another instance where the IMPI is highly hypocritical: they defend mostly employers that give $1 to their employees for work they sell in massive quantitites at $100 a piece.
Gunnar Wolf has published an open letter to El Universal, which is available here: http://gwolf.org/files/carta_el_universal.txt. I completely agree with Gunnar and stand by him.
For the respect of ideas - Say NO to IMPI and their thought police!
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