back to article Intellectual Property Office drops, er, patently cool cartoon to teach kids about trademarks

How do you get seven-year-olds interested in intellectual property? Anyway, indeed, why would you want to? No matter, the UK's Intellectual Property Office has launched a cartoon answering the question no one has ever asked. By relaunching the cartoon Nancy and the Meerkats, the story of would-be pop star Nancy, a French …

  1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    A basic understanding of IP and a respect for others' IP rights is therefore a key life skill.

    I'm not going to argue about the content of this statement - it may or may not be true. But dear Catherine, head of the IPO's education outreach department, I suspect that you lack some genuine key life skills.

    1. asdf

      Exactly but then again her job is to make propaganda and she at least has a deliverable. I have seen some of the big mega corps try to sneak this into my kids cartoons too (Adverture Time had an episode on this). I am all for property rights and don't pirate anything any more but this whole force feed hyperconsumerism to kids is garbage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Mandatory quote

        "You wouldn't steal a handbag. You wouldn't steal a car. You wouldn't steal a baby. You wouldn't shoot a policeman. And then steal his helmet. You wouldn't go to the toilet in his helmet. And then send it to the policeman's grieving widow. And then steal it again! Downloading films is stealing. If you do it, you will face the consequences. [FBI team member bursts in behind the girl downloading the film and shoots her; cut to a pool of blood on the keyboard]"

    2. Schultz Silver badge

      "A basic understanding of IP and a respect for others' IP rights is therefore a key life skill."

      And I just told my son that it's nice if to share with his little sister. Guess I haven't been teaching the life skills for the 21st century.

      So in the future, we'll have regular family court sessions instead. I might directly litigate my wife's blatant copying of The Spaghetti Sauce Recipe (C) and I am sure the kids will get creative litigating damages for 'you totally stole that idea from me'.

  2. AndyS

    > She said: "In today's digital environment, even very young people are IP consumers, accessing online digital content independently and regularly.

    What, unlike 30 years ago when they were reading books, magazines, cartoons, and watching TV? Some could even operate the VHS independently and regularly. Were they not "IP consumers" then too?

    > "They are creators of IP, and many will leave school or university to take up careers in industries that depend upon inventiveness and creativity.

    Ah, unlike any time since, I dunno, the creation of the printing press?

    Here's a suggestion. If this woman can't learn to talk English, and make a point which can't be trivially torn apart in 20 seconds, she'd probably better think twice before trying to patronise kids. Who will probably be a lot more savvy than she seems to think when it comes to a bullshit detector.

  3. Tigra 07

    Jimmy! What have i told you about drawing copyrighted shapes?! All rectangles must have sharp corners! Apple will sue us! You don't want to see your teacher in prison do you?!

    1. James O'Shea

      Yes I would

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They should be teaching them real life skills such as torrenting and streaming. I would also question how important a bands logo is when deciding whether you like them or not?

    I also wonder who got the government dollar for this fools folly?

  5. tiggity Silver badge

    Lets hope

    Katy Perry (or Ed Sheeran or anyone else alluded to in this waste of time and money) sends them a cease and desist for doing something that might badly affect their image with potential consumers of their "quality" products.

    I'm guessing there's no caricature of Taylor "sue happy" Swift in there?

    1. Unep Eurobats

      Re: 'I'm guessing there's no caricature of Taylor Swift in there'

      No, but the follow-up will be about someone whose business name implies they'll sew your clothes very quickly.

    2. Not also known as SC

      Re: Lets hope

      Is there a right to parody in UK law? If not then has the IPO breached these artists' IP by creating characters with names so close to their own?

  6. Zoopy

    The REAL key life skill they should teach is how to bribe legislators into passing onerous IP laws that benefit one's own corporation.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Not enough upvotes.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about teaching kids regarding media cartels and how they overinflate the market price by paying slush money to politicians to enact draconian laws to perpetuate their gangster racket ?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nancy and the Meerkats ?

    Comparethemarket should sue for copyright infringement.

    1. David Nash

      Compare the market should sue?

      Why, because only they can use the word "Meerkats"? D. Attenborough better watch out!

      1. 6491wm

        Re: Compare the market should sue?

        well if the BBC can trademark a Blue Police box that was invented before the BBC existed..................

  9. My Alter Ego

    Like to hear some feedback from parents

    Seeing as I don't have any children that I can experiment on (or any children for that matter), I'd love to know what the actual reaction to this video would be.

    Maybe I should try getting my 8 year old niece to watch it and ask her what her she thought of it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Like to hear some feedback from parents

      >Seeing as I don't have any children that I can experiment on.....

      Vivisection on children is frowned upon by society.

      1. John G Imrie

        Re: Like to hear some feedback from parents

        Vivisection on children is frowned upon by society.

        Really, dam, I'd better stop then.

        (Joke icon for the hard of thinking)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Like to hear some feedback from parents

      Standard parental advice is to keep kids away from government bullsh*t until they are old enough to understand.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Like to hear some feedback from parents

      These days most parents have no clue. May even be "buying legit albums for 90p a time off 'RussianCDrs' which it totally legit, the website has a big padlock logo and everything, honest" themselves.

      Or they don't care. Look at Youtube or other music streaming services for how copyright really works.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Like to hear some feedback from parents

      Can't be bothered to watch the video, but I've always taught the kids that downloading copyrighted content is wrong, even where not illegal (the Netherlands a few years ago).

      When I received a €600 settlement offer for demonstrable downloading of a film, offending child paid out of their savings.

      Yes, these enforcement companies are scum, but I would rather my child had taken the lesson to heart before the bill arrived. So maybe some additional messages aren't a bad thing.

  10. Rich 2 Silver badge


    What an unbelievable waste of time and money.

    Of course "intellectual property theft" isn't actually the least bit important. People dying of malnutrician and war could be considered important. Destroying the planet we live on could be considered important.

    Bean counting is not.

  11. adam payne

    How do you get seven-year-olds interested in intellectual property?

    You don't because most seven years ago probably wouldn't understand it and probably wouldn't care anyway.

    Kitty Perry and Ed Shearling

    Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran.

    I find it quite amusing that they are using names that sound similar to well known professional singers. Are you sure you're allowed to do that?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I thought exactly the same, Oh the irony.

      It's like a thousand Alanis Morissette's cried out in pain or the best one which is John Bardeen whose transistor in his garage door failed when on the way to collect his Nobel prize and he had to get a car sent to pick him up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Professional Singers ?

      >Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran.

      >professional singers.

      Sorry, I don't understand, please explain?

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: Professional Singers ?

        I thought they were football players myself. Oh well, back under the rock for me.

    3. Oafyuf

      C'mon, Kitty Purry, surely?

  12. SorenUK

    Theft? stealing? Surely the IPO knows that it's called infringement!

    There is no such thing as stealing someone's song in UK copyright law. The copyright can be infringed by copying the song, the song is not stolen.

    The Theft Act (1968) defines 'theft' as: "A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it"

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Theft? stealing? Surely the IPO knows that it's called infringement!

      Used to be the same is Amerikka. Copyright infringement was just... a copyright infringement and civil matter involving fines.

      Now? It's equated with other "hard" crimes.

      Quite Dickensian.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: Theft? stealing? Surely the IPO knows that it's called infringement!

        You wouldn't murder an old lady to steal her hearing aid would you?

        Well, watching a movie at your friends house without permission is just as bad.

        Spoiled for choice on icons here, I'll go with this one ->>

  13. ecofeco Silver badge

    IP rights?

    Do the large corps know about this? Or is it only when it applies to what they have stolen and now claim as theirs?

    I never get tired of saying this: you have all the rights you can afford. You poor? Too bad.

  14. Coofer Cat


    It's funny how we don't need a cartoon to tell kids not to rob banks, isn't it?

    If IP laws weren't so crazy stupid, then we'd all be able to understand them and would abide by them quite willingly. The fact they're complex, and have some non-intuitive aspects to them is precisely the problem that needs solving. There's no point having a law, no matter how well meaning, if no one can understand it.

  15. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    This is the sort of "grooming" of our children that we should be most afraid of.

  16. SVV

    Is the pro-copyright video copyrighted?

    I thoiught they were in favour of a free meerkat economy.....

  17. DeKrow
    Black Helicopters

    Key Life Skills

    A basic understanding of IP and a respect for others' IP rights is therefore a key life skill.

    Is "Protecting your online privacy from advertisers and governments as well as predators and groomers" a course given to all primary school students as well? I'd rate that a fair higher priority - as in, IP rights are barely visible from this height.

    Obvious government priorities are obvious.

  18. conscience

    I wonder how many of those responsible for this silliness spent time in their youth taping songs from radio broadcasts, using a VCR to record a TV programme, photocopying anything out of a book, lending/borrowing books, etc.

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