YouTube Sends Copyright Pirates Back To School

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If you tend to “accidentally” break copyright with YouTube videos, beware: If you keep it up, you’ll end up in YouTube Copyright School.

The new oddly-similar-to-anyone-who’s-been-to-traffic-school rule comes as a result of YouTube re-examining its approach to copyright infringement, according to the site’s official blog:

YouTube has always had a policy to suspend users who have received three uncontested copyright notifications. This policy serves as a strong deterrent to copyright offenders. However, we’ve found that in some cases, a one-size-fits-all suspension rule doesn’t always lead to the right result. Consider, for example, a long-time YouTube user who received two copyright notifications four years ago but who’s uploaded thousands of legitimate videos since then without a further copyright notification. Until now, the four-year-old notifications would have stayed with the user forever despite a solid track record of good behavior, creating the risk that one new notification — possibly even a fraudulent notification — would result in the suspension of the account. We don’t think that’s reasonable. So, today we’ll begin removing copyright strikes from user’s accounts in certain limited circumstances, contingent upon the successful completion of YouTube Copyright School, as well as a solid demonstrated record of good behavior over time.

The school itself sounds kind of awesome: A video from Happy Tree Friends with an upbeat voiceover says things like “Here’s an idea! Why don’t you make your own video?” accompanied by a test with true or false statements like “Giving credit to the creator in your video’s description is enough to prevent copyright infringement from occurring.”

Whether the light touch is enough to curb copyright infringement on the site rolling forward seems questionable (I’m thinking not so much) but at least this approach has it entertainment value and doesn’t outright ban everyone.

I mean, who doesn’t like Happy Tree Friends?

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