The Boy Scouts in the Los Angeles area have introduced an exclusive merit badge for learning about the evils of intellectual property piracy.
Los Angeles Boy Scouts leaders and the Motion Picture Association of America unveiled the Respect Copyrights Activity patch, sporting a copyright symbol, a film reel and musical notes, the Los Angeles Times said.
To earn the badge, Scouts who are eligible participate in an MPAA-produced curriculum, which includes creating a video public service announcement and visiting a video-sharing Web site to identify which materials are copyrighted, the Times said.
Officials at the Scouts' Los Angeles Area Council said they approached the MPAA, the Times said. They said the entertainment industry lobbying group did not contribute financially to secure the program.
The patch is designed to raise piracy awareness, Scout leaders said, not turn Scouts into Internet police surfing for bootleggers, the Times said.
One Scout said he's ready to go forth and preach about the ills of illegal downloading but he's also realistic: If people doesn't think it's illegal, or that they won't get caught, they'll continue, the Times said.