Cave Creek, Arizona - U. S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Jon Dudas today asked elementary students attending Camp Invention to help combat piracy, counterfeiting and copyright violations by refraining from illegally copying and downloading music, movies, software, and computer games. Dudas reminded the children that copying or downloading others' property without their permission is a crime, and that this crime has real economic consequences for our economy. Dudas addressed eighty 2nd - 6th graders participating in Camp Invention at Lone Mountain Elementary School in Cave Creek, Arizona.
"Illegally copying computer games, DVDs and other products is just as wrong as stealing these items from the store," Dudas said. "Copying and downloading Star Wars video games and movies is not okay-it's breaking the law because it is stealing someone else's property. It's up to all of us to show respect for others' property, whether it's our next- door neighbor, our classmate or a company that's far away."
Camp Invention, cosponsored by the USPTO and the National Inventors Hall of Fame, is a nationwide educational outreach program designed to give children in grades 2-6 an alternative to traditional classroom experiences. Camp Invention's purpose is to stimulate the imaginations of America's next generation of inventors, and the weeklong day camp builds on a child's innate curiosity and intuition about the way things work. Emphasis is placed on the creative process that leads children to problem solving, discovery and invention.
In sessions such as "I Can Invent," campers take apart old appliances and use the parts to create their own inventions. In another session, they simulate the process of applying for a patent. The thought-provoking learning experience teaches young people the importance of respecting people's intellectual property just as they would any tangible property, as well as how the patent and trademark system works to support our economy.
Dudas also used his remarks to educate the students about what constitutes intellectual property, explaining that the term 'intellectual property' can be used to describe many products-a car, a medicine, a toy, a video game or a CD-as long as the product began as an idea. Dudas talked about patents, trademarks and copyrights and their importance to our nation's economy and our daily lives. "The jobs of the future depend on our nation's ability to continue to generate new inventions and innovations and to stay one step ahead of other nations in today's global marketplace," he said.
Dudas' visit to Camp Invention is part of his visit to Phoenix, where he and the USPTO are hosting a two-day "Conference on the Global Intellectual Property Marketplace" on July 18-19, 2005. The seminar is the second in a series that the USPTO is hosting across the county to help educate American small businesses about the realities of piracy and counterfeiting.
For more information about the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's effort to educate Americans about intellectual property rights, visit www.uspto.gov .
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