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What are Copyright Claims on YouTube?

Copyright Claims on YouTube

In a landscape dominated by digital content creation, YouTube remains a powerhouse for creators seeking to share their unique perspectives and talents with the world. However, with great creative power comes great responsibility, especially when it comes to navigating the complex world of copyright claims on the platform. In a recent survey of 1000 content creators, an overwhelming 977 cited ‘Copyright Strike on music/video/image’ as their most significant concern, highlighting the gravity of this issue in the YouTube community. 

What is the Meaning of Copyright Claims: 

A copyright strike on YouTube occurs when a copyright owner submits a legitimate takedown request against a video that features their copyrighted material. This could range from using a popular song without permission to incorporating copyrighted images or videos without proper licensing. The consequences of receiving a copyright strike are severe, impacting both the immediate video and the creator’s channel as a whole. 

Let’s delve into the specifics of what happens when you receive a copyright claim on YouTube: 

Takedown of the Video: 

When a copyright owner issues a valid takedown request, YouTube promptly removes the infringing video from the platform. The creator receives a notification stating, “Video taken down: Copyright strike,” signalling the beginning of a potentially arduous process. 

Penalties for First-Time Offenders: 

First-time offenders are required to complete YouTube’s Copyright School, an educational program designed to inform creators about copyright laws and regulations. Additionally, penalties are imposed, such as the temporary disabling of the ‘Monetize’ button for a specific duration and a seven-day ban on live streaming from the account. These penalties serve as a warning, urging creators to be more cautious about the content they upload. 

Escalation of Penalties: 

If a creator continues to violate copyright policies and receives additional strikes, the penalties become more severe. Second-time offenders may face an extended monetization disablement, impacting their revenue stream. The third strike, however, is the most critical, resulting in the termination of the creator’s YouTube channel along with the removal of all associated content. 

If you’re just starting out on your content journey, you can check out our article on ‘How to Start a YouTube Channel’ or ‘Must Have Items for New YouTubers‘.

How to Handle Copyright Claims: Strategies for Content Creators 

Given the dire consequences of copyright strikes, content creators must adopt strategies to ensure their content remains within legal bounds. Here are key approaches to creating copyright-free videos for YouTube: 

Create Original Content: 

YouTube actively encourages content creators to bring originality and creativity to the platform. By using music, videos, and images that you have created yourself, you eliminate the risk of copyright strikes altogether. 

Explore Creative Commons Licences: 

Creative Commons licences provide a legal framework that allows content creators to use others’ work without the fear of copyright infringement. Videos marked with “CC” on YouTube are protected under these licences, making them safe for use. 

Obey the “Fair Use” Policy: 

YouTube’s Fair Use policy allows for the reuse of copyright-protected material under certain conditions, such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. However, creators must be aware that monetization is restricted for videos falling under Fair Use. 

Leverage YouTube’s Tools: 

YouTube provides tools like the Content ID system, which allows copyright owners to manage and protect their content on the platform. As a content creator, you can use YouTube’s Audio Library, a resource offering a vast selection of music and sound effects that are free to use in your videos.

Educate Yourself on Copyright Laws: 

The first step is understanding copyright laws and how they apply to your content. Familiarise yourself with fair use policies, licensing agreements, and what constitutes copyrighted material. This knowledge is your first line of defence against unintentional infringements.

Buy a Music Licence: 

Music is a common trigger for copyright strikes, with approximately 98% of such claims related to music usage. Purchasing a music licence ensures legal use and protects creators from potential lawsuits. 

You can also always opt for a Hoopr subscription to avoid any of the above problems! Browse a vast library of copyright-free music in diverse genres, moods and use-cases. 

Navigating the Complex Landscape: 

In the rapidly evolving landscape of online content creation, staying informed and proactive is crucial for creators looking to build a successful and sustainable presence on YouTube. The platform’s guidelines are in place to protect both creators and copyright owners, fostering a fair and responsible community. 

In conclusion, the fear of copyright strikes looms large in the minds of YouTube content creators, emphasising the need for diligence and awareness. By understanding the repercussions of copyright claims, adhering to platform guidelines, and employing strategies to create copyright-free content, creators can safeguard their channels and foster a positive and legally compliant environment on YouTube. As the digital content landscape continues to evolve, staying ahead of the curve and embracing best practices will undoubtedly contribute to the long-term success of content creators on the platform.