YouTube remains committed to protecting original creative works, whether produced by an established star or the next breakout artist. To keep this commitment, we’ve worked hard not only on powerful tools for copyright owners, but also to encourage good behavior from our users.

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.

If we receive a copyright notification for one of your videos, you’ll now be required to attend “YouTube Copyright School,” which involves watching a copyright tutorial and passing a quiz to show that you’ve paid attention and understood the content before uploading more content to YouTube.

YouTube has always had a policy to suspend users who have received three uncontested copyright notifications. This policy serves as a strong deterrent to copyright offenders. However, we’ve found that in some cases, a one-size-fits-all suspension rule doesn’t always lead to the right result. Consider, for example, a long-time YouTube user who received two copyright notifications four years ago but who’s uploaded thousands of legitimate videos since then without a further copyright notification. Until now, the four-year-old notifications would have stayed with the user forever despite a solid track record of good behavior, creating the risk that one new notification -- possibly even a fraudulent notification -- would result in the suspension of the account. We don’t think that’s reasonable. So, today we’ll begin removing copyright strikes from user’s accounts in certain limited circumstances, contingent upon the successful completion of YouTube Copyright School, as well as a solid demonstrated record of good behavior over time. Expiration of strikes is not guaranteed, and as always, YouTube may terminate an account at any time for violating our Terms of Service.

It’s ultimately your responsibility to know whether you possess the rights for a particular piece of content before uploading it to YouTube. If you're at all uncertain of your rights or whether a particular use of content is legal under your local laws, you should contact a qualified copyright attorney. Of course, the easiest way to avoid any potential issues is to create totally original content -- perhaps by making the most of the creative tools available on the site.

Justin Green, a highly trained monkey, recently watched “N.E.R.D. - Hot-n-Fun (BoysNoize Remix) ft. Nelly Furtado