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How to Prevent Copyright Strikes on YouTube and Protect Your Channel from Penalties

How to Prevent Copyright Strikes on YouTube

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:30 am

Contrary to popular belief, you can just upload any video you like to YouTube.

YouTube may be a platform where many upload fun videos. However, many do not know that YouTube takes copyright protection seriously until they receive copyright strikes for their videos.

You’ll get a copyright strike when you’re found to have uploaded copyrighted content without the permission of the copyright holder.

A copyright strike comes into force when the copyright owner submits a written takedown request to YouTube.

A takedown request is a request to Youtube to remove a video for copyright infringement.

What Happens When You Get a Copyright Strike?

The first copyright strike you get serves as a warning. To make sure you understand how copyright works on YouTube, you’re required to attend Copyright School. Here you’ll learn the basics of copyright with the view to avoiding copyright strikes in the future.

Copyright Strike Penalty

If you’re planning to monetize your channel then a copyright strike may work against you when you’re applying for the YouTube Partner Program.

If your live stream was met with a copyright strike and was taken down, you’ll not be allowed to do live streaming for the next 7 days.

What Happens When You Get 3 Copyright Strikes on YouTube?

The first two copyright strikes serve as warnings. On the third strike, YouTube will put its foot down and take stern action.

When you get 3 copyright strikes on YouTube, your account and any channel tied to it are subject to termination. For example, if you have three more channels apart from the ‘culprit’ channel under the same account, they are subject to termination. Even if they are not guilty of copyright infringement.

Also, all the videos you’ve uploaded to your account will be taken down.

The final nail in the coffin is you will be barred from creating new channels.

You can see from the above that YouTube really means business when it comes to dealing with copyright infringement.

How to Check Copyright Strikes on YouTube

Here’s how to check copyright strikes on YouTube:

Step 1: Log in to YouTube Studio.

Step 2: On the left panel, select Content.

Step 3: Under the Filter section, click on Copyright claims.

Step 4: Under Restrictions, hover over Copyright claim to see details.

A copyright claim is different in the sense that it’s less serious than a copyright strike.

A copyright claim is also known as Content ID. The copyright holder uploads a copy of his work to the YouTube database. The fingerprint of the work is stored there.

When someone uploads another copy of it, the system is trigged and you’ll be notified that you’re using copyrighted content in your work.

When you check your YouTube dashboard, you’ll see the phrase ‘includes copyrighted content.

Here, the copyright owner is not blocking you from using his or her content. He doesn’t want YouTube to take down your video. It’s just that he wants to claim whatever proceeds that come from it.

If you have a monetized channel, then you’ll have to share the revenue with the copyright owner.

You’re, however, allowed to challenge the Content ID or copyright claim.

You can check on See Details (screenshot above) under the Copyright Claim to learn more.

A Content ID claim can also be easily resolved. You’re given options under the Actions menu.

In the case of music, you may trim out the copyrighted part, replace the song with one from the YouTube Audio Library, or mute the song.

How to Remove a Copyright Strike

You have seen above how you can easily resolve a copyright claim or a Content ID claim.

How do you remove the more serious copyright strike?

As stated earlier, if it’s your first strike you’ll have to attend Copyright School school to resolve the matter. The copyright strike will expire after 90 days.

However, if you feel that you’ve been wrongly accused of using copyrighted content, you have two options. This happens if you have written permission to use the copyrighted video or if the video is in the public domain or so.

You can write to the claimant and request him to retract the copyright infringement claim. You would have to provide an explanation of why you would want him to do so.

Also, if you feel you’ve used the copyrighted content as part of a commentary or review under fair use, you can submit a counter-notification.

Tips on How to Prevent a Copyright Strike on YouTube

You have now learned how seriously YouTube views copyright infringement. Having to deal with copyright strikes is a messy affair.

So, it’s wise to avoid a copyright strike than having to deal with it later. Here’s the thing. If you want to make money on YouTube, stay away from copyrighted content. You may get away with it for some time. However, one day, when you least expect it, a copyright strike will knock on your door.

You don’t want this to happen when your channel is growing and you’re beginning to earn money. You don’t want your hard work to go down the drain.

That said, here are ways to avoid a strike on YouTube.

Never Upload Copyrighted Material Wholesale or Even Parts Of It

If you’re a serious YouTube creator, you should strive to create your own content. There are some videos marked as Creative Commons on YouTube that allow its reuse. While this is fine, the risk is always there.

The owner may at any time change the CC license to a Standard YouTube license which gives him copyright protection. So, always think long-term and cover all the loopholes.

So, strive to make your own videos, no matter how ‘imperfect’ you think they’ll turn out to be.

You have a ready video camera on your smartphone. Get a few affordable accessories and start shooting with them.

Also, entry-level camcorders are affordable these days if you decide to take your video production a notch higher.

YouTube doesn’t penalize low-quality videos. However, uploading copyrighted videos may result in lawsuits and out-of-court settlements.

Use Stock Videos

If you can’t create your own content, use stock videos. There are many sites offering copyright-free videos for free.

Use YouTube Audio Library

Copyright-free audio clips are also available over the Internet. You may also use music from the YouTube Audio Library.

Make Your Own Music

Use a music maker software program to make your own music if you don’t want to run into complications when using the music of others. There will be a learning curve, but you’ll be in control.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I Get a Copyright Strike on an Unlisted YouTube Video?

It doesn’t mean you’re video is unlisted and not available for public viewing, it is immune from a copyright strike.

Also, someone may take the unlisted video and share it on a public playlist.

Unlisted videos can still be shared with others through a link and be viewed by many others.

YouTube doesn’t want its platform to be used for disseminating copyrighted videos.

Will I Get a Copyright Strike on a Private YouTube Video?

Yes, you may get a copyright strike if the owner has registered a Content ID on the video. YouTube will detect the video as matching the Content ID and will flag it. It will then be left to the copyright owner whether to submit a takedown request or issue a Content ID claim.

Will I get a Copyright Strike if I Credit the Video to the Copyright Owner?

Yes, the owner may submit a takedown request despite your offering to credit him. So, don’t take the risk of uploading a copyrighted video even if you’re crediting the owner.

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