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How to remove copyright infringement on Youtube
4 mins

How to remove copyright infringement on Youtube

Table of Contents:


    Without a doubt, after its launch in 2005, YouTube has dramatically changed how video and music content are consumed and distributed. The platform giant, which connects billions of creators and users worldwide, has grown to become the second most visited website, only topped by its parent company Google.

    Like on any other social media platform, infringers use content created by others without authorization to profit from it. In this article, we talk about how to remove copyright infringement on YouTube. We explain what is considered copyright infringement and how YouTube sets the framework for dealing with the problem. Finally, we take you through the steps of submitting a takedown request to protect your content. 

    What is considered copyright infringement on YouTube?

    Before we talk about copyright infringement on YouTube, we have to make clear what type of work is protected by copyright. Basically, as soon as someone creates original work fixed in a physical medium whether it be a video, music, written works, visual works, or video games, they automatically own the copyright to the work. As the copyright owner, you have the exclusive rights to monetize, publish and/or reproduce the protected work. 

    That means posting a video on YouTube that contains work created by someone else, copyrights are directly affected. Hence, video makers that implement background music, video footage, or other original work without the permission of the original creator are infringing copyright.  

    What are the rules of copyright on YouTube?

    The copyright rules on YouTube are slightly more sophisticated than the above suggests. Reporting copyright infringement will start a legal process, so a general understanding of the rules is recommended. Hence, before we dive into the process of removing copyright infringement on YouTube, let’s have a closer look at how the platform governs its copyright standards:

    Asking for permission

    One way of legally using copyright-protected material is getting permission from the owners. YouTube is not granting rights or making contacts to the parties who can grant them. Copyright owners, therefore, need to be found and contacted directly or with the help of a lawyer. 

    Fair use 

    Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows the usage of copyright-protected material under certain circumstances without the copyright owner’s permission. The guidelines of fair use differ from country to country and courts decide over potential fair use cases according to the details of each individual case. 

    In the US, it can only be decided in court whether a specific case suits the fair use doctrine. For that, they rely on four factors in order to prove applicability:

    • The purpose and character of the use; Commercial uses are less likely to be considered fair use.
    • The nature of the copyrighted work; Usage of factual works is more likely fair use than the usage of fictional works.
    • The amount and substantiality of the copyrighted work used; Using small segments of the original work is more likely considered fair use than using the majority of the material. 
    • The effect on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work; If usage of the material doesn’t harm the copyright owner’s ability to profit from their original work, it is more likely to be fair use.

    Copyright owners are well-advised to check if their case applies to fair use before submitting a copyright takedown notice as courts made this step mandatory. YouTube too often asks copyright owners to confirm that they considered fair use, due to the fact that the platform gets many takedown requests that claim copyright infringements.  

    How to remove copyright infringement on Youtube

    Here are some facts you should know before submitting a takedown request and then go through the steps of the webform:

    If you are a content creator and your copyright-protected work has been uploaded on YouTube without authorization, you can submit a copyright takedown request. Again, it is important to keep in mind that this will start a legal process. 

    Make sure you carefully check if fair use applies to your case before claiming a copyright infringement. Due to the legal nature of the process, parts of your personal information will be shared. 

    If your video is removed for copyright infringement, your name or the name of your company will be shown on YouTube in place of the video. Additionally, your full name and your email address will be shared with the uploader. 

    Submit a copyright takedown request 

    You can fill in the takedown request by signing in to your YouTube Channel and clicking Copyright, New Removal Request from the left menu. Or you can find the link to the webform through Google support.

    Step 1:

    Include the video(s) you intend to remove: 

    Step 2:

    Fill in your personal data. If you are working with an agent who is authorized to act on your behalf, he can also submit the request for you:

    Step 3:

    You have two removal options to choose from that go through validation before being executed. A scheduled request is intended to prevent an immediate copyright strike by giving the uploader 7 days to remove the video before being removed by YouTube. A standard removal request seeks an immediate copyright strike after being validated:

    Step 4:

    The last step before submitting the webform is to confirm the legal agreements and sign with your name:

    Using Content ID

    YouTube receives numerous takedown requests based on copyright claims. Therefore, the platform implemented a system called Content ID. Copyright owners can use this system to identify and manage their content on YouTube. 

    Videos uploaded on the platform are scanned against a database of files that have been submitted by content owners as a reference. 

    If the system detects content in an uploaded video that has been previously submitted by a copyright owner, YouTube gives the owner three options:

    • Block the video
    • Monetize the video by running ads against it 
    • Track view data

    According to YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl, in more than 90% of Content ID cases, copyright holders choose to leave the content uploaded to collect revenue from it.

    Next steps

    If you are a content creator, it’s important that you have a basic understanding of copyright law. We also have a comprehensive guide on how to protect your content online.

    At Red Points, our YouTube growth services can help you protect your video identity and boost your profits on platforms like YouTube or Facebook by automating the full process of detection and removal. If you are seeking to protect your content, identity or product with an automated solution, request a demo now to see how it works for you.


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