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YouTube launches Copyright School

YouTube recently posted a video and short quiz designed to help young people better understand use of intellectual property relating to reposting and remixing.

In the video, young pirate Russell copies a music video on his cell phone and posts in on YouTube.  He is warned that he could loose his booty and get banned for life!  The film goes on to discuss remixing, fair use, and the possibility of YouTube takedowns, with a small print approach to the legal-eze. It encourages the creation of original work. The tone is intentionally comic melodramatic, in 1950s instructional cartoon style.

YouTube also offers a rich Copyright Education page, sharing material on fair use and remix culture.

For older students, it would be important to balance the discussion with materials that tackle a more nuanced approach to fair use in media production.   You might also check out the resources we are collecting in our Spartan Guide on Fair Use, as well as the material on the Copyright Confusion wiki.

And for even more balance, you might share this video on advice for disputing YouTube takedowns by claiming fair use.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Lisa Morein says

    Thanks Joyce. Why is it so difficult to be original? Are we afraid???

  2. Evan Silverstein says

    Lisa – Not only is it difficult to be original, it’s impossible. Everything is a result of something that came before it. Of course, I understand that deliberately copying something and calling it your own is not the best use of our minds and could have monetary consequences for the original creator within the current structure of creative industries, but I hope you agree that there is plenty of worthy creativity in the “remixing” of past media/art.

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