Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A New Weapon in the Fight Against Piracy:


According to the NY Times, authorities in Hong Kong have commissioned a group called the "Young Ambassadors," to be made up of up to 200,000 youths, to visit message boards and web sites in search of available copyrighted material. Their duty will then be to report the locations of these materials to the authorities who will then pass that information onto the appropriate organization (music industry groups, film group, etc.). Apparently, all members of the Boy Scouts and other young organizations in Hong Kong are expected to participate in the program.

While I admit this is a little creepy (and I'm sure this wouldn't fly in the US), if the youth of Hong Kong actually do this, it will be effective. According to the article, a pilot program involving 700 youths identified 800 sites making copyrighted material available over BitTorrent. Industry groups simply don't have the resources to span the internet in search of pirated materials, as the web is too big a place and actual workers cost money. But if they harnass the power of thousands of teenagers who are going to be surfing the web anyway, they'll do ok.

But the image of Boy Scouts sitting in front of a computer hunting down digital pirates is a bit too much for me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any idea why these kids will participate? Will they get paid or just indoctrinated with a sense of duty?

7/18/2006 3:59 PM  
Blogger Tony Vallencourt said...

No idea. The article mentioned that some kids were opposed because their friends were making fun of them: "are you going to turn me in?" But it still seemed like plenty of kids would be doing it...

7/18/2006 5:02 PM  

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