Last year, I blogged about Captain Copyright, a Canadian site aimed at conveying a pro-copyright message to children, and at being used by schoolteachers for that purpose. I faulted the site for having a "legal notice" that seemed to misrepresent copyright law.
Reader Bill Poser, who found the Captain Copyright site through the earlier post, now reports that Captain Copyright has given up the fight. The site now contains the following text:
In August 2006, we took the Captain Copyright website offline so that we could revise its content in response to the criticisms the site had received. We worked extensively on revising the original lessons and we commissioned someone with expertise on the creation of educational materials to prepare new lessons on the Creative Commons, fair dealing and the public domain. We also sought the assistance of an advisory panel of educators and copyright experts with a range of perspectives on copyright, and every lesson was submitted to them for rigorous review. We then incorporated their revisions to the lessons so that they could be thoroughly teacher-tested.
Despite the significant progress we made on addressing the concerns raised about the original Captain Copyright initiative, as well as the positive feedback and requests for literally hundreds of lesson kits from teachers and librarians, 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. Under these circumstances there is no point in our continuing to work on this project.
We began this project because teachers told us that copyright had become too much a part of their students’ daily lives for it not to be taught in the classroom, and they told us they needed a teaching tool to help them do it. We still believe that creating such a tool is important, but we also now believe that no single organization can take the lead on such an initiative. We truly hope that there will come a time when the copyright community -– including educators, librarians and copyright collectives — can work together to provide a unbiased teaching tool that provides teachers and students with a balanced view of copyright.
UPDATE: Michael Geist also blogged about this earlier this year.