Youtube Content ID and the music of your video
Holding a degree in Business Administration and Programming, Pablo established Legis Music in 2016. With a focus on the royalty-free music industry, he has contributed extensively to the field, authoring over 150 articles on various aspects of music licensing. His efforts have been instrumental in developing one of the most straightforward and liberal music licensing frameworks available today.
If you want to multiply the success of your YouTube videos, using background music is not an option, but almost a must.
However, you will rarely be able to use the songs you would like to use in your videos.
Mainly because they are usually copyrighted.
And acquiring licenses to use them usually costs quite a lot of money for the return it offers.
Although, for a long time, users on YouTube used famous music in their videos illegally, something that brought several legal problems to the platform.
That is why they implemented an algorithm known as Content ID, which allowed them to comply with the law and control the use of music in all their videos.
An algorithm that, even though it fulfills its purpose, is not exempt from errors and controversies.
I’m sure you’ve heard stories of people who have had their YouTube videos muted or removed for copyright infringement… …even if they’ve used legal music.
If it hasn’t happened to you yet, congratulations.
Even so, we recommend you be prepared to avoid this kind of problem with your videos and learn how to proceed when they will happen to you.
Because, sooner or later, they end up happening. Throughout the article we will discover in depth:
- What is the YouTube Content ID. - How its algorithm works. - What are the consequences of uploading a video with copyrighted music. - How to solve problems with videos removed for copyright infringement. - The alternatives to avoid Content ID problems for good.
We recommend you stay until the end, where we’ll even share a wide FAQ section with the answers you’re surely looking for.
However, if you prefer to speed up the process and avoid any Content ID issues altogether, here are the alternatives:
|Legis Music||One-time payment||From 19€/lifetime|
|Epidemic Sound||Monthly subscription||From $13,00 / month|
|Artlist||Monthly subscription||$199 / year|
All of them specialize in offering royalty-free music to content creators like you who want to avoid Content ID issues.
We’ll talk about each of them later and how they give you the peace of mind you need on YouTube.
Now, let’s take a closer look at what this Content ID thing is all about and how it affects your videos.
What is the YouTube Content ID?
According to the official definition of Google -owners of YouTube-, the Content ID is:
“YouTube’s automated and scalable system that allows copyright owners to identify videos that include content they own”.
This is an algorithm created in 2007 by the platform to automatically recognize any content uploaded to the platform.
This technology allows them to store all content and compare newly uploaded content to identify possible infringements of copyright rules.
By now, Content ID has become an indispensable tool on YouTube.
Without it, it would be almost impossible to track potential illegal use of the content on the platform.
What is Content ID used for?
In addition to allowing content creators and other artists to identify whether there are copies of their content on YouTube, the Content ID also has other uses.
- It makes it easier for creators and artists to withdraw copies of their works that have been used without consent.
- It allows them to choose whether or not their content can be used in other users’ videos.
- In the case of allowing their use in the videos of third parties, they may receive financial compensation for it.
As you can see, the YouTube Content ID is a tool that can benefit both artists and content creators or other users of the platform.
How does the YouTube Content ID work?
When an artist wants to protect his works with the Content ID, he must carry out a series of steps:
1. Sending files and identification
First, content creators or artists submit the audio or visual files they want to protect.
This helps YouTube to be able to identify these songs and videos in other videos uploaded in the future.
2. Creation of the digital fingerprint associated with the files
Once the files are received, a “fingerprint” is created for each file.
This “fingerprint” is nothing more than a unique and exclusive identification for each file.
All fingerprints are uploaded and stored in the Content ID database.
3. Analysis of the new content
When the fingerprints have been correctly stored in the database, Content ID analyzes all the content on the platform and compares it with those fingerprints.
Its nature allows it to analyze:
- Audio (voices and other sounds).
- Video (any moving image).
- Melodies (either the original or other versions).
The first videos to be scanned are newly created videos as well as the most popular videos.
Although Content ID also performs a “legacy scan“, in which it looks for matches in videos that were already uploaded to the platform before a file fingerprint was created.
4. Find matches and notify the parties involved
When Content ID finds similarities between a file registered in its database and new content uploaded to the platform, both the artists of the artwork and the creator of the content are informed.
To help you understand this, we will give you an example.
Imagine you are a streamer of the FIFA soccer videogame -owned by EA- After winning a match in one of your streams, you use the song “We Are The Champions” by the British band Queen in the background.
When the Content ID scans your video and finds the matches with the fingerprints of the files stored in its database, YouTube will do the following:
- On the one hand, it will notify EA that you are using images from their game (which are copyrighted).
- On the other hand, they will notify Queen that we are using their music (which is also copyrighted).
- And finally, it will notify you that you are using copyrighted material and that both EA and Queen have been notified of this.
In this case, a copyright notice will appear on your channel, notifying you of the incident.
In the video manager you will also see a small sentence indicating this, as shown in the image below:
5. Take the measures chosen by the authors
At this point, copyright owners have several options:
- Delete the complaint and take no action on it.
- Monitor video viewer data for more detailed statistics (such as age or country of residence).
- Allow its use and monetize the video by obtaining financial compensation each time the video is viewed.
- Mute the piece of audio that matches your song – in case the protected material is of a musical nature.
- Block the video that matches the content.
On the other hand, content creators can also provide proof to YouTube that they can legally use that content.
Following the example above, if you have permission from EA to make your FIFA streams and prove it to YouTube, they must allow you to use that material in your video.
Similarly, if you have permission from Queen -or their record label- to use the song “We Are The Champions” legally in your streamings, YouTube must also allow you to use it as background music.
If you want to know more about how YouTube’s Content ID works, take a look at the video below:
How to avoid Content ID problems on YouTube?
There are several ways to get around YouTube’s Content ID issues. One of them is to obtain the licenses to use any material you use and notify YouTube about it.
This is not the option most content creators use, because it is quite expensive, plus it is usually a long and cumbersome process.
Another option – perhaps the most obvious – is to make sure that the content you use doesn’t contain any copyrighted material, be it audio or video.
People who take this path often use content under Creative Commons licenses, although this poses two main problems:
- You must mention the author of the licensed content.
- It almost always prevents you from monetizing your videos.
However, there is a third option: using royalty-free content.
This type of content is content that can be purchased and used commercially for certain uses, which usually includes YouTube videos.
If you need royalty-free videos, you can go to stock video sites, where you’ll find amazing content in HD and 4K quality.
But we understand that, if you’ve come this far, what you’re looking for is stock music that you can freely use in your videos while avoiding Content ID issues.
Now the question to answer is “where to find that music for my videos?”
We have the answer!
Avoid Content ID claims: the best platforms with royalty-free music
The exponential growth of portals such as YouTube has caused the demand for music for the platform’s videos to skyrocket.
As a result, a large number of copyright-free music services can be found on the Internet.
However, you should know that not all platforms that offer copyright-free music are the same.
Many of them have usage policies that you should read carefully to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future.
Luckily for you, we have tracked down and tested practically all of them on the market, checking the fine print of each of them and comparing each service.
Here’s our own list of the best royalty-free music platforms.
At Legis Music we have decided to launch three exclusive plans this 2023 so that our customers can access royalty free music easily and cheaply.
What these plans have in common is that you only have to pay once to get them, allowing you to enjoy the songs unlimited for life and have the peace of mind of not having to worry about copyright claims in the future.
This way, you can choose the plan that best suits your needs:
- Starter Plan. This licence is recommended for those who are looking for music to use in personal projects. It also allows you to use the music in all social networks and on any website, but not on Youtube.
- Personal Plan. If you are looking to get numerous songs to use in your personal projects, this is the license for you. The Personal Plan offers unlimited music downloads and can be used on social media and streaming platforms, YouTube, apps, video games and audiobooks, as well as podcasts, virtual classes and online advertisements. The price is $49 in a single payment and for life -if you use it for 3 years, it will be like paying 1€/month-.
- Business Plan. This plan is specially designed for freelancers, companies and those who work for clients. It is the most open licence of all, as any use case is covered and it also offers unlimited music (the only thing that is not allowed is to resell the songs). It is priced as a one-off payment of $99 for life – if you use it for 2 years, it will be like paying $4/month.
As you can see, if there is one thing that makes our licences stand out, it is the opportunity to enjoy them forever for a one-time fee.
Epidemic Sound is one of the best options for content creators.
It has a music library that exceeds 100,000 tracks including songs and sound effects, which can be filtered according to genres, moods, or albums, or albums, among others.
In addition, all the songs on the platform have an exclusive character, which means that you will not find them on any other platform.
It also has very striking features such as Find Similar, to create a musical pattern in your videos, or Stems, with which to remove any sound element of a song.
Its creator subscription -$15 / month- is perfect for people who, like you, want to continue growing on YouTube avoiding copyright claims.
It allows you to download all the music tracks from the platform and use them legally in your videos.
If you would like to learn more about this platform you can take a look at our Epidemic Sound review.
However, if you want to discover the platform from the inside, you can do it for free for a whole month.
All you have to do is register by clicking on the button below:
Of the three mentioned, Artlist is arguably the simplest and most intuitive of the three.
And it has tremendously user-friendly menus, which are visible at all times.
The musical quality of the platform is excellent and its music is exclusive, created by independent artists from all over the world.
In its music library, you will find about 12,000 songs, to which thousands of sound effects have been added as well.
But beyond the quality and quantity of its tracks, what Artlist users love the most is its Universal License, with which they literally cover any musical aspect.
This license costs $199 per year in a single payment, but in return, it will completely free you from the dangers of YouTube’s Content ID.
If you want to know more about this service, we have the best comparative guide between Artlist and Epidemic Sound.
In this way, you will not only discover new advantages of this platform but it will allow you to see which of the two is better.
You can also take a look at their catalog, listening to their songs at no cost.
And if you are finally convinced, you can click on the following button and get two additional months totally free by subscribing to their newsletter.
Why I received the message “Video removed” on YouTube?
We know from our own experience that when you receive this message on one of your YouTube videos, all alarms go off.
But you don’t need to be afraid.
If you have done the right thing, we can tell you that you can take action, and if you have committed an infraction, the video will be removed, but nothing more.
The first thing you should know is that when YouTube removes a video, it is because they have detected that the video violates one – or more – of their usage policies.
However, as we told you previously, YouTube’s Content ID is not perfect and it also makes mistakes.
To know how to deal with this problem, the best thing to do is to identify the reason why the video has been removed.
The most common ones are usually the following.
The worst of all the notices you can receive is the video removed notice.
This is when the copyright holder sends us a full legal request to have the video removed from the platform.
When this happens you will also receive a copyright strike.
A little later we will show you what you can do when you receive these types of warnings and strikes.
Includes copyrighted content
It is possible that next to your penalized video you will find one of the following messages:
- Includes copyrighted content.
- Silenced for copyrighted content.
- Blocked worldwide.
- Blocked in some countries.
If so, there is no doubt: someone has claimed that your content includes copyrighted elements.
Moreover, as in the previous case, this message is probably accompanied by a strike.
But we anticipate that, if you have done things correctly, you can remove it by following some steps that we will discover shortly.
When YouTube detects that something in your video – whether visual, written or audio – violates its community standards, it will display the message “Video removed: inappropriate content” next to your video.
If this is your case, we recommend that you take a look at their community guidelines strike basics.
Violation of Terms of Service
When you sign up for YouTube, you must check a box that says “I agree to the Terms of Service”.
However, the reality is that few users read these terms.
If you have had the bad fortune to receive this message and want to know more about how to proceed correctly on the platform, you can read its terms in 5 minutes.
This is a very rare type of problem among YouTube notices.
However, you will be able to identify it because next to your video it will read “Video removed: trademark issue”.
In this case, Content ID will have identified that you have violated their trademark policy, in which case we recommend you take a look at it.
The reality about Content ID: it’s not perfect
Now you know the different reasons why YouTube usually removes videos and you have been able to identify which one you have received.
However, it is possible that the Content ID has made a mistake with you.
It would not be the first or the last time this happens.
For example, if you have purchased the license of a song through platforms such as Epidemic Sound or Artlist, you should know that:
You have the right to use their music in your videos.
You have paid for that music and purchased it on platforms that expressly allow its use on YouTube, both for monetized and non-monetized videos.
The good news here is that you can defend yourself against accusations regarding alleged copyright infringement.
How to remove Content ID warning message?
If you think YouTube has removed your video by mistake, don’t worry.
You can appeal the notice you received by following a series of steps.
But before you do so, be sure to remove any warnings or offenses imposed on you.
Before proceeding further, appeal the warning / strike
When a video is removed from YouTube for the first time, the platform will usually give you a warning.
If it is the first time you commit an infringement on YouTube, you will be notified of this both by email and on any device on which you have your YouTube account, informing you of:
- Removing content. - The policies that were violated. - How it affects your channel. - What you can do.
However, the warning is only given the first time there is an infraction.
If it is repeated, you will receive a strike.
And if your channel has 3 strikes in less than 90 days, it will be permanently deleted.
So the first thing you have to do, before even removing the warning message on your YouTube video, is to appeal the warning or the strike associated with it.
To do so:
- Log in to your YouTube account
- Go to your YouTube Studio control panel.
- Click on Copyright.
- Select the “Channel Infringements” card.
- Click on Appeal
However, do not delete the video thinking that, if you delete it, you will remove the strike.
If you do, in addition to the fact that the strike will remain in effect, you will not be able to appeal it.
Once this process has been completed, you can continue with the next one.
How to appeal the removal of your video by Content ID
- If you are previously logged in, access your YouTube Studio control panel again.
- In the menu on the left, you will see several options. Select the one labeled “Content“.
- Among all the videos you have uploaded to your channel, find the one you want to appeal.
- One of the menu columns is “Restrictions“. Simply drag the cursor over the type of restriction and click where it says “Appeal“.
- Next, you will need to check the box that says “I have a license or written permission from the content owner to use this material”, or the most similar one.
- Then a text box will open in which you will have to explain to YouTube the reasons why you want to appeal the removal of the video in your own words. Here we recommend you write the following:”I have purchased a music license on the website [__add here your platform used__] to use the song [__add here the song title__] by [__add here the name of the author__], for which I have the rights to use on YouTube. As proof of this, I add below the information with the license data: [__copy and paste here the license data__]“
- Click on Submit.
After taking all of the above steps, you will have to wait for YouTube’s reply and their decision on the matter.
If a few days pass and you do not receive an answer, we recommend you to send them a follow-up email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Few things are worse for a YouTube user than coming across a message similar to this one:
When you read it for the first time, it not only makes you feel uncomfortable guilty, but also very confused.
What did I do wrong? Maybe my content had a copyrighted video? Maybe I wrote the wrong word in the title? Or maybe I didn’t use the background music that YouTubers legally use?… What do I do now? Will I be fined? Will my channel be deleted?
The truth is that several of these things may be true… or not. And, as YouTube itself assures, its Content ID is not perfect and can make mistakes.
This means that they can mute part of your video, remove it completely and even permanently delete your channel after several violations.
All this even if you follow their policies and use legal material.
If you keep creating content on the platform, you’ll end up getting one of YouTube’s famous strikes.
It’s only a matter of time.
Luckily, you are now prepared with the necessary tools to deal with them and protect your channel.
- On the one hand, you know the steps you must take to appeal the removal of your video, as well as the potential warnings and faults.
- On the other hand, you have discovered the best platforms with copyright-free music for YouTube videos.
All of them are excellent options to get legal music.
In addition to providing you with thousands of songs that comply with their policies, they will also allow you to give an original touch to your channel and differentiate yourself from your competitors with provocative and cheerful background music.
Choose the one that best suits your needs and eliminate for good any problems with Content ID.
FAQ. Frequently Asked Questions about YouTube Content ID
Do you still have a question about YouTube Content ID? Surely it’s among the following.
Find out the answers you’ve been looking for below.
Although it may seem like yes, the answer is no.
We recommend you take a look at the following video, which will give you a clear and complete answer to this question.
- How do I know if I have received a Content ID warning?
When you receive a Content ID complaint, YouTube sends you by:
- Email (the one you registered on YouTube).
- Notification in your mobile app.
- Notification in your YouTube Studio (desktop version).
- What happens when I appeal the removal of my video?
First of all, you must wait for a reply from YouTube.
It usually takes a few days, so be patient.
However, the decision they make is usually between the following:
- If they consider that your content complies with the policies, it is restored and they remove the warning/strike from your channel. Even so, they may apply age restrictions if they consider that your content is not suitable for children under 18 years of age.
- If they consider that your content does not comply with the policies, they will keep the warning/strike on your channel.
- How many times can I appeal each warning or fault?
Each strike on YouTube or prior warning can be appealed only once.
- If I appeal a warning and YouTube accepts it, will they send me a warning the next time or directly a strike?
According to their help center, if you appeal a warning and it is accepted, the next time you will receive a warning again instead of a strike directly.
That is if you win the appeal, you “reset” the warning counter to zero, so in other words.
- If I appeal removal of my video and YouTube does not accept it, am I penalized?
The only thing that happens is that the video will still be deleted, you will keep the warning/strike on your channel and will proceed with the relevant restrictions -if any-.
- What happens when I receive my first strike after a warning?
First of all, to clarify that you will only receive your first strike if you have not complied with the usage policies for the second time (the first time you only receive a warning, which you can appeal in case you consider that you have acted correctly).
However, if you receive your first strike on YouTube, you will be prevented from performing the following tasks for 7 days:
- Upload new content.
- Perform streamigs -live broadcasts-.
- Share YouTube stories.
- Create custom thumbnails.
- Write posts in the Community tab.
- Create new playlists, edit them, add new content to them or delete them.
One week after receiving the strike, you will be able to perform all of the above actions again.
However, the strike will remain in your channel for the next 90 days.
After that, it will disappear.
- What if I receive a second strike on my channel in less than 90 days?
In this case, the restrictions are the same as when you received the first offense.
However, the duration of the restrictions increases from 1 to 2 weeks.
- I have read that if I receive the third offense on YouTube in less than 90 days, my channel will be removed. Is this true?
- How can I avoid the removal of my YouTube channel for the third strike?
The simplest answer would be, not committing more than 3 faults in less than 90 days.
If you follow the platform policies, you should not have any problems.
And if you think you are mistakenly getting strikes, you should submit an appeal following the steps we have shown you in the article.
- Where can I find YouTube policies?
You can go to all of YouTube’s policies as well as other questions by going to their Help Center.
- What is the YouTube Content ID?
- What is Content ID used for?
- How does the YouTube Content ID work?
- How to avoid Content ID problems on YouTube?
- Avoid Content ID claims: the best platforms with royalty-free music
- Why I received the message “Video removed” on YouTube?
- The reality about Content ID: it’s not perfect
- How to remove Content ID warning message?
- FAQ. Frequently Asked Questions about YouTube Content ID
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