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Culture

Microsoft training youth to love intellectual property

Microsoft is stuck in the past and is trying to train kids to stay there, too.

You've got to hand it to Microsoft. It's in it for the looonnnngggg haul.

Take, for example, its commitment to help teenagers understand the importance of respecting intellectual property (read: giving Microsoft more money). It just put out a survey showing that when kids understand the rules of copyright, they're "less likely to download illegally."

It also created a cute website that shows kids just how much fun it is to respect intellectual property. Hurray! That's where I'm going to be hanging out on Friday night.

The one thing it didn't explain to teens is why they should retrofit 20th-century copyright laws onto 21st-century realities. Digitization is a fact. The web is a fact. Intellectual property is not the same as real, tangible property, and should be treated and monetized differently.

Perhaps the kids have something to teach Microsoft here. Google doesn't seem to have the same problems Microsoft is allegedly having. That's because it's a 21st-century company. Perhaps Microsoft should consider joining the 21st Century.