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YouTube Copyright Education


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YouTube and Google by association has gotten a lot of flack over copyright infringement issues. A free video platform that can be used by anyone is clearly going to run into this kind of issues, but YouTube has changed a lot since the early days.

The site has plenty of tools and policies to deal with copyright infringement and is stricter on the issue than the actual laws require, not that this has quelled all of its critics.

Now it's taking another step forward with redesign of its copyright help page, a change of its policy on the matter and an instructional "Copyright School" video hosted by everyone's favorite Happy Tree Friends.

"Because copyright law can be complicated, education is critical to ensure that our users understand the rules and continue to play by them. That’s why today we’re releasing a new tutorial on copyright and a redesigned copyright help center," YouTube's Justin Green writes.

"We’re also making two changes to our copyright process to be sure that our users understand the rules, and that users who abide by those rules can remain active on the site," he added.

YouTube hasn't been very lenient on users uploading other people's videos so far. If you got three strikes, that is, three copyright notices that you didn't challenge, your account would have been suspended.

This was meant to discourage repeated offenders, but it affected quite a lot of legitimate users as well, who may have made only a few mistakes. But the rule didn't care if you had 1,000 videos, only three of which were found to be infringing.

This has been criticized, and rightfully so, plenty of times as many unsuspecting users found their accounts suspended without realizing why.

This is where the new copyright school video comes in handy, YouTube hopes. It goes over the basics of copyright and lists several types of videos that you shouldn't be posting. It touches on subjects like fair use and counter notices, but it does seem a bit more skewed towards scaring users into creating 100 percent original.

Thankfully, YouTube will start removing 'strikes' from users' accounts, provided they watch the video and have a mostly solid record. It won't be doing this for all or even most users, but those that regularly upload their own videos should breathe more easily.

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