Copyright infringement – whether it is someone doing it to you or you doing it to someone else – has its consequences. Many articles and videos exist about fair use on YouTube, but none of them seem to answer the most common question YouTubers have. What can I do so I do not get slammed by YouTube strikes when I use someone else’s copyrighted material in my videos? 

Although shortcuts and hacks might seem like an easy way out, they can lead to legal problems or worse – loss of your YouTube channel. Every time one of your videos is flagged for copyright infringement by YouTube, you receive another strike. If you receive three strikeouts, you are out.

To avoid disputes and lawsuits over copyright, make sure to comply with fair use laws. Whether a video is removed from YouTube is determined by YouTube’s fair use policy. It should be noted, however, that the fair use law was created by the courts and lawyers, not YouTube. Due to the nature of the company, YouTube’s priority is protecting itself from lawsuits. Although you may believe that you are obeying the laws, YouTube might still decide to remove your video for its own protection.

To be fair, YouTube allows people to post videos for free, so they can pretty much do whatever they want to avoid getting sued. As such, it is crucial that creators do everything in their power to follow the rules strictly. You can take extra precautions to avoid copyright strikes on YouTube by following these tips:

Keep In Mind Who Owns the Copyright

Simply put, if you created the video, then you own the copyright. If you upload content created by someone else, then they own the copyright, so you should get their permission before uploading. Copyrights are assigned upon the creation of a work and continue even after the death of the creator.

Copyright Violations Cannot Be Absolved by Attribution

Taking another’s work and claiming it as their own is blatant infringement. It is no less of an offense when you use content and attribute it to the owners. The breach still qualifies for a strike and a video block. Even when you attribute the creator, you are still in violation if you do not get permission.

Be Aware of the Consequences

You can violate the copyright in two ways, and though they sound similar, they are totally different. Firstly a takedown notice where if someone notices their content being used without permission, they can complain to YouTube. In the event of a breach, YouTube takes down the video and issues a copyright strike to the offender. 

Secondly, a content ID match YouTube uses to compare videos uploaded to the site every month against content that violates the copyright. Copyright owners have to upload reference files – original versions of their work, which prove they are the rightful owners. It is normal for record labels, film studios, or television stations to follow this process for the work they publish. If you make a mistake, you can alert YouTube, but be very sure about it. Legal action may be brought against you if the claim turns out to be true, or if you were untruthful in any way.

Motive Is Irrelevant

Whatever your intentions maybe with the video, it is still illegal to violate copyright law, regardless of whether you intend to make money from the video or just share it with the world. Permission must be granted by the owner.

Copyright Permissions

Sometimes, it is possible to obtain permission to use someone else’s copyrighted material. You cannot monetize the video even with permission.

The Fair Use Concept Is Complex

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding fair use, such as the idea that you are allowed to use anything as long as you do not exceed some arbitrary time limit. It is actually more complicated than that. Some content can be used without permission in editorial situations, but you need to fully comprehend these situations to avoid future trouble.

If you would like to exercise fair use, and the use is for nonprofit and educational purposes, then you may consider reviewing a movie, using the material for parody, or simply for commentary or academic purposes. To put your point across, use as little copyrighted material as possible, and always credit the original owner.

Avoid a Strikeout Due to Copyright

If Youtube gives you three strikes, especially for copyright issues, you will be banned from its partner program for life. Avoid getting strikes at all costs.

YouTube strikes can be classified into two types:

  • Community guideline strike: This can be the result of uploading objectionable content or having a misleading thumbnail or caption. For more information, visit YouTube’s Community Guidelines page.
  • Copyright strike: You can get a copyright strike if a part of your video contains content from another creator without their permission. To avoid a possible strike, you can appeal or remove the video.

You should also know:

  • YouTube requires that after the first strike you take an online course and a test to ensure that you are not violating any copyright laws.
  • Strikes are lifted after 90 days of being issued, and channel privileges are restored. However, getting all three strikes in the 90-day period will result in the termination of your channel.
  • The copyright holder decides whether to remove, flag, or monetize a video you have uploaded. All monetization proceeds belong to them and they can monetize your video with ads.

Make a Fresh Start

When YouTube strikes you because of copyright violations, you should appeal the strike with a copyright counter-notification if you believe you are in the right. It is better to wait it out until the strike is over if you are not sure you can win. Whenever you appeal a strike, your personal information is provided to the copyright holder, and that person can potentially sue you for copyright infringement. If the case reaches this point, you can still work out an agreement directly with the copyright owner to file an appeal with YouTube on your behalf, if both of you agree that you were within your rights to use the copyrighted material. 

YouTube’s Robots Can Easily Find Copyright Violations

YouTube videos sometimes include content from other creators, whether intentionally or inadvertently. The breach may be detected or go unnoticed by the original creator. As YouTube’s copyright detection system continues to improve, it will be able to identify infringements more quickly. This refinement of the detection system includes algorithms that scan every uploaded video and look for similarities with other uploaded content, such as music, video, and images.

Be Aware of Copyright Validity

Copyrights are valid for 70 years after the death of the author. Once the period is over they enter the public domain. In that case, intellectual property laws would no longer apply to the content, and it could be used by anyone without permission. The rights can be extended to the creator or to their heirs if they file a copyright extension.

You can almost certainly avoid a YouTube copyright strike by keeping a checklist of tips and making sure to follow them when you use other people’s content.

Want more tips and tricks with updates? Then stay tuned!

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