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Wall Street Journal on the BSA/MPAA

The MPAA, much more media savvy, has figured out a way to deal with the problem. Teaming up with the Boy Scouts in Los Angeles, the MPAA has designed a merit badge for respecting copyrights (see picture of the badge here).

Scouts lusting after the badge participate in curriculum the MPAA has produced, which includes creating a video public service announcement, and visiting a video-sharing website to identify copyrighted material.

We’ve heard plenty of talk about this elsewhere, and plenty of corrections to the phrase “merit badge”: this is an activity patch, comparable to those for attending Philmont or Sea Base. But I’ve another concern:

Scouts lusting after the badge…

I knew several boys during my time in Scouts who were driven by the advancement system. One scene from Heinlein’s Space Cadet made an impression on me then—the bit with the Patrol and Marine uniforms. Some of the same differentiation seemed to show up among the scouts. But even those following the path of the Space Marines never reached to lust for badges.