< Go back to blogUnderstanding Copyright and Content ID on YouTube

Understanding Copyright and Content ID on YouTube

Published: December 2, 2020

Continuing our series on YouTube’s ‘Rules of the Road’, this installment explores the crucial concepts of copyright and Content ID. These are essential for any creator intent on succeeding on YouTube. Let’s demystify these topics.

Understanding Copyright

Copyright protects creators by providing them exclusive rights over their original creations, such as videos, songs, and various forms of artistic works. Consequently, utilizing someone else’s intellectual property in your own videos without consent constitutes a breach of their copyright.

How Copyright is Enforced

If a copyright proprietor files a valid takedown notice, YouTube must remove the content that infringes copyright law. Moreover, YouTube enforces copyright through a ‘three-strike’ policy. Receiving a takedown notice will result in a copyright strike against your channel, and accruing three strikes can result in account termination and the deletion of all your videos.

Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that ‘fair use’ provisions exist in some jurisdictions, permitting specific applications of copyrighted material without the holder’s authorization.

The Function of Content ID

YouTube’s Content ID system is an automated tool designed to safeguard the interests of creators and rights owners. It empowers large-scale rights holders to detect their content on other channels and decide on the course of action—whether to track the content’s statistics, monetize it through advertising, or remove it.

An important distinction to remember is that Content ID claims, while related to copyright, do not automatically result in a strike against your channel. Nor do they affect your account’s features. Interestingly, over 90% of Content ID claims result in the content being monetized or tracked, not blocked. This approach helps to retain countless videos on the platform that might otherwise be removed due to takedown notices.

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