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10/23/2006
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Boy Scouts Can Earn Anti-Piracy Badge

The Motion Picture Association of America and the Los Angeles Boy Scouts introduced the program to help raise awareness of respecting copyrights.

Boy Scouts are trustworthy, helpful, and now respectful of digital copyright laws since they can earn an activity patch for learning about the downside of downloading pirated movies.

The Motion Picture Association of America and the Los Angeles Area Boy Scouts of America have introduce the program to help raise awareness about respecting copyrights.

The curriculum is part of an ongoing effort to educate kids and change attitudes toward intellectual property theft, the MPAA said Friday.

It also aims to teach kids how to identify counterfeit CDs and DVDs, the consequences of film and music piracy, and why protecting copyrights is important to them and to the local economy.

Troops will choose from a number of activities that qualify them to earn a "Respect Copyrights" patch. Activities include creating a public service announcement demonstrating the importance of copyright protection or visiting a movie studio to learn about people, time and costs required to make a movie, as well as the economic impact the movie industry has on the state of California.

The MPAA said the motion picture industry contributes about $38 billion in revenue to California, and $34 billion of that revenue goes directly to Los Angeles County where the movie industry supported more than 246,000 jobs last year.

The motion picture industry, including foreign and domestic producers, distributors, theaters, video stores and pay-per-view operators lost $18.2 billion in 2005 from piracy, with more than $7 billion attributed to Internet piracy and about $11 billion to hard goods piracy like bootleg and illegal copies, according to the MPAA.

There are more than 52,000 youths active in Boy Scout programs in the greater Los Angeles area. Other California Boy Scout councils will have access to the program designed for ages six to 21 next year.

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