Since its launch in 2005, Youtube has changed the way we interact, offering a wide range of digital content, from home videos to professional productions, tutorials, vlogs, music and more.
It has also enabled the emergence of a new generation of content creators who have found on the platform a form of expression and an opportunity to monetize their skills and passions.
The ease of uploading and sharing videos has democratized content creation and provided creators with a platform to connect directly with their followers.
However, this rapid growth and ease of distribution has raised and given rise to a growing problem: copyright infringements.
What is going on with copyrights on YouTube?
Although throughout this article we’ll talk about what copyright is, it is necessary to explain first what the current context is.
Due to this great wave of new content, in which both professionals and ordinary people can upload videos edited by themselves without -apparently- any limitation, there are many cases of violations of the aforementioned copyright.
Copyright infringement on YouTube occurs when a user uses protected content without proper authorization from the owner.
This can include copyrighted music, movie clips, television shows, images and other legally protected materials.
This situation can be frustrating and confusing for both the infringer and the copyright owner, but in this guide, we will address the first situation: how to deal with a YouTube copyright claim properly, respectfully and effectively.
We will explore the steps to take, how to verify the validity of the claim, how to respond and, if necessary, how to dispute it.
We will also discuss the legal implications, how to avoid future claims and how to protect your content and your channel on the platform, analyzing one of the best existing platforms to get legal music from: Epidemic Sound.
But, before all this, it is essential to understand the basics of copyright and how it works:
What are copyrights?
Copyright is a set of legal rights automatically granted to the creators of original works at the time of their creation.
These rights grant them exclusive control over the use and distribution of their content for a specified period of time.
They also protect a wide range of creative works, such as music, videos, images, books, software and more.
When a creator produces an original work, such as a song or video, he or she automatically obtains copyright over that creation without the need to formally register it (in most countries).
This means that others cannot use, copy, distribute or modify the work without the explicit permission of the owner.
However, it often happens that the rules of use of these rights are violated.
Sometimes intentionally, but usually without the person responsible even being aware of it.
This is probably why you are reading this article: you have received a copyright claim and you don’t know why exaclty.
Understanding copyright claims
What does it mean to receive a copyright claim?
A copyright claim is a notification received by a content creator on YouTube when the use of copyrighted material has been detected in one of their videos.
This notification comes from the original owner of the content or an entity representing their interests, and alerts the creator to unauthorized use of their material.
The claim may relate to music, videos, images, audio recordings or other types of protected content.
When you receive a copyright claim, it is important to take it seriously and address it properly to avoid potential consequences and protect your channel.
But why do these claims occur?
Common causes of copyright claims on YouTube
Copyright claims can arise for a variety of reasons.
Some of the most common causes include:
Copyrighted music: use of copyrighted music in your videos.
Movie or TV show clips: use of clips from movies, TV shows or other protected videos in your content.
Unauthorized third-party content: use of images, audio recordings or any other third-party material without permission.
Derivative material from other creators: creation of content based on the work of other creators without proper authorization.
It is likely that when you received this notification you were alarmed and many concerns came to your mind, such as how this affects your channel, your visits, your reputation…
Well, we’ll explain how it affects your channel.
Consequences of receiving a copyright claim.
A YouTube copyright claim can have a significant impact on your channel and your experience as a creator.
So that you won’t be surprised if it ever happens to you, we’ve developed a list of possible implications:
Restricting or blocking content. When you receive a copyright claim, YouTube may apply restrictions to your video or block access to your video in certain regions or worldwide.
This means that the video will no longer be available to the public or will only be shown with advertisements from the claimant.
As a result, your video may lose visibility and reach, which will negatively affect your channel’s performance.
Loss of revenue and monetization. If your channel is monetized and a copyright claim is upheld, you will likely lose the advertising revenue generated by the affected video during the period it is restricted.
In addition, if you accumulate multiple claims on your channel, you could face partial or full demonetization of your channel, which will directly impact your earnings.
Impact on channel reach and growth. Content restrictions and blocks can affect the reach and visibility of your channel.
This could result in a decrease in views and subscribers, as viewers are unable to access restricted content.
Lower visibility can hinder the growth of your channel and make it difficult to gain new followers.
Damage to reputation and personal brand. A mishandled copyright claim or the accumulation of multiple claims can damage your reputation as a creator in the YouTube community.
Viewers and other creators may perceive you negatively if they feel that you do not respect copyrights or do not take the platform’s policies seriously.
As you can see, a copyright claim can have a significant impact on your channel if it is upheld.
However, it is essential that you understand that receiving a copyright claim does not automatically mean that you have infringed copyright.
Sometimes, claims can be erroneous or based on misunderstandings.
Therefore, it is important to verify the validity of the claim before taking any action.
Validity of the claim
Once you receive a copyright claim on YouTube, it is crucial to take the time to verify the validity of the claim before taking any action.
Not all claims are valid, and you may be able to resolve the situation properly if you can demonstrate that you are using the content in a legal and authorized manner.
Thus, you should:
Review the claim information. The first step in verifying the validity of the claim is to carefully review the notice you received.
Make sure you understand who has filed the claim, what specific material is being claimed, and where in your video the disputed content is located.
Carefully read the reason for the complaint and any messages or comments provided by the complainant. This will help you understand the reasons behind the complaint and allow you to prepare an appropriate response.
Identify whether you have the rights to use the content. Once you have reviewed the notice of claim, it is important to determine whether you have the rights to use the content that is being claimed.
You can do this by considering the following:
Original Content: If you are the original creator of the content, it is likely that you have full rights to use it and that it has not infringed any copyrights.
Licensed content: If you have obtained a license or explicit permission from the original owner of the content, you may be able to use the content in the following ways.
Public domain content: If the content in question is in the public domain or is not protected by copyright, no authorization is required for its use.
Fair Use: If you are using the content in a manner that meets the fair use criteria established by the laws of your country, you may be protected by this copyright exception.
If you determine that you have rights to use the content and that you are using the material in a fair use manner, you may be in a position to file a dispute or counter-notification to resolve the claim.
However, it is essential that you have solid evidence to support your position before taking any action and that you respond in a proper manner.
How to respond to the claim properly?
Once you have verified the validity of the copyright claim and understand the reasons behind the notice, it is time to respond to it properly.
How you handle the situation can have a significant impact on the final outcome, so it is critical to follow some important guidelines when responding to the claim.
Do not ignore the claim
First and foremost, do not ignore the complaint.
Ignoring it will not make it go away and can lead to more serious consequences, such as the removal of your video or penalties being applied to your channel.
It is essential to approach the situation proactively and responsibly.
Remain calm and do not make hasty decisions.
Receiving a copyright claim can be frustrating, especially if you feel you have not infringed any rights.
However, it is vital to remain calm and avoid making hasty or impulsive decisions.
Before responding, take the time to reflect on the situation, carefully review the details of the claim and consider your options.
Don’t let emotions dominate your actions and avoid responding in an aggressive or confrontational manner.
Evaluate options for action.
Once you have analyzed the situation, consider the different options for action available to you.
Some of the common options include:
Accepting the complaint. If the complaint is valid and you acknowledge that you have used protected content without authorization, you can choose to accept the complaint and let the complainant take appropriate action, such as monetizing the video or blocking it in certain countries.
Contact the complainant. If you believe there has been a mistake or misunderstanding, you can contact the complainant directly to resolve the situation amicably.
Explain your position in a respectful manner and provide any relevant information to support your case.
File a dispute. If you are certain that your use of the content is legitimate and protected by usage rights, you can file a dispute through the YouTube Copyright Center.
Provide strong evidence to support your position, such as usage permissions or evidence of fair use.
We will explain this option in the next section.
Remove the claimed content. If you are unsure of the validity of the claim or want to avoid future problems, you can choose to remove the claimed content from your video.
This may be an appropriate option if the disputed material represents only a small part of the video and its removal does not significantly affect the overall content.
It is important to carefully evaluate the consequences and consider which option is most appropriate for your particular situation.
How to dispute a copyright claim?
When you receive a copyright claim on YouTube and believe you have valid grounds to defend your position, you have the option to file a dispute.
Disputing a claim is a formal process that allows creators to challenge the validity of the notice and provide evidence to support their case.
Here are the steps to dispute a copyright claim on YouTube:
Access the Copyright Center. Log in to your YouTube account and go to the Copyright Center.
From there, you will be able to see all the copyright claims that have been filed on your videos.
Select the disputed video. Search for the specific claim you wish to dispute and select the associated video.
Click “Dispute Claim”. Within the Copyright Center, you will find the “Dispute Claim” option for the video in question.
Selecting this option will open a form where you can provide details about the dispute.
Reason for dispute. Clearly explain the reasons why you believe the claim is invalid or incorrect.
You can mention whether you have the rights to use the content, whether the use is covered by fair use, or any other justification that supports your case.
Provide evidence. It is critical to back up your arguments with solid evidence.
Attach all documentation and evidence showing that you are using the content legally or that you have the owner’s permission to use it.
Submit the dispute. Once you have completed the form and provided all the necessary information, submit the dispute by clicking on the appropriate button.
What kind of evidence to provide?
As we said, when disputing a copyright claim, it is essential to provide strong and relevant evidence to support your case.
Some examples of evidence you can provide include:
Documentation of usage rights. If you have a license or permission from the original owner of the content to use it in your video, be sure to attach copies of that documentation.
Proof of fair use. If your use of the content is covered by fair use, explain how your video meets the established criteria for fair use and provide examples to support your claim.
Information about the disputed content. Provide specific details about the disputed content and its origin. This may include links to the original sources or any other relevant information.
Communication with the complainant. If you have attempted to resolve the situation directly with the complainant, include details of that communication.
It is important to present a dispute clearly and concisely, and to provide evidence that is easy to understand and strongly supports your position.
The process after filing a dispute
Once you have filed a dispute, the complainant will receive a notification and will have a period of time to respond to your dispute.
During this process, YouTube will review the arguments and evidence presented by both parties and make a final decision.
If YouTube determines that your dispute is valid and that you have legitimate reasons for using the content, the claim may be withdrawn and the restrictions applied to the video may be removed.
However, if the dispute is rejected, the claim may be upheld and you may need to consider other options, such as removing the disputed content or pursuing legal action.
Recourse to legal action (if necessary)
In some cases, disputing a copyright claim on YouTube may not be enough to resolve the situation satisfactorily.
If the dispute is unsuccessful or if the claim is still considered valid by YouTube, you may need to consider taking legal action to protect your rights as a creator and defend your position.
In doing so, you may wish to seek legal advice.
A copyright lawyer can advise you on your legal rights and options, and represent you in the event that you need to file a formal claim or counter-notification.
When to consider filing a counter-notification
If you have disputed a copyright claim and YouTube has confirmed that the claim is valid, you may have the option to file a counter-notification.
A counter-notification is a formal document that you can send to YouTube to object to the decision and request that the restrictions on your video be restored.
It is important to note that filing a counter-notification is a serious step and that you should be sure you have solid legal grounds to support your position.
Before filing a counter-notification, consider the following:
Strong evidence. Make sure you have sufficient evidence and documentation to show that you have the rights to use the content or that your use is covered by fair use.
Legal risks. Filing a counter-notification may lead to the complainant initiating legal action against you. Evaluate the potential risks and consequences before making this decision.
Legal advice. If you are considering filing a counter-notification, it is advisable to obtain legal advice to ensure that you fully understand the process and the risks involved.
Legal Implications and consequences
Copyright claims and disputes may have significant legal implications and consequences.
If the dispute is resolved in your favor, the restrictions may be lifted and you may continue to use the content in question in a legitimate manner.
However, if the dispute is unsuccessful and you decide to file a counter-notification, the complainant may choose to file a lawsuit in court to protect their copyright.
This can lead to complex and costly legal proceedings.
It is essential to understand that copyright is a complex area of law and that the consequences may vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case.
It is always advisable to obtain legal advice before making important legal decisions.
By way of recapitulation, we have seen up to this point the whole process to follow when you receive a copyright infringement notice: the possible causes, checking its validity, responding in an appropriate step-by-step manner, what types of actions to take and the legal implications and consequences.
You may find all this information a bit alarming and even cumbersome.
However, if you are faced with the situation, just follow the step-by-step instructions and you will find that it is easier than it sounds and you will probably not receive any negative consequences.
Even so, it is advisable to avoid this type of situation, so we have dedicated a section to tips so that it does not happen again.
Considerations to avoid future claims
Once you have faced a YouTube copyright claim, it is important to learn from the experience and take steps to avoid similar problems in the future.
Here are some considerations and actions you can take to protect your content and avoid facing copyright claims in the future:
Using licensed or royalty-free content
An effective way to avoid copyright issues is to use content that is licensed or royalty-free.
There are many online content sources that offer licensed music, images, videos and other materials that allow use in YouTube videos without worrying about copyright claims.
Some platforms offer music and sound effects underCreative Commons licenses, which allow free use with proper attribution to the original creator.
Other paid platforms offer libraries of commercially licensed content for use in YouTube projects.
In addition, you can search for public domain content or content that is labeled “royalty free” to ensure there are no legal issues with its use.
Understand YouTube content usage policies and best practices for creators.
It is crucial to familiarize yourself with YouTube’s content use policies and the platform’s copyright guidelines.
YouTube provides detailed information about copyright policies, fair use and content that is prohibited or restricted on the platform.
Be sure to comply with these policies to avoid potential claims.
Also, follow best practices for creators and avoid inappropriate use of third-party content.
Always give proper credit to the original creators when using licensed content and be sure to respect the terms and conditions of use.
Consider licensing agreements and collaborations with other creators.
If you want to use content created by other creators, consider establishing licensing agreements or collaborations.
Obtaining explicit written permission from the original creator will give you security and legal protection for using their content in your videos.
Collaborating with other creators can also be a great way to work on joint projects and ensure that everyone involved agrees to the use of the content created.
Regularly monitor your content and copyright notices.
Maintain regular monitoring of your content and any copyright notices you may receive.
Use copyright monitoring tools and services to be aware of possible infringements or claims.
If you receive a copyright notice, address the situation immediately and appropriately, following the dispute steps if you believe you have grounds to defend your position.
In conclusion, avoiding future copyright claims on YouTube requires caution, knowledge of the platform’s policies and the use of licensed or royalty-free content.
By following these considerations and best practices, you can protect your content and enjoy a safer and more successful experience as a creator on YouTube.
How to avoid committing infringements?
To avoid copyright infringement, it is essential to take proactive measures and follow good practices in the creation and publication of content.
This can be achieved by doing the following:
YouTube content use policies and best practices for creators. YouTube provides detailed information on what is allowed and what is prohibited in terms of content usage.
Be sure to comply with these policies to avoid legal problems and copyright claims.
Also, give proper credit to original creators when using licensed content, respect the terms and conditions of use, and avoid inappropriate use of third-party content.
Originality and unique content. One of the best ways to protect your copyright is to create original and unique content.
Avoid copying the work of others and strive to offer a creative and unique approach in your videos.
When you create original content, you are the copyright holder and have full control over how it is used.
This minimizes the risk of receiving claims from other creators and allows you to protect your own rights.
Sources of royalty-free content. One of the most effective ways to avoid copyright infringement is to use royalty-free or properly licensed content.
There are numerous online sources that offer music, images, videos and other materials that you can use in your videos without worrying about claims.
Be sure to read and understand the licenses before using any third-party content.
This is where the renowned Epidemic Sound platform comes into play.
Epidemic Sound is a portal known worldwide for being one of the best in the field of royalty-free music.
Companies such as Red Bull, Loreal or GoPro, as well as most influencers and youtubers, go to its library of more than 100,000 royalty-free songs and sound effects.
In addition, it offers numerous tools that facilitate the search for the song or sound that best fits the message you want to convey.
This platform is a benchmark in the industry due to the great ease of searching and finding songs that it provides; not only have they classified their songs by genre, mood, albums … But also has several tools that make the user experience really comfortable and fast.
Many content creators benefit both from avoiding all the problems arising from copyright infringement that we discussed above, as well as from the quality of their music.
So much so that if you decide to sign up for a plan with them, you can be sure that they will keep you up to date on any legal changes in the territory in which you reside, and as a company you can even opt to have a manager on their own team to help you clean up your content from potential copyright claims.
Why is it the ideal solution?
We offer Epidemic Sound as the ideal solution for copyright claims because, in addition to all the tools that facilitate the search for music, it has one specially designed to avoid copyright claims, called “clear videos”.
Through “clear videos“, it seeks, literally, to clear your videos -or those of your clients- of copyright claims to avoid the whole process of justifying the use of the music a posteriori.
This is achieved very easily: once you have an account in Epidemic Sound and having requested the Commercial Plan (which we will talk about later), in your control panel you must add to the “clear videos” section the exact URL of the video that you or your client has uploaded to YouTube.
And you won’t have to worry about anything else.
However, Epidemic Sound decided to go further to make it even easier for content creators and agencies, who usually face two main problems:
Their end customers often publish the videos without having previously provided the links to the agencies to add them to the “clear videos” option.
This results in them having to deal with copyright claims and a lot of wasted time.
They have to serve too many clients at the same time, so having to add the links to this option one by one is a major workload.
So wouldn’t it be much more efficient and easier for both parties, end clients and agencies or freelancers, if each client could clean up their own videos?
As a solution, there are so-called “clearing invitations“, whereby any user of the commercial plan can send individual invitations to their clients to participate in the platform so that they can take care of cleaning up their videos themselves.
Like “clear videos”, “clearing invitations” are very easy to access.
As we said, to make use of these tools is necessary to be subscribed to the ‘Commercial’ plan of Epidemic Sound.
However, there is also the so-called ‘Personal‘ plan.
Below, we will talk about each of them.
Epidemic Sound ‘Commercial’ Plan: for companies, agencies and freelancers.
Created specifically for freelancers and marketing agencies.
With it, you can publish content on any online platform, podcasts and social networks.
However, commercial streaming services such as Netflix are not included.
One of the great advantages is that you can use the music in the way you want: just the voice or just instrumental; or you can also cut and select the scrubbing you want and need, all automatically from its own platform, without having to use external sound editors.
To all this, we must add the possibility of using the music in digital ads, such as Google Ads, Instagram Ads or Youtube Ads, marketing or promotion of a company.
Thus, the main advantages of this plan are:
Unlimited monthly music downloads.
All rights included.
Possibility of using the music in online ads.
Possibility to ‘clean’ customer videos from copyright claims.
Personalized music recommendations.
How much does it cost?
You have two options: monthly payment or annual payment in advance.
If you decide to choose the first one, you will have to pay $49 monthly.
However, if you choose the annual payment, the price is reduced to $25 per month, for a total of $299 per year, so you have a saving of almost 50% on the price.
Epidemic Sound ‘Personal’ plan: for content creators and influencers.
If you are a youtuber, influencer or content creator as a hobby, this plan is ideal for you, regardless of the audience reach you have or how big your channels are.
If you have this plan, you will be able to use Epidemic Sound music on your own YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Tik Tok and podcast platforms.
You can download the full songs or by ‘stems’, which allows the possibility of eliminating vocals or instruments to your liking, adapting the music to your needs
And, as a key aspect, the music can be included in sponsored content on your own channels (but not on third-party websites).
Thus, the advantages of this personal plan are:
Unlimited monthly song downloads.
Use of the music in social networks and podcasts.
No matter the number of followers and visits.
It is good to add that, if at any time you decide to cancel your subscription, there will be no copyright problems or claims with the videos or content you have already uploaded while you have an active subscription.
How much does it cost?
You have the same options as in the commercial plan: monthly or annual payment in advance.
With the monthly payment, you will have to pay $13 per month, while with the annual payment, this price is reduced to $10 per month, for a total of $120 per year.
While we talked earlier about the tools offered by Epidemic Sound to avoid copyright claims, it should be noted that they also have many others to facilitate the search for music so that content creators do not waste so much time finding the ideal song for their projects.
These search tools are:
“SOUNDMATCH”. Soundmatch lets you go from an idea for a video, a rough cut, a clip, to magically discovering the perfect soundtrack for your project in a matter of seconds. Simply upload your video and get matching music recommendations in no-time. Soundmatch analyzes your video’s tone, mood, and rhythm, delivering a curated selection of soundtracks that takes your video to the next level. With Epidemic Sounds AI-powered Soundmatch feature, soundtracking like a pro has never been easier.
“EAR”.Epidemic Audio Reference is a tool that has been added very recently that allows you to select a fragment of a song from their extensive music playlist and automatically displays other songs that are based on it: with similar rhythms, tone of voice… A quick and easy way to find similar royalty-free music.
If you want to know more, we have an article on our website that explains in depth how it works.
“Find similar”. This function tries to find music tracks and background sounds that fall into the same category or have the same tags.
“Stems” is a tool through which you can be more creative in the design of the song you need, as it allows the possibility of eliminating vocals or instruments to your liking, adapting the music to your needs.
“More of what you like” offers you music recommendations based on the songs you have recently downloaded from Epidemic Sound.
As you can see, Epidemic Sound is the ideal solution for all those content creators, especially for beginners, who, on the one hand, want to avoid receiving notifications for copyright infringement and, on the other hand, want their projects to be accompanied by good music.
Visit their website and get a 30-day free trial through this link!
In this definitive guide to copyright claims on YouTube, we have explored the fundamental steps and considerations for properly responding to a copyright claim notification.
In doing so, step by step we have clarified concepts related to copyright, how copyright works on YouTube, the importance of identifying the validity of a claim, how to conduct a dispute if you disagree, the impact of this on your channel and possible solutions to this situation.
As there are many important aspects, we have decided to list them all in summary form so that they are clear and entrenched and you can refer to them when in doubt.
Importance of copyright on YouTube: Copyright is critical to protecting creators’ intellectual property and ensuring they are recognized and rewarded for their work on the platform.
Understand the copyright claim: When you receive a claim, verify the validity of the notice and understand the reasons behind it before taking action.
Verify the validity of the claim: Make sure you have the rights to use the content or that your use is covered by fair use before responding to the claim.
Respond appropriately: Don’t ignore the claim and remain calm in responding.
Consider your options for action and file a dispute if you believe you have legal grounds to do so.
Dispute a claim: If you file a dispute, provide solid evidence to support your position and follow the process appropriately.
Recourse to legal action: If the dispute is unsuccessful, consider seeking legal advice and, if necessary, file a counter-notification.
Avoid future claims: Use licensed or royalty-free content, follow YouTube’s content usage policies and maintain regular monitoring of your content to avoid future problems.
Turn to platforms such as Epidemic Sound: Thanks to its tools to avoid copyright claims, “clearing videos” and “clearing invitations”, you will be able to publish your content without worries and, in addition, you will also be able to use its entire royalty-free music catalog.
Protect your rights as a creator: Educate on copyright and fair use, and create original and unique content to protect your rights and minimize the risk of claims.
In conclusion, dealing with a copyright claim on YouTube can be challenging, but by following this guide and acting responsibly and respectfully, you will be better prepared to properly resolve the situation and protect your rights as a creator on the platform.
Remember to always stay informed about YouTube’s copyright policies, be respectful of other creators’ content, and seek out licensed or royalty-free content to ensure a successful and safe experience in creating your videos.
Protecting your rights and respecting the rights of others is critical to maintaining a positive creative community on YouTube.
If you have any questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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