How to Remove Copyright Claims on YouTube Videos!

If you’ve got a YouTube copyright claim or copyright strike, you might be feeling frustrated or nervous…

Also called a Content ID claim, these could lead your video to be de-monetized, blocked in some countries or you could even end up with a strike against your channel.

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But don’t worry! There are some quick and easy ways you can fix or dispute a copyright claim so you can once again monetize the video and remove the block as soon as possible.

In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to get rid of copyright claims on YouTube.

Plus we’ll share our top recommended royalty free music sites so you can avoid copyright claims and copyright strikes in the future.

Here’s exactly what we’ll cover:

Let’s get started.

When it comes to a copyright infringement, there are two things that can happen: a copyright claim or a copyright strike. There’s a considerable difference between these.

A copyright claim isn’t a huge deal and can be easily fixed by removing the content you don’t have ownership or permission to use. They can also be proven false if you own the content that someone else is claiming as their own.

A block on a YouTube video due to a Content ID claim
A Content ID claim can cause a partial block or worse

Copyright strikes are a bit more serious. It’s when the copyright owner issues a valid and legal takedown request of your video. If you get three strikes in a 90 day period, YouTube says they will delete your account no questions asked.

You really don’t want to mess around with stuff. The best thing you can do is make sure you only use content that you have the rights or license to use so you don’t have any issues.

How To Tell If You Have A YouTube Copyright Claim

If you receive a copyright claim on one of the videos that are already uploaded on your channel, you’ll automatically be notified in your YouTube Studio dashboard area.

Here’s where you’ll be alerted to any copyright claims:

  • In the notification tab
  • In the Content area you’ll see a yellow or red icon under Visibility on any videos that have a copyright strike or claim
The notifications tab in YouTube Studio
You’ll get a notification in your YouTube Studio if you have a copyright claim

Easiest Way To Fix A Copyright Claim

If you do get a claim on your video immediately after it’s been uploaded to YouTube, the best case scenario would be to:

  • Remove the video
  • Make adjustments to the video so it’s copyright compliant
  • Re-upload the video to your channel

However, if the video has been on your channel for a while it might have a lot of views and subscribers and so on that you don’t want to get rid of.

In this case there are some ways you can try to fix the copyright issue while the video is live on your YouTube channel. We’ll cover those soon!

First, there’s a way you can check your video for copyright claims BEFORE it’s uploaded. Let’s check that out.

YouTube is getting really good at automatically detecting copyright issues while you’re uploading a video. It does this using Content ID to identify copyrighted content.

We’ll run through this example by uploading a video containing content we don’t have permission to use on a test YouTube channel.

The YouTube video upload process
YouTube automatically detects any potential copyright infringements when you upload

In the upload process, you’ll get to a Checks section. This is where YouTube auto-detects any copyright issues and helps you resolve them before you publish. This is awesome as it limits your chance of having copyright issues on a live YouTube video.

The time this check takes will depend on how long your video is.

You can skip forward and continue preparing your video while YouTube does this check. Once the check is complete, a red exclamation mark will appear if there are any issues.

A red exclamation mark in the upload process do a copyright protected content
You’ll see a red exclamation mark if YouTube find copyright protected content

In this case, YouTube has said that copyright protected content was found and people in some countries won’t be able to view our video.

 But the restriction or punishment is done on a case by case basis.

If you hit See Details, you’ll be able to find out if this has an effect on your YouTube channel or just on the visibility of the video.

The details of how the copyright content will affect your channel
The impact will be different depending on the specific situation

We can see that this issue won’t affect our channel but the video is blocked in some territories due to one or more of the Content ID claims.

Below that you can find the infringing copyright track. If you hover over that section you’ll see information on the block.

In this case, the copyright owners UMG have set the music track to be blocked in Belarus, Russia.

Press the three dots on the right hand side and you’ll see some different options for removing the copyrighted content and other options moving forward. They are:

Trim out segment 

This isn’t available to us in this case because the infringing track is used for the length of the entire video. But if the infringing content only takes up part of your video, you can use this tool to remove that section.

Different options for removing the claimed content
You have a number of options to remove the claimed content

Replace song

You can select one of YouTube’s music tracks to be played instead of the copyright music. But this replaces ALL sound in your YouTube video so if you have someone speaking in the video, that will be removed as well.

Mute song

Here you can mute all sound when the song plays or you can access a beta feature that removes the song ONLY. The second option is great in theory as you could keep the rest of your audio, however in our experience this tool doesn’t work well. It’s worth a shot if you don’t have any other options though!

Muting the claimed song inside YouTube
The ‘mute song only’ feature isn’t very effective but hopefully it improves in the future

If you do have permission to use the content (maybe you purchased a license or you have the rights to use it) then you can dispute the claim here. More on this shortly!  

Unless you’re happy to replace all of your audio, mute all your audio or the infringing content is only a small segment of your video – none of these are great options.

We’re hoping YouTube builds out the Mute song tool over time so it becomes more effective at removing the song only. This would be an awesome tool if it was more successful.

How To Dispute The Claim

If you want to dispute a Content ID claim on your video, go to the video and press the Three Dots we went to earlier and select Dispute. Then you just need to follow the prompts and answer the questions.

Keep in mind, YouTube says the following are NOT valid reasons to dispute the claim:

  • You own a copy of the song or video
  • You’re not making money from the video
  • You have credit to the copyright owner
Disputing a claim in YouTube
YouTube says these reasons are not valid for disputing the Content ID claim

If you’re happy to continue, you can select from the following main reasons:

  • Original content – the content is your original content that you own all of the rights to
  • License – you have permission or a license to use the content
  • Copyright exception such as fair use – you have significantly transformed the content so it’s protected by fair use
  • Public domain – the content is in the public domain and no longer protected by copyright
The list of reasons for disputing a copyright claim
You can choose from a number of reasons for disputing the copyright claim

Then you can select the type: dispute or escalate to appeal.

A regular dispute will give the claimant 30 days to review your request and release the copyright claim. If they disagree with your request and reinstate the claim, you’ll still be able to appeal their decision.

If you escalate the dispute to an appeal, the claimant will have seven days to review your request. If they disagree with your appeal, you may receive a copyright strike on your YouTube channel.

The two types of disputes: dispute or escalate to appeal
You can start with a dispute or immediately escalate to an appeal

This is getting pretty serious now so you definitely want to make sure you have the right license before you go down this route!

Let’s go with the regular one option for this example. You’ll have to re-confirm that you have the correct license. Then the final step is to plead your case.

You can include specific information that will help them process the request. Then press Submit and the information will be sent off.

Where you provide details when disputing a claim
The next step is to provide specific licence information

Once that comes back, if it’s not in your favor and it should be, you can escalate it to an appeal.

PRO TIP: If you’ve tried to dispute a copyright strike or a copyright claim and you’re not having any luck – try connecting with YouTube directly. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • In your YouTube Studio go to Chat With Creator Support (if this is enabled on your account) next to the help button in the top menu and explain the problem here
  • Press the Help button and go to Get Help As A YouTube Creator
  • Contact them on Twitter (the handle is @TeamYouTube) – this is where we’ve seen people have most success contacting YouTube and getting a quick response!

How To Avoid Content ID Claims

The number one way to deal with copyright claims and copyright strikes is to avoid them in the first place!

Here are the top royalty-free sites for b-roll and stock footage that we recommend:

The best royalty-free platforms for music tracks and audio that we use are:

These are awesome options that make the whole licensing process really easy.

The artists and creators have agreed to having their material on there so you can rest assured you won’t receive a takedown request from a copyright owner when using these sites.

How To Tell If Someone Is In Breach Of Your Copyright

There’s a quick and easy way to tell if other creators are using your original YouTube material on their channel.

Go to your YouTube Studio dashboard and select Copyright in the left menu.

YouTube Studio dashboard
Select Copyright in the YouTube Studio dashboard

If this is the first time you’re opening this up, you may need to enable this feature on your channel.

Once you’ve enabled it, if YouTube detects your Content ID on another channel it will be listed here.

You can see how many views each of those videos have, the date they were published and what percentage of their video is your material.

A list of videos that have used our YouTube video content
These are all videos that have used our YouTube content without permission

It can be pretty common for people to do this. So it’s up to you whether you want to take action against the uploader of the video.

If you want to do something about the creator using your content without a license, here’s what you can do:

  • Request video removal – requesting a takedown will trigger a copyright infringement on the other creators channel
  • Contact the channel – this generates an email from YouTube to be sent to the creator of the video
The Request Video Removal button on an infringing video
You can request the video be removed or contact the channel

How YouTube’s Making It Easier To Avoid Copyright Strikes & Copyright Claims

YouTube is making it easier for creators to use commercial music in their videos.

Now this will come down to the individual music track that you’re using, the artist and the music label or the copyright owners.

But YouTube is streamlining this process and working with the music creator and music label to make it more of a win-win for them and the content creator.

They’re doing this by introducing a revenue split. So instead of a copyright claim or restrictions or removing monetization, a percentage of the ad revenue that you would receive goes to the music label or artist. The best part is that YouTube manages the process on both sides.

So this will make using commercial music a lot easier but you will be sharing some of your YouTube ads revenue.  

A person dividing up $100 bills
YouTube are introducing a revenue split

There are also other services like Lickd that allow you to use copyrighted music with permission. Lickd makes this process really easy and you don’t have to deal with any potential block or legal action. Plus they have a massive range of popular commercial music you can use!

So that’s how you can deal with Content ID claim, copyright claim or copyright strike on a YouTube video.

One of those options will help you resolve the copyright infringement and put your channel in good standing once again.

But remember the most effective way to deal with these issues is to only use content that you have a license to use.

If you want to hear more about where to find awesome copyright free music, check out the Best Royalty Free Music For YouTube Videos.


Recommended Gear & Resources

Check out an up-to-date list of all the gear, software & tools we use and recommend right now at Primal Video on our resources page here!

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