Copyright and music
You got Copyright questions? We got answers.
Today’s topic -- music and Copyright
I played, sang, or whistled the song entirely by myself and didn’t use a single second of the recording. Why did I still get a Copyright strike?
There are 2 distinct copyrights in music. Most people are familiar with the one for the artist or band who recorded the song. But there is a second set of copyrights for the lyrics and melody (also known as the composition or publishing rights). When you sing, hum, or play all or some of the song on an instrument, even if you do it in an entirely original way, you are using the copyrighted melody and/or words, and may receive a Copyright strike or Content ID claim. But, keep in mind that most composition claims are eligible for revenue sharing for creators in the YouTube Partner Program. If you're eligible, you'll be offered the option to share the revenue of that video by confirming the video is a cover.
I keep hearing about Content ID claims where the song isn’t even there - what are you doing about that?
At its heart, Content ID is what’s known as a matching system, and it faces all the challenges and limitations that all matching systems face. Sometimes, the system can make a totally incorrect match, like claiming someone’s video where they’re doing a simple microphone test or even white noise. In these cases, YouTube’s engineers immediately go to work to diagnose and fix the problem. In other cases, entirely different original songs can match parts of each other because they use the same beat track.
We’re constantly working to find solutions to avoid problems like these. But we also understand that no automated system will ever be perfect. This is why the dispute process is an essential part of Content ID. As a creator, you’ll always be the most knowledgeable about the content in your videos and how it was used, so we built the dispute process to empower you to escalate problems to the claimant, and even escalate as far as the courts if needed. If both you and the claimant are attempting to monetize a video under dispute, we will continue to monetize your video and will release the accrued earnings to the appropriate party once the dispute is resolved.
What rights do I need to buy to a song to use in my video?
To properly use a song in a video, typically you need an official music license that grants you the rights to use it. But be sure to read licenses carefully. Licenses typically contain explicit permission for using the content, but may include limitations on exclusivity, duration, geography, or other terms. You should seek legal advice for any licensing agreements. .
Although YouTube can’t help you get these licenses, we can help you find music that you can use in your videos. Our YouTube Audio Library is a great way to find free background music or sound effects. There are also third-party services that allow you to purchase music for your videos that won’t result in claims.
Why are music publishers enforcing copyright on YouTube but not anywhere else?
Music publishers administer rights on behalf of songwriters and provide an important service in allowing songwriters to profit from what they create. In fact, music publishing rights are enforced almost anywhere music is performed, streamed or otherwise transmitted - and not just on YouTube. From music playing on the radio, to live performances, to cover songs -- publishing rights are relevant in all cases and, where necessary, enforced.