‘C’ symbol isn’t short for ‘cool’! Kids to get copyright lessons

‘Don’t copy their work’ is set to take on a whole new meaning in the classroom, as primary school kids as young as SEVEN are to be given lessons in copyright.

The ‘c’-symbol at the end of a name or product not standing for “cool” is one take-away that teachers of the seven to 11-year-olds are encouraged to offer via the new campaign.

To assist teachers there’s ‘Big Joe,’ a 1950s-style US detective lookalike who is meant to be the manager of a contemporary, furry band ‘Nancy and the Meerkats.’ All are animated.

With appearances from a guitar-strumming ‘Ed Shealing,’ the band must battle their nemesis ‘Kitty Perry’ on a range of IP issues. Naming and ‘passing off’ obviously being chief among them.

The action unfolds in carton strips, podcasts and videos. And there’s quite a few (Series 2 Episode 20 just dropped), partly explaining the campaign’s price tag -- a cool £20,000.

Online via Fun Kids Radio, the Key Stage 2 materials are intended to “support and develop pupils’ understanding of copyright, trade marks and the importance of respecting IP.”

Beyond this officious language, the UK IPO admits such topics can be “dry” or “complex” to young pupils. Or it says they’re “niche,” despite most 7-year-olds probably not knowing what ‘niche’ is.

Little phrases from Nancy may help break it down. Trying to protect her band from the evil Kitty Perry, she reassures: “It’s a good job we’ve got our logo registered as a trade mark and copyright means she can’t have our tunes.”

Seeing is believing, so “get your paws out” (as the clawed quartet sing in a chorus) and click here to view the episodes (not all are new/IP-related), or watch the band’s channel on YouTube.

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