A video hoax turned into an opportunity for a Canadian school after a clip of a golden eagle picking up a baby in a state park was posted online in December.
It didn't take long for the video to go viral — or for it to be quickly debunked by the media
as computer animation — but it still gained 41 million views before all was said and done.
Turns out, the clip was rendered by students at Montreal's Centre NAD, a school that teaches 3D design, and the effort received widesprea attention. The school announced Sunday that the video generated enough money to start a scholarship for a worthy animation student.
When the video started picking up traction on YouTube — it reached 5 million views in less than 24 hours — the school enabled a YouTube AdSense account, which generates revenue through ad money when viewers watch the clips.
A school spokeswoman, Claude Arsenault, said the exact amount of the scholarship had not been determined because the check from Google, the owner of YouTube, had not yet arrived.
Because the video was made with software under an educational license, neither the student who made the clip nor the school itself may profit from the video. The license prohibits commercial gain from works made with the software.
The students involved in the video received an A-plus for their work.
"Knowing that we helped get the school on the map — it's a good feeling," Normand Archambault, one of the three who worked on the minute-long clip, told The Associated Press.
The video was only online for about 30 minutes before picking up viral steam. As it became clear the clip was fake, the Canadian students were slammed with interview requests from media companies in Canada, Thailand, the United States, Japan, Chile, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Belgium, Germany, Russia, and Mexico, according to the AP.
The school said the video became the most-watched video ever produced in Ontario.
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