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How to Resolve a YouTube Copyright Dispute to Restore Audio

Updated on May 2, 2016
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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 notification 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. | Source

Notification of Copyright Claim or ContentID Match

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.

Have You Ever Had to Contest a Copyright Claim?

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Different Types of Copyright Claims

Not all notifications and claims are bad. There are some that will just displays 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 - Content ID Matches 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.)

Examples of Copyright Claims

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Different copyright claims.Example of Content ID Match where video is available without penalty.Example of Content ID Match where video is blocked in some countries.Example of Content ID Match where video has been disputed and the claim released.
Different copyright claims.
Different copyright claims. | Source
Example of Content ID Match where video is available without penalty.
Example of Content ID Match where video is available without penalty. | Source
Example of Content ID Match where video is blocked in some countries.
Example of Content ID Match where video is blocked in some countries. | Source
Example of Content ID Match where video has been disputed and the claim released.
Example of Content ID Match where video has been disputed and the claim released. | Source

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:

  • Google+ Hangouts
  • Uploading videos as unlisted, videos over 15 minutes in length or uploading videos under the Creative Commons License
  • InVideo Programming

Fixing Copyright Strikes and Getting Features Back

After 6-months, the strike that has been applied to your account may expire if you
take YouTube's copyright school quiz: http://www.youtube.com/copyright_school 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). | Source

How to Dispute a Copyright Claim

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 (http://incompetech.com). 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: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

  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.

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    • profile image

      purex 4 years ago

      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.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 20 months ago from Long Island, NY

      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.

    • profile image

      OMAR mostafa 4 months ago

      I want to fix my YouTube

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