Been caught stealing?

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Get caught stealing copyrighted content in most places in the world and you’ll usually find yourself heavily fined if not lumped with a prison sentence. Not so with internet giant, YouTube. They instead will send you to ‘Copyright School’ to try and teach you to not take what’s not yours (eg: snippets of music videos; samples of songs).

Copyright violators are requested to watch a video, the length just over that of an average music clip, and are given a multiple choice quiz on the subject of copyright. The video is hosted by an annoying little cartoon pirate character called Russell, who himself gets caught shooting scenes of a flick in a cinema then uploading these to YouTube.

Previously, YouTube would suspend users who broke copyright rules three times or more, but now it feels it necessary to teach us how to be good intellectual property respecting citizens before cutting us off completely from all the cut-and-pastiche fun. With one lesson from pirate Russell and “a solid demonstrated record of good behaviour over time”, offenders will be able to get online again and do their darnedest to bastardise Gaga, Madonna, Angelina, et al, wondering whether a photograph of any of these celebrities from the latest issue of ‘W’ is allowed to be included in the snazzy montage.

You have been warned.