Donny The Downloader

Donny The Downloader

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A powerful new program designed to educate
American middle school students about
music piracy and the real costs of
downloading music illegally.
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The Donny the Downloader Experience
This unique hour-long assembly for middle school students features Donny - a cartoon character, a teen's video diary, and a humorous live skit to teach a powerful anti-piracy message.
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Educators and others who would like to conduct this assembly may request materials by creating an i-SAFE account.
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The CD/DVD set is also available for purchase through i-SAFE's online store.
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The nation's first music piracy education program
- produced by ASCAP and i-SAFE

Multi-Media Assembly Brings the Issues to Life

The centerpiece of The Donny the Downloader Experience curriculum is a multi-media school assembly program featuring fast-paced animated videos starring the misadventures of Donny. Donny is a 14-year old who's tech-savvy, but unaware of the bigger picture of why illegal downloading hurts the same performing artists and songwriters whose music he loves. The program centers on the negative reactions from the other kids and adults in his life who he tries to impress with his access to supposedly "free" music, while demystifying the process of how music is created.

In addition to the animated "Donny" segments, the assembly also features compelling video segments that introduce real-life, 17-year-old aspiring music creator, Sonya Bender. The videos follow Sonya as she meets with music creators, producers and publishers to get an unfiltered perspective on how illegally downloaded music negatively impacts their ability to make a living from being creative. The assembly experience also includes an interactive component, where students perform a special "Donny" skit to help reinforce what they've learned.

Educating Children on the Value of Creative Work

Concerns over the punitive legal approach being taken against the music consuming public, especially young people, inspired ASCAP to explore alternatives that would educate children at an age before they begin to illegally download music online. After gathering data and conducting numerous focus groups, ASCAP found that the following concept struck a chord with kids: "When you illegally download, you hurt more people than you think." Further research showed that on average, students are beginning to illegally download music in their pre-teen years - making it critical to reach them with educational programs at the middle school level.

"The Donny the Downloader Experience is the first program of its kind, and is an extremely important initiative for ASCAP given that the very livelihood of our music creators is in jeopardy due to music piracy," said Phil Crosland, executive vice president of Marketing for ASCAP. "Education is a critical part of the process, in terms of helping kids understand the tangible value of creative intellectual property like songs. We have found that 'Donny' strongly resonates with young people, and helps them recognize on a personal level that downloading music illegally hurts many more people than they might otherwise realize."

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