Are you ready for copyright school?

In an attempt to educate its users about copyright law, YouTube has debuted “Copyright School,” a video that explains why videos are removed from YouTube:

While “Copyright School” does a great job of telling you what you can’t do with copyrighted content, it does a very poor job of telling you what you can do with copyrighted content — namely, remix, reuse and repurpose it without permission from the rightsholder as allowed under the doctrine of fair use.

Well, the folks at Public Knowledge were pretty upset when they saw YouTube’s “Copyright School” educational video, which discourages remixing, dismisses fair use as overly complex and effectively tells users that only “original” content is suitable for upload. So they have come up with a challenge for YouTube users to produce a better “Copyright School” video – one that explains both what you can and can’t do with copyrighted content without permission from the rightsholder. The creator of the best video will win $1,000!

Is anyone up for the challenge? This might be a fantastic project for those of you who are interested in copyright and have a bit of a creative streak!

W. Blake Wilson, Head of Instructional and Research Services