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What is Copyright Strike?

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Manish Jindal

December 6, 2023

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What is Copyright Strike?

In the dynamic realm of YouTube, where creators share their original material with the world, the concept of copyright strikes has become increasingly significant.

Copyright owners, whether they produce music videos, films, or other forms of original content, hold exclusive rights to their creations.

When someone uses this material without permission, it raises crucial questions about copyright infringement and its consequences.

This article focuses on What is Copyright Strike.

What is Copyright Strike on YouTube?

YouTube employs a copyright strike system to handle copyright violations and comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The DMCA serves as the foundation for this system, ensuring YouTube maintains safe harbor protection by addressing copyright infringement claims through a notice and takedown process.

When someone on YouTube is accused of copyright infringement, they may receive a “YouTube copyright strike.”

This triggers a requirement for the user to watch an informational video about copyright rules and answer questions about copyright awareness.

Each copyright strike has a 90-day expiration period.

However, if a user accumulates three copyright strikes within this timeframe, YouTube takes more severe actions.

They terminate the user’s YouTube channel, including any associated channels, remove all videos from the channel, and prevent the user from creating another YouTube channel.

YouTube’s Current Copyright Policy

As expected, YouTube takes copyright infringement seriously. The platform maintains robust guidelines that align with copyright policies in the United States (and likely worldwide).

It explicitly states that:

“Creators should only upload videos that they have made or that they’re authorised to use. Users should not upload videos that they didn’t make or use content in videos that someone else owns without necessary authorisations.”

Causes of Copyright Strikes on YouTube

  1. Disputes Over Fair Use: Copyright strikes sometimes arise due to disagreements over what qualifies as fair use. Fair use is a legal concept that permits limited use of copyrighted content, typically for purposes like discussion or criticism. Some YouTube content creators have faced copyright strikes even when they believe they are using copyrighted material within the bounds of fair use.
  2. Criticism Suppression: Creators of YouTube videos that criticise corporate items have claimed to get copyright violations. They argue that copyright claims have been used strategically to stifle criticism.
  3. Strikes for Uploading Own Work: Surprisingly, copyright strikes have been issued against original creators for uploading their own content. For instance, Miracle of Sound’s channel experienced multiple copyright strikes because of automated claims by the distributor of their own music.
  4. Strikes for Works in the Public Domain: In a related incident, Sony issued an automated copyright strike against James Rhodes for sharing a video on Facebook in which he played a part in a composition by Bach. Sony claimed ownership of a similar recording initially before acknowledging that Bach’s compositions are in the public domain.
  5. Unexplained Strikes: Some YouTube publishers have received strikes without understanding the reasons behind them. This confusion may be linked to the fact that a significant portion of DMCA takedown notices are sent to random URLs, often without valid copyright claims, potentially as part of malicious efforts to harm competitors.

These instances highlight the complexity and occasional misuse of copyright enforcement on YouTube.

How YouTube Issues Copyright Strikes?

When a content rights holder asks YouTube to legally remove a video that was uploaded using their photos, audio, or video clips without their consent, a copyright strike is issued.

It’s essential to distinguish between a strike and a claim, as they are significantly different.

Copyright strikes occur through a manual procedure when a copyright holder submits a request under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) for a takedown.

To initiate this request, the owner must provide YouTube with specific information, including:

  1. The contact details of the rights holder.
  2. A comprehensive description of the creative material they intend to protect.
  3. A sworn statement affirming their good faith belief that the material (such as a video clip, GIF, image, etc.) has been used without explicit permission.

After receiving a DMCA takedown notice, YouTube is required to take down the offending video from the uploader’s account.

After being notified, the creator can choose to either submit a counter-notice or accept the decision to take down the content.

Impacts of Getting a Copyright Strike

We all make mistakes from time to time. When you receive a copyright strike, consider it a warning.

When you receive your first copyright strike, you will need to complete Copyright School.

This program is designed to help creators understand copyright and how it works on YouTube.

Keep in mind that the strikes can have an impact on your ability to earn money from your videos. Additionally, if one of your live streams is taken down due to a copyright issue, you won’t be able to livestream for 7 days.

Now, if you happen to accumulate 3 copyright strikes:

  1. Your account, along with any linked channels, could potentially be terminated.
  2. All the videos you’ve uploaded will be removed.
  3. You won’t be able to create new channels.

3 YouTube Copyright Strikes: Know What They Mean

Here’s what happens with each type of copyright strike:

First Strike:

If you receive your first copyright strike, you won’t be able to upload or create new content for one week.

Additionally, there will be other penalties applied.

Your full privileges will be reinstated following the one-week period. However, the strike will still be visible on your account for 90 days.

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Second Strike:

If you receive a second strike within a 90-day timeframe, you will be unable to publish any content for a duration of two weeks.

However, if you don’t encounter any further issues during this time, your privileges will be automatically fully restored.

Third Strike:

If you get a third strike in 90 days, your channel will be deleted from YouTube forever.

This is a serious consequence that can be devastating for YouTube creators.

Copyright infringement is a serious matter, and it’s crucial to address any copyright claims promptly to ensure compliance with copyright law and respect for copyright holders.

How Can I Obtain Information About the Strike?

To access information about your strike, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. On the left-hand menu, click on “Content.”
  3. In the filter bar, select “Copyright.”
  4. Hover your cursor over the “Copyright” entry in the Restrictions column.
  5. Click on “SEE DETAILS.”

Courtesy Period for YouTube Partners

If you’re part of the YouTube Partner Program, you’re entitled to a 7-day courtesy period.

After receiving three copyright strikes, you’ll have an additional 7 days to take action before your channel is deactivated.

During this period:

  • Your existing copyright strikes won’t expire.
  • You won’t be able to upload new videos.
  • Your channel will remain accessible, allowing you to work on resolving the strikes.
  • If you submit a counter notification, your channel won’t be disabled while the counter notification is being addressed.
  • If the counter notification is resolved in your favor or the claim is withdrawn, your channel won’t face any negative impact.

What are the Steps to Resolve a Copyright Strike?

To resolve a copyright strike, you have three options:

  1. Wait for it to expire: Strikes naturally expire after 90 days. If it’s your first strike, you’ll also need to complete Copyright School during this period.
  2. Obtain a retraction: Have a conversation with the person who accused your video of copyright infringement and request them to withdraw their accusation.
  3. Submit a counter-notification: If you believe your video clip was removed in error or falls under fair use, you can submit a counter-notification to challenge the takedown.

How to Handle a Strike or Copyright Claim That You Receive?

This is an important question that deserves careful attention.

Even if you receive only a warning, it’s crucial to take these strikes seriously because YouTube rarely reverses account removals.

According to YouTube’s support page, if you do receive a strike, they recommend the following actions:

  1. Familiarise Yourself with Community Guidelines: Ensure that your content aligns with YouTube’s Community Guidelines to avoid policy violations.
  2. Dispute a Strike: If you believe your channel received a strike in error, you have the option to appeal the decision. You can initiate the appeal process here.

It’s your responsibility to ensure that your entire channel consistently adheres to the community rules and guidelines, particularly when it comes to observing best practices for copyrighted content.

This way, you can maintain your account’s good standing.

Claims vs. Strikes

When someone asserts a copyright claim, they are alleging that you have utilised their audio, visual, or other material, such as a video snippet.

However, a copyright strike is considerably more severe for a YouTube creator, and if you repeatedly commit copyright violations, your channel may face suspension.

Navigating Copyright Strikes: Protecting Your Content in Online Video Sharing

In the vast landscape of online video sharing, where individual creators passionately craft content for a global audience, copyright strikes represent a critical facet of ensuring the integrity of intellectual property.

By delving into the basics of copyright strikes and comprehending the importance of proper permission from copyright holders, content creators can navigate this intricate terrain with confidence.

As we’ve explored the stringent guidelines and potential legal issues surrounding allegations of copyright infringement, one thing is evident: the rights holder’s interest in safeguarding their creative work is paramount.

When a copyright takedown notice is issued, and an active copyright strike looms, channel owners must take these matters seriously.

While popular video-sharing platforms like YouTube have implemented robust measures to address reports of copyright violations, individual creators must maintain a vigilant adherence to copyright law.

This entails understanding the nuances of using music with copyrights or incorporating copyrighted music clips into their videos.

Conclusion

In the end, recognising that a single copyright infringement strike can have far-reaching consequences for an individual video or even an entire channel, creators are encouraged to prioritise respect for intellectual property rights.

By doing so, they not only steer clear of potential legal action but also contribute to a thriving online community that respects the creative works of all.

FAQs

What happens if you get 3 copyright strikes on YouTube?

If you accumulate 3 copyright strikes within 90 days, your YouTube channel may be permanently terminated, and all associated content will be removed.

How many copyright strikes can you get on YouTube?

You can receive multiple copyright strikes on YouTube, but the consequences become more severe with each strike.

How do you get a copyright strike on YouTube?

You can receive a copyright strike on YouTube when a rights holder reports that you’ve used their copyrighted material without proper authorisation in your videos.

What is a copyright strike on YouTube?

A copyright strike on YouTube is a formal notification from a rights holder, claiming copyright infringement in a video. It can lead to penalties and video removal.

How do YouTube copyright strikes work?

When a rights holder files a copyright takedown notice, YouTube may issue a copyright strike on your video.

You can appeal, but if you accumulate multiple strikes, your channel faces penalties, including termination.

What if I get a copyright strike on YouTube?

If you receive a copyright strike, you should address it promptly. You can appeal if you believe it’s in error, or take steps to avoid future strikes by respecting copyright laws and permissions

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