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How to Resolve a YouTube Copyright Dispute to Restore Audio

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I have a BFA in 3D animation. I'm also very interested in cinematography, editing, and web design.


Copyright claims have been put into effect to protect people's content from being stolen and used improperly. However, there are times when automatic copyright notifications are wrong and the claims can and should be disputed.

Over the years, YouTube has improved the copyright notification process and music identification process. Each video, after it is uploaded, is scanned against a database to see if the music that is within the video matches an audio track that has been registered.

An email notifies you if there has been a claim against one (or more) of your videos.

An email notifies you if there has been a claim against one (or more) of your videos.

If your video is using music that has been entered into YouTube's Content ID system, as soon as you upload a video that uses copyrighted music, you will immediately get an email notification stating that someone owns the video track.

Sometimes, it can take months for you to receive an email, depending on if the artist has just entered their information or if their content is already in the database. Getting an email notification is not always bad and some copyright claims will not affect your account. There are a couple of different types of copyright claims that YouTube can issue.

Not all notifications and claims are bad. There are some that will just display ads beside your video, but no strikes will be taken against your account. It just depends on who owns the music track and what they have decided should be done.

Content ID Match - These are videos that have matched a library track in YouTube's database. This is not always bad as often the music owner's will choose to allow you to keep the video and just place ads next to your videos (monetize).

*If the music you are using is royalty free and you have permission to monetize and use the video with just written credit, you should dispute the claim. (See below section for how to dispute a claim.)

Video Blocked in Some or All Countries - Due to international copyright laws, sometimes the music owners will decide to block your video in certain countries. This is not completely bad as it does not give you a strike against your account. You can see the list of countries where it is blocked in your video manager. Click on the "Blocked in some countries" and you will see the list of where people can not view your video.

*If the music you are using is royalty free and you have permission to monetize and use the video with just written credit, you should dispute the claim. (See below section for how to dispute a claim.)

Copyright Strike - A copyright strike is bad. If you get three strikes on your account, it will be terminated. Copyright strikes happen when a video has been removed or been blocked worldwide. Companies can request for YouTube to take down your video if you are using music or video that is not yours.

This will put a negative strike against your YouTube account, and you may lose access to features such as:

  • Uploading videos as unlisted, videos over 15 minutes in length or uploading videos under the Creative Commons License
  • InVideo Programming
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Fixing Copyright Strikes and Getting Features Back

After six months, the strike that has been applied to your account may expire if you
take YouTube's copyright school quiz and if you do not gain any more strikes against your account.

This will put your account back into good standing and regain the features you've lost.

Reasons for disputing a claim (highlighted in green).

Reasons for disputing a claim (highlighted in green).

Disputing a claim should be done only if you have the proper license to do so. Contesting a claim where you are incorrectly claiming fair use could result in serious legal action against you and your videos.

To dispute a claim, follow these easy steps:

  1. If you have been given an email notification for a video that has a copyright claim against it, you can simply click the link that says "copyright notifications" or you can go into your video manager, and click on the notice next to your video. It will say either "Matched Third Party Content," "Video Blocked in Some Countries," or will say removed. This will take you to the dispute claim page.
  2. The music track and who owns the video will be displayed on this screen. To dispute it, click on "I believe this copyright claim is not valid."
  3. There will be a selection of options displayed for you to choose from. Note that the first two options are NOT reasons for disputing a claim.
  4. Review your option, and check the box agreeing that you wish to continue.

    On the next screen you will be asked to select the claims you wish to dispute (sometimes there will be multiple claims per video). In the box, you will have the option below to state why you are able to use the music in your video.

    For fair use, this is a standard disclaimer:

    This video follows Fair-Use Rules. The video was only made for Artistic Expression, it is purely fan-made. This video is in no way associated with the musical artist or the anime company. All rights belong to their respective owners. Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

    • If you have a license from the musician, include the link to the license. This would be applicable if you are using royalty free music where you have been given permission to use the music as long as you link back. Make sure to include the link to the license, as well as where you got the music.

    As an example, if you got it from Kevin MacLeod - Incompetech, I would put something like this:

    I used a music track from Incompetech ( The creator, Kevin MacLeod has released the track under the Creative Commons License 3.0, giving permission for me to use the music, as I have given due credit. You can view the full license here:

  5. Check the box agreeing that you are not misusing the process, electronically sign and click continue to submit your claim. It will be review and you should get an email with the results of your claim soon.

Your video should be restored back to its normal state, with use of audio and original abilities to monetize!

More Information

* You can find more information on YouTube's copyright claims and copyright guidelines in the YouTube Support Center.


Clara Alexandra on June 30, 2019:

It's "cannot" not "can not"

hacker2020 on March 21, 2019:

facebook and youtube aregoing to die in the futur cuz of this stupid programe they make pepoles talk to programe !!! we must createonother youfree upload site

Sheryl taruc on March 08, 2019:

3time I uploaded my video with sound it was I pick song in another app then I share it in to my YouTube channel but imedietly I received the I can solve it..

Flick on December 03, 2018:

What's wrong with this process is that the person who claims the copyright of the disputed track gets to decide if your dispute is valid or not. If you "appeal" their decision, they can decide to pull your video and put a strike against your account.

It's a terrible system. I just got a notice for using a royalty-free track, because someone else had used the same track as a b/g for their own music cd, so it came up as a match. My dispute of the copyright claim doesn't go to youtube or iTunes, but to the person who has wrongly claimed this track as their own, perhaps by accident.

immo on April 11, 2018:

Copyright dispute in progress

sushant sharma on February 21, 2018:

audio is must

tri on December 07, 2017:

good work

Marilyn T. Gregory on November 10, 2017:

HelpFul Blog. Go ahead...

karthik on September 04, 2017:

great blog and nice one

Jacob on July 13, 2017:

Can anyone recover the song Strawberry roan by the Lzy wranglers. it was on youtube here:

OMAR mostafa on January 16, 2017:

I want to fix my YouTube

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on September 07, 2015:

My digital camera has a feature where it adds an audio track of public domain music when I create a slideshow of pictures. I once uploaded this slideshow to YouTube and immediately received a copyright complaint.

My solution was to choose an alternate sound track that YouTube provided and was also public domain. So I selected to solve the problem that way. But now that I read you hub I realize I could have issued a dispute.

purex on May 21, 2013:

Clear, well written article. This will be of great help to many people who struggle with this. It's actually quite a common problem for many new users to Youtube.

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