July 09, 2007 06:00 ET

i-SAFE Expands Educational Programs on Music Downloading to All Ages

Partnerships With ASCAP and the RIAA Show Promising Results

CARLSBAD, CA--(Marketwire - July 9, 2007) - Recognizing that students of all ages love music, and want to get it quickly and cheaply online, i-SAFE, the leader in Internet safety education, has stepped up its education and awareness campaign aimed at teaching younger students and adults the moral and legal alternatives to illegal music downloading.

"The Beat Street Experience" is the newest and most unique in the collection of i-SAFE multi-media assemblies and curriculum packages. "Beat Street" is designed for third and fourth grade students. The 30-40 minute presentation combines videos, a humorous one-act play, student participation, and a sing-along to introduce basic intellectual property terms, as well as communicating to students the moral issues of responsibility and ownership. With the help of two animated characters featured in an innovative cartoon -- Donny the Downloader and i-Buddy -- students are engaged, therefore more willing to learn and remember the anti-piracy message.

"Even younger students are routinely online for homework and entertainment," says i-SAFE CEO and Program Director Teri Schroeder. "Teaching intellectual property rights to 3rd and 4th grade students goes hand in hand with how they are using the Internet."

"i-SAFE is one of the most respected organizations helping engage students of all ages to think critically about intellectual property issues," said Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and CEO, RIAA. "We're pleased to work with them and other organizations to provide balanced educational materials so that the fans of today and tomorrow are well informed as they enjoy music."

Statistics from student surveys reveal the rate of illegal music downloading and piracy is all too common. Further, students seem to base their illegal behavior in part on ignorance of the consequences. Nearly one-half (43%) of middle school students believe no one is harmed or loses money when they download music or movies without paying for them. Almost one-third (31%) of high school students agree. What's more, according to the survey conducted by i-SAFE's National Assessment Center during the 2005-06 school year, the practice of illegal downloading is pervasive among all students, even the younger ones. The findings show that among the students in grades 3-4 who download music, 69% do so illegally, that is, without paying. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of students in grades 5-8 who download music and/or videos do so without paying. The disturbing trend continues for older students; 77% of students in grades 9-12 admit to illegally downloading music and videos.

At the same time, i-SAFE education programs demonstratively raise awareness among students and positively change their behaviors. Based on a recent sampling of 10,000 students nationwide after receiving i-SAFE intellectual property curriculum, 55% say that they will never copy music for friends in the future, and 46% say they won't accept pirated music from their friends. 58% say they now realize people lose money when they illegally download music. And to further gauge the impact of education, of the 61% of students who say they regularly download music, more than half (51%) say they'll now pay or get permission to do so in the future.

The issue of illegal downloading on the Internet provides educators with a perfect opportunity to engage students in classroom discussions about the intersection of technology, copyright law, and civic responsibility. Since students of all ages are consumers of digital music and movies, educators are uniquely positioned to guide them in a legal and ethical exploration of copyright and intellectual property in the digital age.

"We have seen that students respond favorably when these complex and moral issues are presented in a manner in which they can understand," says Schroeder. "With help from our partners like the federal government and music industry groups like ASCAP and the RIAA, i-SAFE is able to bring this message to millions of students across the country."

"The Beat Street Experience" is launched just months after the release of "The Donny the Downloader Experience" and curriculum for middle school students, as well as "Learn B 4 U Burn" and "What's the Download" assemblies and curriculum for high school students. i-SAFE now provides 4 school assemblies, 23 age-appropriate lessons in the Intellectual Property curriculum unit at school, and a 15-minute video produced to educate parents about their legal and moral responsibility in regards to illegal music downloading.

"Many parents are shocked when they learn that they are liable for their children's illegal behavior on the family's computer," says Schroeder. "Parents also need to be aware about intellectual property issues so they can help stop illegal downloading in their homes."

i-SAFE appreciates the financial contributions already made by RIAA and ASCAP, and calls on other corporate sponsors to partner with i-SAFE to help bring Internet safety education to more and more students throughout the United States.

About i-SAFE

Founded in 1998 and active in all 50 states, i-SAFE Inc. is the leader in Internet safety education. i-SAFE is a nonprofit foundation whose mission is to educate and empower youth to make their Internet experiences safe and responsible. The goal is to educate students to avoid dangerous, inappropriate, or unlawful online behavior. i-SAFE accomplishes this through dynamic K through 12 curriculum and community-outreach programs to parents, law enforcement, and community leaders. It is the only Internet safety foundation to combine these elements.

i-SAFE Inc. is designated a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. i-SAFE Inc. is funded by the U.S. Congress through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice.

Contact Information

  • i-SAFE Media Contact:
    Jeff Godlis
    Director of Communications
    Phone: (760) 603-7911 ext. 39
    E-Mail: Email Contact