Internet safety organisation, Childnet International, has created a guide for parents, teachers and young people to teach them legitimate and responsible ways that they, and their children can consume media without partaking in unsafe or illegal activities.
"Music, Films and the Internet" has been co-funded by the Industry Trust for IP Awareness (representing the film and TV industry in the UK) and the BPI and IFPI (on behalf of the music industry in the UK and internationally). It is available free for download from www.childnet.com/downloading, and printed copies will be distributed to every secondary school in the UK at the end of this month.
The guide informs on many legitimate sources of online entertainment and illustrates the legal implications and penalties of illegal file sharing. Plus, it talks about the safety risk attached to visiting warez and torrent sites, such as viruses (malware), and the loss of personal or financial information.
There is also a section that deals with the ethical ramifications of downloading illegal movies, music and TV shows, such as loss of earnings for the creators.
To help spread the message, Childnet has also enlisted the help of Coronation Street star and ex-Hearsay band member, Kym Marsh: "I find it incredibly hard to keep up with what my two teenagers are doing online so can definitely see the value of a new guide for muddled mums like myself who are concerned about safety issues", she says. "As an actress and former musician, I’m also keen to raise greater awareness of the many sites that offer entertainment legally".
Foreign language versions of the guide will also be available in near future.
Do you think this will help raise awareness amongst parents? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...