What is YouTube Content ID? Who can use YouTube Content ID? How YouTube Content ID system works? How to avoid YouTube Content ID claim? When does the video get a Content ID claim? How to dispute a Content ID claim? What happens after you dispute? How to appeal rejected disputes? How to apply YouTube partner program?

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YouTube Content ID

YouTube Content ID

Content ID is a system that is used by YouTube to automatically find content that violates copyright among the billions of videos that are uploaded to the site every month. Original creators (copyright owners) upload the original versions of their videos to prove they own the rights. These videos are used by Content ID system as reference files.

The majority of TV stations, movie studios or record labels go through this procedure for all the videos they upload to YouTube, so that the artists they represent do not have to bother about it. All new uploaded to YouTube videos are scanned for matches in the vast database of reference files. If the match is found, YouTube automatically issues a copyright claim for the owner of the video.

Who can use YouTube Content ID?

Only copyright owners who meet YouTube specific criteria can use Content ID system. You must own exclusive rights to the uploaded original material to be approved to use YouTube Content ID system.

YouTube has strict guidelines on how Content ID system should be used. All the disputes are monitored by YouTube to ensure that determined guidelines are strictly followed.

YouTube can disable the access to the Content ID system to those content owners who submit erroneous claims repeatedly. Their partnership with YouTube can also be terminated.

How YouTube Content ID system works?

Uploaded to YouTube videos are scanned for matches in the database of reference files, that have been uploaded to YouTube by copyright owners. Owners of the content have to choose the action that would be taken if YouTube video matches the content they own. When this happens, the video is issued a Content ID claim.

So when the video that you uploaded contains a copyrighted content that have been registered in the Content ID system, your video gets a Content ID claim. Depending on the decision of the copyright owner the Content ID claim might result in directing of the revenue that have been generated by your video to the account of the copyright owner or removing your video from YouTube.

Where you can see your Content ID claims?

You can check if your videos have any Content ID claims in the copyright notices section of your Video Manager. Usually, if a channel gets a Content ID claim the owner of the channel receives an email with the notification.

Are you in trouble?

Possibly not. In most cases, it is not that bad if your YouTube channel gets a Content ID claim. Literally, it means that YouTube Content ID system found some content in your video that is owned by other person.

Copyright owners decide if other people can reuse their original content. If they do not mind that other people use their content commercially they set the corresponding Creative Common license to a video.

If a copyright owner does not want his/her material to be reused without his/her permission, he/she may choose one of the following actions to be taken:

Block a video: copyright owners are allowed to block your video so that nobody will be able to watch it. Your video can be blocked in certain countries or worldwide.

Mute a video: If there is a copyright-protected song in your video, copyright owners are allowed to mute your video. Thus, people will be able to watch your video, but they will not hear the soundtrack. This action does not affect your account standing.

Block certain platforms: copyright owners are also allowed to restrict websites, apps or devices on which their content can appear. These restrictions do not affect the availability of your video on YouTube.

Monetize your video: copyright owners are allowed to monetize your video. In some cases, if only music is claimed in your video, you might be able to share the generated revenue with the music’s copyright owners.

What you can do about this claim?

When your video gets a Content ID claim, you can choose to do one of the following depending on the situation:

Do absolutely nothing: If the claim is reasonable and you agree with it, you can just do nothing. You can always take necessary steps later if you disagree with the claim.

Remove the claimed music: If the claim is about the copyrighted song in your video, you would wish to replace the audio track using your channel's YouTube Creator Studio, but since September 2017 YouTube video editor is no longer available so you cannot remove or mute your audio track anymore using your YouTube Creator Studio.

Swap the music: If the claim is about the copyrighted music in your video you can swap the audio track with one of copyright free songs that are offered by YouTube Audio Library.

Share revenue: If the claim is about the copyrighted music in your video you might be able to share revenue with the song's rights holder(s).

Dispute the claim: If you can prove that you have the required rights for the copyrighted content that you used in your video, you can dispute the claim.

In your copyright notices page you will find information about which content of your video has been claimed and who claimed it.

If you try to dispute a claim without applicable reason, the content owner might choose to remove your video. In this case, your account will get a copyright strike.

Dispute a Content ID claim

If a video on your YouTube channel gets a Content ID claim, but you believe that it is invalid, you can try to dispute that claim. Copyright owner is notified if you do that and he/she is given 30 days to respond. You have a chance to successfully dispute a Content ID claim only if you have all the necessary rights to the copyrighted content and you can prove it.

Know before you dispute

Make sure you understand the principles and criteria of fair use and the public domain before you start to dispute for either of those reasons. YouTube will not help you to determine if you have enough proofs to dispute a claim. If you are not sure what to do, you might want to consult somebody who has the professional knowledge.

Disputes are only intended for cases when the channel owner has all necessary rights to the copyrighted content used in the video. Repeated violations of the dispute procedure might result in penalties against your channel or even account.

How to dispute?

1. Sign in to your YouTube account.

2. Click your account icon > Creator Studio in the top right.

3. Click Video manager > Copyright notices on the left.

4. Click on the © symbol next to the video with the claim you would like to dispute. This will take you to the page with the information about what has been claimed in your video and who claimed it.

5. Click "File a dispute" and fill out the appropriate fields to submit your dispute.

What happens after you dispute?

Copyright owner is given thirty days to respond your dispute. For this period the claim is temporarily released. If the copyright owner does not respond within thirty days, the claim on your video expires, and there is no need to do anything else.

The following options can be chosen by the copyright owner after you dispute:

Release the claim: If a copyright owner agrees with your dispute, he/she can choose to release the claim. If your video was previously monetized, its monetization settings will be restored automatically as soon as the claim on the video is released.

Uphold the claim: If a copyright owner believes his/her claim is still valid, he/she can choose to uphold it. If you believe that it was upheld mistakenly, you might be able to appeal this decision.

Take down the video: Copyright owner can submit a request to remove your video from YouTube. It means that your YouTube account will get a copyright strike.

While your dispute is active, two actions can be applied to your monetization depending on the option that is set by the Content ID claimant:

- If it is set to block or track, your video will not be monetized until your dispute is resolved.

- If the claimant wishes to monetize the claim on the video as well, YouTube will continue to show ads on your video but the earnings will be held separately. When the dispute is resolved, the revenue generated during the dispute will be paid to the appropriate party.

How to appeal rejected disputes?

If you think that the copyright owner mistakenly upheld your dispute of the Content ID claim, you might be able to appeal this. You can find the option to appeal in your Video Manager in the same place where you disputed the claim.

However, there are some restrictions that might affect your ability to appeal, such as your account's age or the date of the appeal. Your account should also be verified. You can check your channel's ability to appeal rejected disputes on your account features page.

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