Minnesota, USA April 14, 2011- As video-creating and sharing grew with YouTube over the years, copyright infringements also grew along with it. The removing of these videos over time were not enough since it did not prevent users from re-uploading them. YouTube is taking approaches used by many universities across the U.S. by requiring offenders to 'learn' from a video and take a small quiz after. However, it is to be seen whether this approach will be effective.
It is a situation similar to how campuses still struggle over controlling students who are illegally obtaining content; schools can take away the internet access 'privilege' which increases the likelihood of no repeat offense, however YouTube cannot successfully reinforce a punishment to this extent. It can prevent users from returning; although it recognizes that it could be the wrong approach if the user does not understand the laws.
The idea is catchy: 'Copyright School'. YouTube released a statement explaining, "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. 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."
Although I never engaged in obtaining or redistributing any content that would infringe copyrights, I heard many stories of friends and acquaintances that have. From our understanding, universities are able to detect any programs that are used to illegally download or pick up any files that are not obviously bought. Most people complained that repeated offenses would be filed simply because they could not find everything on their computers that was downloaded in the past. YouTube has an advantage of knowing that the content that is uploaded after this test is not from previous activity. People have better control over what happens since they know they will not be penalized for anything they do not remember uploading.
YouTube takes the positive approach in assuming that users are 'innocent until proven guilty'. If users pay close attention to the 'schooling' after their first offenses, it is likely that those who do not intend to infringe on copyrights will continue to be able to use the site. It helps YouTube understand which users have good intentions versus the users who are there to re-create problems.
Now remember the next time you plan to upload, re-examine the content to make sure that it contains nothing that is copyrighted; if anything is, obtain permission from the creator before uploading. Enjoy sharing your work of arts!