Hey, I’m Mach, and I work on copyright at YouTube. Today, I'm going to tell you about 3 things. First, I'm going to talk a bit about abusive copyright claims and takedowns, which is when someone who doesn’t own the copyright to any content in your video tries to tell us that they do.Then, I'll tell you what YouTube does to protect your videos from bogus claims and takedowns, and last, I'll let you know what your options are, if you ever run into a copyright issue that you think is a mistake.
What is copyright claim abuse?
So what do I mean when I say, “abusive copyright claims?” You might already know, but not everyone does. When people use our copyright claiming tools like Content ID, or sending a takedown request to claim or take down videos that they don’t own the rights to, that’s abusive. In other words, these are bogus or fraudulent Content ID claims and copyright takedowns, and they’re not OK. We take abuse of our copyright tools seriously, and we’re not afraid to punish people who misuse them. That said, YouTube isn’t a court of law, and we’re not always able to make a final call about who really owns the rights to what content. Sometimes, that needs to be determined in court.To explain this more, I’m going to need to give you a little background info first.
On YouTube, there are two types of copyright issues you might run into: your video can get a copyright takedown, which results in a strike, or it can be claimed through Content ID, which is used by thousands of YouTube partners, most of whom manage the rights of many different creators and artists. On the other hand, the takedown process is available to anyone who owns a copyright. Another difference is that takedown requests are reviewed by YouTube, while Content ID usually works automatically, which means that YouTube only sees these claims after they’re made.
How YouTube protects your videos
Even though these systems work differently, we use similar guidelines to tell if a Content ID claim or a takedown request is suspicious. There are certain patterns that show us very clearly when a copyright issue is bogus. Now, if you’re a legitimate copyright owner, don’t worry about making a casual mistake and getting labeled as fraudulent or abusive. It's very unlikely, and if we do suspect something, we’ll give you a chance to explain what happened before we take any action on your channel.We always try to distinguish between people who are maliciously abusing copyright to block videos they don’t like, and people who have made an innocent mistake.Copyright is complicated, and we understand that it can be tricky to manage your rights, so we always try to educate people about how the process works. But we have zero tolerance for bad actors who use copyright as a tool to censor or troll members of the YouTube community.
One thing that’s important to keep in mind is that for large copyright owners using Content ID, small oversights or mistakes they make can have a huge impact. For example, a record label might provide the wrong title for one of their songs, and that might confuse creators who receive Content ID claims from them. When we see things like this, we follow up with the Content ID partner to make sure they review their claims, fix their issues, and find a way to avoid the same problem going forward. We’ve helped clear up millions of inappropriate Content ID claims this way. If a copyright owner continues to make this kind of mistake, we may limit their access to Content ID or terminate their partnership with YouTube entirely. We've taken action against hundreds of current and former partners.Overall, we see far more blatant attempts to abuse copyright through the takedown process, rather than Content ID. This is because anyone with a YouTube account can access our copyright takedown webform. While the vast majority of takedown requests we receive are legitimate, we still terminate tens of thousands of YouTube channels every year for attempting fraudulent takedowns.
Another thing we hear a lot of concern from creators about is fair use.
Criticism or commentary of someone’s copyrighted work, even without their permission, is often protected by copyright law. But we still see copyright owners use our tools to try to control legitimate reuses of their work. Our team makes a huge effort to catch takedown requests targeting fair use videos before those videos are removed. When we catch these, we take the opportunity to educate the copyright owner about fair use and similar laws around the world. In some cases, we’re even able to protect these videos’ creators against copyright lawsuits. If fair use interests you, you may want to learn more about our Fair Use Protection initiative. Content ID, however, isn't always able to tell the difference between fair use and copyright infringement. If you wind up with a Content ID claim on a fair use video, you can always dispute the claim. In other words, we know that we don’t always catch bad Content ID claims or takedowns before they happen. But that doesn't mean you're out of luck.
What YOU can do about abuse
Since you have the most context about your video, you’re often in the best position to understand if a claim or a takedown is incorrect. And you always have a way to fight a claim you disagree with. The first question you should ask yourself is: am I dealing with a Content ID claim or a copyright takedown? You can find this information on your channel’s copyright page. Now, if your video is incorrectly claimed through Content ID, you can dispute the claim. You can do that easily from the page where you learn more about your copyright issue. If you get a copyright takedown and it’s invalid, then there’s a legal process called “counter notification.” You can find more information about your options for resolving a strike in your email inbox, or on your channel’s copyright page. And by the way, there’s another legal option we should mention, Under Section 512(f) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, also known as the DMCA, anyone who deliberately files a fraudulent takedown request may be liable for damages. In other words, if your video is removed maliciously, you may be able to sue the person who sent the takedown request. It doesn’t happen often, but we thought you should know that.
Now one word of warning.
You want to be sure about the reason you’re appealing before you take any of these steps. You may not always recognize the company that claimed your video, but that doesn’t mean they’re not authorized to do so. Copyright owners often hire other companies to manage their rights online.Just because the owner is hard to track down doesn’t mean they’ve abused the copyright system.You may want to reach out to the copyright owner first, or get legal advice if you’re not sure about what to do.
We hope we’ve given you a clear idea of how we fight bogus copyright claims. We know it’s a big issue for our creator community. Have we answered your questions? Would you like to hear more about anything we discussed today? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for watching!