YouTube Defends Copyright With ‘Toons

Russell the Squirrel introduces new remedial schooling plan

Earlier today, Google unveiled a new punishment regime for YouTube copyright violators: users who've uploaded protected material onto the site are forced to take a copyright tutorial and pass a written test before they’re allowed access to YouTube again. Gawker’s Adrien Chen rightly pointed out that the new policies sound a whole lot like the drunk driving seminars most states require people convicted of DUIs to take.

The best part of the new policy, though, is the tutorial video Google put together, which features a "pirate squirrel" named Russell who gets in trouble for posting YouTube videos of a moose musician named “Lumpy.”

In a statement to Politico, a YouTube spokesman said “Requiring that people complete copyright school after receiving a copyright notification means they'll understand why their actions were wrong, come away with a better understanding of the law and be more likely to comply with YouTube's guidelines in future." It’s an interesting strategy: shaming copyright violators into compliance instead of using the old DMCA lawsuit scare tactics.