John Walker's Electronic House

CW 181

Copyright Watch 181

John Walker’s been to summer camp.

Summer camp. The American institution of sending your children away for weeks on end during the summer holidays, to prevent any awkward parenting from having to take place. And where better than Camp Invention – the week-long day camp that promises to “foster creativity, teamwork, inventive thinking skills, and science literacy.” Oh, and the evils of copyright violation.

The United States Patents and Trademark Office ( has been hitting the road in a rock-n-roll tour of small businesses, convincing them that the only way that the human race will stand any chance of survival is if they FIGHT TO THE DEATH to protect their intellectual property. Or something. Taking a break from their more usual day-job of awarding patents to anyone rich enough to afford one (“Hello, I’d like to patent the feeling of ambivalence please.” “Certainly sir, that will be $40 million. Sign here.”) they even found time to pop in and see the enthusiastic little scientists attending the Santoprene™ sponsored camp.

The hilariously ironically named Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, Stephen Pinkos, gave the primary school aged children a riveting lecture on how they could help to combat piracy, counterfeiting and copyright violations by refraining from illegally copying and downloading music, movies, software and computer games.

“It is important that people – especially children – show respect for others’ property. That includes not illegally copying and downloading video games and movies from the Internet. This is not okay – it’s breaking the law,” said Pinkos to the captive audience, reminding them that “copying or downloading others’ property without their permission is a crime and that such theft has real consequences on our economy.”

Catch ‘em when they’re young, eh Pinkos? Get the lies in nice and early, rather than when they get to that pesky age where they start asking for some sort of proof. CW notes Camp Invention’s slogan with some amusement: “Where Imaginations Run Wild”. (TM, we assume).