Last year we told you about Captain Copyright, the cartoon character who was created to teach the children of Canada about the value of intellectual property and the dangers of piracy. While we support teaching children about the real world, Captain Copyright’s lesson plans seemed more more like propaganda than fair and balanced representations of the complex issues surrounding copyright and intellectual property.
This morning we’ve learned that Captain Copyright has been asked to turn in his tights and cape. The Captain’s creators, a group called Access Copyright, have decided to pull the plug on the program. While today’s announcement came as a surprise, it wasn’t entirely unexpected. In his short time fighting crime Captain Copyright managed to make a lot of enemies.
Late last Summer Access Copyright pulled the Captain Copyright lesson plans from their website and posted a notice announcing that the whole program was under review. Apparently quite a few educators had complaints about the material.
Then came this morning’s announcement, which read in part:
…we have come to the conclusion that the current climate around copyright issues will not allow a project like this one to be successful. It is difficult for organizations to reach agreement on copyright issues at this time and we know that, in the face of continuing opposition, the materials will not be used in the classroom.
At least they acknowledged that Copyright isn’t always a black and white issue. Although you have to wonder who these “organizations” they’re referring to are. The notice also indicates that the group had been working on material covering Creative Commons and the Public Domain. Could it be that their attempt to offer a more balanced view of Copyright issues raised the objections of participating media associations?
While this may be the end for the official Captain Copyright, we’ll always have Captain Copyright fan fiction.