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ContentID and Strikes

Discussion in 'Copyright, Claims, Strikes & Legal Discussion' started by Tarmack, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Tarmack
    Rhetorical Porcupine
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    There is a fair amount of confusion about the YouTube copyright system, so I thought I’d do a post on the topic. There are three separate systems at play, and you should understand all three.


    ContentID (No Duration)


    ContentID is the YouTube matching algorithm that checks your content against a vast library of other registered material. It is much better at matching audio than video, but is capable of doing both. The system in generally is only really capable of matching like for like, meaning that if you upload a song, it would match because it is exact, but if you upload a cover, it won’t even though you’re covering the same song.

    This matching system has 4 options for the content owner to apply to each individual piece of content. They can track it, which just means they get to see your analytics on that video. They can monetize it, which forces the inclusion of ads, or claims the revenue you would have otherwise received if you already were running ads. And they can block it in whatever countries they own the rights to that content for. And last, music owners can mute the video.

    https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2797370?hl=en

    A ContentID match itself is not a punishment. It is merely the system recognizing a piece of material you uploaded as already existing in the registered database. It is also entirely automatic, so taking a ContentID match personally is a waste of your time. There are a number of ways that this match can be invalid, and you sort those issues out by disputing the claim.

    So, how can it be invalid? Well, if you licensed a piece of royalty free music for example, the company you licensed from had no idea what your YouTube channel is, so the first time you use that music it will get flagged. Simply dispute by providing proof of your purchase and proof that the license you purchased under applies to YouTube content. Another commonly invalid occurrence is some YouTube networks bulk claiming their partners content, so items like game footage cutscenes or game sountracks may be unintentionally claimed by a company other than the developer or publisher. Simply dispute stating that the network is not the owner of this piece of content and must release the claim. Do your research to be sure that the claiming entity in the ContentID match is not the owner before you file the dispute.

    It could also be invalid in a situation where you are creating content where fair use is applicable. If you are reviewing a product, making a Parody, creating a piece of educational material, etc. Please do read up on the elements of Fair Use before disputing so that you can include the relevant clauses from Fair Use doctrine in your reason for why the dispute is being made. But also be aware, that YouTube is a private entity and is not legally required to apply Fair Use principles to their system, though they do try their best to do so.


    Copyright Strike (6 month duration)


    A copyright strike is where punishments begin. In order to receive a copyright strike, the content owner may or may not have the material registered with ContentID. What they must do however is submit what is known as a manual DMCA takedown notice to YouTube. YouTube then flags your content and removes it from public view. This also removes your ability to edit the video or interact with it in any way.

    You will see a screen on logging in, which cannot be bypassed until you acknowledge that you’ve seen the strike and you will get to sit through a wonderful Happy Tree Friends copyright video and answer some multiple choice copyright questions.

    Copyright strikes are targeted and NOT accidental. They mean that someone from the content owner had to actually watch your material, see that it infringed their copyright and manually tell YouTube they want it taken down.

    Understandably this has some consequences. You will lose features such as the ability to upload unlisted videos.

    https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2814000?hl=en

    If you believe that a copyright strike is invalid, for reasons like the ones above under ContentID, you have a dispute mechanism here as well. However, be very very aware that in disputing a copyright strike, if the content owner is serious and wants the content to stay down, they must sue you. So disputing frivolously is a good way to get lawyers sending you letters.


    Community Guidelines Strike (6 month duration)


    This strike is generally an automated one, though YouTube does have a mechanism for third party reporting.

    A community guidelines strike occurs when YouTube recognizes that you have breached the Terms of Service in some material way. This is commonly things like putting tags in the description, having misleading thumbnails and so on.

    https://www.youtube.com/static?template=terms

    The tricky thing about these strikes however is that because they are automated by the YouTube system, and people tend to break the Terms of Service on a large number of videos over the course of their channel before being caught, you sometimes don’t get a chance to appeal this. Why? Well, if YouTube finds that you are using tags in the description on a few 10s or hundreds of videos, and you get three strikes by the automated system back to back, your channel is shut down.

    Yes you can send in an appeal, but what exactly are you appealing? That you didn’t know any better? It won’t likely work and some very large channels have been shut down this way. So play it safe and read the terms of service before doing stupid things with your videos.
     
  2. Catie WahWah
    I've Got It
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    Thank you for posting this :) copyright on YouTube can be very confusing, especially with all different processes at work - maybe this post should be stickied?
     
  3. Kath
    True Wub :wub:
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    This is fantastic information :) I'll put this as a sticky, since it's so helpful.
     
  4. CrossBeats
    Member
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    Thank you for this great post! Loved it. It can be confusing when you're dealing with copyrights. Can you provide some info, if it's worth it to join an youtube network, because of the copyrights? Do they get at least some of the blows for you if your channel is small (it's obvious if your channel is large they will fight for your rights however they can).. ? I'm not planning on uploading stuff that I do not own, just curious if I made the right move, when I joined a network, so they would manage my copyrights.. I know it depends on the network too, but in general is it worth it?
     
  5. Tarmack
    Rhetorical Porcupine
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    The answer is a very tentative yes and no.

    YouTube maintains an additional system to the above which I did not mention because it's generally less of an issue. It doesn't have an official name, but I refer to it as the Adsense Review. So, people who are partnered with YouTube directly will occasionally have their content refused monetization until they submit proof that they own the content. This will be via an exclamation point where the monetization icon is beside a video. I left it out, because it's not supposed to still be a problem specific to Adsense only, but in my experience lately, it still is. YouTube was supposed to be applying the system to ALL channels but that just doesn't seem to have happened.

    Anyways, right now, if you upload content that YouTube is unsure about, and what flags the content as unsure is a mystery. Then you will be denied monetization on the video and it seems to sit in limbo for a long time and often indefinitely. If you join a network, this Adsense Review doesn't occur. There seems to be a trust element to it, where channels that consistently break the rules get hit more often, and channels that upload original content get hit less. But again, a lot of this is conjecture.

    Personally though, the biggest benefit to network partnership in my opinion is it is not your adsense account on the line. If your adsense account gets banned because your mom keeps clicking on your ads every time she watches your videos multiple times to try to "help you out" or some other such violation of the rules, then that YouTube account is dead. It can never be monetized because you cannot remove the Adsense account. If on the other hand, you are a networked channel, the network absorbs that problem. They may withhold some earnings if it is ridiculous, but at the end of the day, your account is still relatively safe.

    It is possible for a network to be willing to enter your material into ContentID, but I suspect that will be based on size most of the time. You would have to ask recruiters and other partners of networks that claim they do this to be sure it will actually happen for you. Alternatively, you can request it be added to the contract, but as a small channel, you don't have much negotiating room.

    My advice to people on networks has always been that there are 3 main reasons to join for the majority of small channels (under 100K subs). Avoidance of YouTube issues (Adsense Review, Adsense Bans), Features (music library, graphic design, etc.), and support (someone you can talk to who will actually answer your questions in a short period of time). And those factors are mitigated by the contract term and revenue share. The longer the term, the less I advise going with a network. The lower the rev share, the less I advise going with a network.

    I'm somewhat bias'd on the avenue of support because I run a sub-network myself. I genuinely believe that one of the major problems facing YouTubers looking for a network is that networks are really not good value for channels below a certain size, and networks have too many partners to actually care about any individual one. I've got about 60 partners which is manageable for me to maintain about a 24 hour response time on support queries. I'd love to have too many partners to answer, but such is life. heh. I don't say all of this to recruit or anything though. I won't recruit from YTTalk out of respect for @Michael and the forum, but I do like to give back to the community where I can and I've learned a lot about how YouTube functions from being involved in the network scene.
     
  6. Idec Sdawkminn
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    I have a question, but it is more of an opinion. When you appeal a rejected dispute, they can only reject it by issuing a DMCA takedown notification. And each of those give copyright strikes, with 3 terminating your account. YouTube allows up to 3 appeals at once, but if someone did that, even if they had a super clear case of fair use like doing movie reviews, and the large companies issuing the claims decided to reject each one and respond with a takedown, that would be bad for the channel in the short term until they could be counter-notified, but during that downtime, it would really suck for the channel owner and the viewers. Is there a best practice in this case, such as only appealing one video at a time in case the claimants aren't being agreeable?
     
  7. brucham
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    Thanks for your article. It is now more clear with what I am dealing with when posting videos. I used Microsoft Moviemaker. Used their link to Freemusic.org . Read the usage details. Attached 3 instrumental tracks to my video. (with no monetization goals). Put credit on my video as tagged as instructed. 12 hours after uploading , received a message from YouTube that I had copyright music on my video. They said to do nothing. I have not received any kind of copyright email from YouTube saying that I have a strike. Is this normal when using music from one of these sites on my video?
     
  8. MultiDragon129
    Loving YTtalk
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    Hey, thanks for the information...but I also have a question, If they take down a video by copyright of having tags in the description (I was unaware it was a bad thing btw, but I got rid of all the tags in descriptions) and then you dispute your claim and they acknowledge it. They then allow you to "re-upload it"...is it really save to do so? because I just wanna make sure it's ok because I will if it is
     
  9. Idec Sdawkminn
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    That's not a copyright strike. That's a community guidelines strike. It's only against YouTube rules, not the law. And yes, you can re-upload the video, because it was a problem with the description, not the video itself. Just don't do the same thing with the description again.
     
    MultiDragon129 likes this.
  10. Tuhin Tusar
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    You have added some great information here.,. Really we should know about it.
     

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