In the vibrant world of online content creation, YouTube has emerged as a prominent platform for sharing videos and expressing creativity.

However, navigating the complex landscape of copyright on YouTube can be challenging.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of copyright description for YouTube.

Understanding the Importance of Copyright Descriptions in Your YouTube Videos

When creating a YouTube video, it’s crucial to determine if it includes any copyrighted material.

There are two scenarios where you may use copyrighted content:

  • directly including a portion from a copyrighted work, or
  • displaying something that would be problematic if shown as an isolated image (e.g., singing along to background music).

In both cases, it’s important to provide credit by including a copyright description.

Failing to do so may result in someone reporting a copyright infringement, leading to YouTube removing your video.

While a copyright description may not always be a legal requirement, it is still considered good etiquette on YouTube.

By including a copyright description, you demonstrate respect for the original creators and acknowledge their rights over the copyrighted material.

Remember, being mindful of copyrighted material and properly attributing it helps maintain a positive and respectful environment on YouTube.

How to Write a Copyright Description for YouTube

When uploading videos on YouTube, it’s important to include a copyright description if you use copyrighted material.

Even if you have good intentions and try to avoid copyright infringement, it’s crucial to understand that Creative Commons licenses or stating “No copyright intended” do not provide complete assurance that copyright violations have been completely avoided.

To ensure the protection of your channel and address any concerns, it is advised that every video creator who includes copyrighted material include a description explaining the source of the material and their justification for using it.

This helps provide transparency and can serve as evidence that you have taken appropriate steps to comply with the copyright statute.

By including a copyright description, you minimise the risk of your channel being flagged or taken down due to copyright infringement claims.

It demonstrates your commitment to respecting copyright and shows that you have considered the legality and permissions associated with the material used in your online videos.

Steps to Writing a Copyright Description

Here are the steps to writing an effective copyright description for your YouTube videos:

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Click on “About”:

Click on “About” or “Channel” in the main navigation bar of your YouTube channel.

Then, select “Advanced Settings” under your channel name.

By accessing the advanced settings, you will have the option to include descriptions for each video that you upload.

In the video description, explain how you encountered any copyrighted material used in your videos and why you believe you have the necessary rights to use it confidently. Include relevant links if applicable.

Seek Copyright Permission:

It is necessary to obtain permission from the copyright holder before using their copyrighted material.

Respect their decision if they decline your request. Most creators appreciate being informed about the use of their content.

Asking for permission demonstrates respect for their work and shows that you have taken the time to understand copyright laws before sharing content online.

Confirm Copyright Status:

Use internet searches to determine if the media piece you wish to use is protected by copyright. Look for resources that provide information on copyrights and fair use laws. This will help you verify the copyright status of the material.

Understand Fair Use Laws:

It is important to be aware that not all content on the internet is covered by fair dealing, even if it may appear to be.

For instance, modifying an image does not automatically grant you the right to use it freely.

Research the rights associated with modifying images before doing so to avoid potential legal issues in the future.

Responding to Copyright Infringement:

If you receive a takedown notice due to copyright infringement, take immediate action. Use YouTube’s counter-notification form to send a counter-notice.

Refrain from re-uploading the video until you have received confirmation from YouTube that your counter-notification has been accepted.

If you face legal action for copyright violation, it is advisable to consult with an attorney who specialises in intellectual property law promptly.

It is necessary to consistently heed legal copyright notices concerning your account, as neglecting to do so can lead to serious repercussions.

By following these steps and respecting copyright laws, you can better protect your channel and create content that aligns with legal requirements.


Understanding the importance of a copyright description for YouTube is vital for content creators.

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By acknowledging and respecting the rights of copyright owners, channel owners can navigate copyright claims on their videos more effectively.

Whether it’s incorporating music videos or utilising copyright-protected material as source material, providing a clear copyright description safeguards the channel owner and demonstrates a commitment to compliance.

Including details about the source material, permissions obtained, and copyright exceptions adhered to, content creators can protect their entire channel and future videos.

By seeking permission from copyright holders and acknowledging ownership, the original content becomes a foundation for excellent video ideas without infringing upon others’ rights.

Keeping up with the rules about copyright exceptions and describing the steps taken to respect copyright ensures a responsible and creative YouTube environment.

By obtaining permission and giving credit where it’s due, content creators can thrive while honoring the rights of copyright owners.


What is a copyright disclaimer?

A copyright disclaimer is a statement used to clarify that the use of copyrighted material is intended for fair use, educational purposes, or other legally permissible reasons.

What is fair use?

Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission, typically for purposes such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, or education.

Do I need to provide a copyright description for my YouTube videos?

Including a copyright, description is recommended, as it helps demonstrate respect for copyright and can protect your channel from copyright infringement claims.

Can I use copyright-protected music in my YouTube videos?

Using copyright-protected music typically requires obtaining proper licenses or using royalty-free or Creative Commons-licensed music.

Is it enough to state “No copyright intended” in my video description?

Simply stating “No copyright intended” does not exempt you from copyright infringement. Proper permissions or a legal basis for use are still necessary.