Manage your copyright on YouTube
Learn about Content ID claims, copyright takedowns, and ways for managing copyright on YouTube.
Protect your copyright on YouTube
Fans from around the world come to YouTube to watch their favorite content. Our tools help partners and creators share digital content with a massive audience while exercising control over their intellectual property.
YouTube has actively worked with government policymakers, industry representatives, and creators to protect individual expression and intellectual property. We’ve also invested heavily in technologies to support rights management across our platform. As part of the YouTube ecosystem, you’ll want to understand your options for managing copyright.
Distinguish copyright enforcement tools
Copyright owners have several methods to handle infringing content on YouTube.Content ID
Content ID is an industry-leading copyright technology that provides rightsholders with ways to manage and monetize their content on YouTube. Content ID compares videos uploaded to the site with reference files provided by rightsholders.
When a video matches a reference source, it is “claimed”, and rightsholders can choose to make money from it; leave it up and track viewing statistics; or block it from YouTube. YouTube grants Content ID to copyright owners who meet specific criteria.Copyright Match
The Copyright Match Tool automatically finds videos that are the same or very similar to your own on YouTube. When you upload your original video to YouTube, we’ll begin scanning all the videos that are uploaded after yours to see if any of them match.
There are several actions you can take when reviewing matches in the tool, including messaging the channel or requesting removal of the video from YouTube. At this time, the Copyright Match Tool is available to some channels only. If you’re eligible, you’ll see the Copyright section in your left navigation in YouTube Studio.Copyright takedowns
YouTube complies with notices of copyright infringement pursuant to the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and in line with the notice-and-takedown provisions of applicable national law. Copyright takedowns are formal, legal requests that require specific elements in order to be complete and actionable.
Remember to verify your rights and consider factors such as fair use or fair dealing before submitting a copyright takedown notification. You must include your contact information, signature, video URL, and other specific elements with your notification. The fastest way to do this is via our webform.
Note: In accordance with copyright law, we require complete copyright notifications for each removal request. If we receive a valid infringement notification, we remove the video from YouTube and issue a “copyright strike” to the uploader. Users who receive three strikes will have their accounts terminated.
Evaluate claims and takedowns
If your video has been claimed through Content ID or removed due to a copyright takedown, you should assess who has the appropriate rights. When copyrighted material was included without explicit permission, you may delete the video or seek to license the content from the rightsholder. Deleting a video that was removed due to a copyright takedown will not resolve the associated strike.
However, if you have sufficient rights (or believe the video qualifies as fair use), you may choose to contest a Content ID claim or copyright takedown.Responding to claims
Within YouTube Studio, you can find information about Content ID claims on your videos. You’ll see an at-a-glance summary of the impact of claims on a video, including any channel impact and territorial restrictions, and more details about the specific content claimed in the video.
If music in your video is claimed, but you still want to have music in the background, you can swap out your audio track with a song from our Audio Library. Or, you may be able to remove the claimed music without having to edit and upload a new video via the Erase Audio feature.
You can dispute a Content ID claim if you believe the system misidentified your video, or if you have all the rights to use that copyright-protected content. Learn how to file a dispute and what happens after you dispute. The copyright owner has 30 days to respond to your dispute.Responding to takedowns
If your video is removed through a copyright takedown notice, you’ll receive a copyright strike. If you receive three copyright strikes, your account is subject to termination. Should you believe you received a copyright takedown in error, you can attempt to seek a retraction from the party who filed it.
You also have the option of submitting a counter-notification, which is a legal request for YouTube to reinstate a video that has been removed for alleged copyright infringement. Learn more about this process.
Stay clear of copyright violations
Copyright infringement—violating any of the exclusive rights granted by copyright—can have serious consequences. Repeated violations will result in termination of your YouTube channel. (Also, be sure you’re familiar with our Community Guidelines and other policies.)
From a legal perspective, if found guilty of copyright infringement, you can receive substantial fines. Violations of copyright law can result in other civil or criminal remedies. For these reasons, it’s essential to educate yourself about copyright and YouTube’s policies.
While YouTube has robust systems for processing takedown requests or claiming copyrighted content, rightsholders are responsible for using the tools correctly. Submitting abusive or fraudulent takedowns or claims may result in penalties such as account suspension, termination of partnership, or other legal liability.
Because copyright can be complex, we encourage our community to understand the rules. For copyright owners and creators, abiding by these rules can help prevent conflicts and enable a positive experience on YouTube.