Ever wondered why some videos on YouTube get SME copyright claims?

We’re talking about what SME copyright on YouTube – basically, when big music companies say, “Hey, that music is ours!”

But don’t worry, we’re going to figure out what this means and how it affects cool content creators like you.

From music battles to protecting your money, let’s explore what is SME copyright on YouTube all about in a way that’s easy to understand.

What is SME on YouTube?

SME is an acronym for Sony Music Entertainment. It represents a prominent record label company in the music industry that holds rights to an extensive library of music tracks.

Within YouTube, SME takes on a specific connotation.

It is often used to denote videos or channels that have undergone copyright claims or content ownership assertions by Sony Music Entertainment.

Consequently, the original uploader of the video may lose monetisation control, with the content instead being monetised by the record label.

How to Access SME-Blocked Videos on YouTube

Encountering videos that are blocked due to SME claims can be frustrating, particularly when you’re eager to watch the content.

Fortunately, there are several effective methods to bypass these restrictions and enjoy the content you desire:

1. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

A VPN, or virtual private network, serves as a robust tool to mask your IP address and change your online location.

By connecting to a server in a different region, you can circumvent geo-restrictions and access SME-blocked videos as if you were in a different country.

2. Proxies

Proxies function as intermediaries between your device and the internet.

They enable you to route your connection through servers in different locations, allowing you to access blocked content by masking your actual location.

3. Smart DNS

Smart DNS is a technology that enables you to bypass regional restrictions without altering your IP address.

It works by redirecting specific DNS queries, granting you access to content that might be restricted in your region.

4. Download YouTube Videos

If accessing SME-blocked content directly on YouTube proves challenging, you can consider downloading the videos using third-party tools or websites.

This way, you can watch the content offline without encountering restrictions.

5. Use Tor to Unblock Videos

The Tor browser is known for its privacy-focused features, but it can also help you unblock restricted content.

By routing your connection through a network of volunteer-operated servers, Tor can grant you access to SME-blocked videos.

6. Leverage Google Translate

Surprisingly, Google Translate can serve as a workaround to access blocked content.

By translating the URL of the blocked video into a different language, you might be able to access the content without any hindrance.

Why SME Copyright a YouTube Video?

There are a few reasons why a company like SME might claim copyright on one of your YouTube videos.

One significant reason is if you have incorporated their music into your video.

Another reason Sony Music Entertainment might claim copyright on your video is if you’ve used visual content that they own.

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So, you should check if you’ve used any pictures or videos that belong to them.

Dispute It

If you come across a situation where SME has slapped a copyright claim on your video, and you’re absolutely certain that their claim doesn’t hold up, my recommendation is to stand up and challenge it.

If you opt not to contest the claim, a few things could unfold. One possibility is that SMEs might take down your video if YouTube supports their claim.

Another potential outcome is that SMEs could take away the money you earned from the video both in the past and what you might earn in the future.

However, there’s also the possibility that they could agree to share forthcoming profits from the video if YouTube concludes that you’ve used their content without the necessary permissions.

Should your challenge emerge victorious, not only can you retain the video on your channel, but you also won’t have to fork over any of the earnings it pulls in.

It’s worth noting that even if Sony Music Entertainment doesn’t truly own the music featured in your video, you could still find yourself on the losing end of a copyright challenge. In such a case, get ready to navigate through a somewhat intricate process.

How to Challenge the Claim?

If you’re all set to challenge the claim, here’s how you can go about it: Begin by heading into YouTube Studio.

Once there, locate and click on the “Content” section situated on the left-hand side. Now, pick out the specific video that’s caught up in the claim.

Once you’ve done that, tap on “Review Issue.” From there, select the claim that’s relevant to your case, and then hit the “Dispute” option.

Bear in mind that the process of resolving this dispute isn’t instantaneous; it can take around 30 days to reach a conclusion.

During this period, it’s important to maintain patience while the matter gets sorted out.

Check for Copyrighted Music in Your Video

If this is the first instance where your video has been hit with a copyright claim, and you’re unsure about the reason, it’s a good idea to examine the music used in the video under question.

Typically, when a company like SME claims a video, it’s because you’ve used music that they own.

However, since numerous users who haven’t used music are also facing these claims on videos, many of them might actually be false content claims.

To determine the copyright status of the music in your video, you can use a copyright checker tool called Eproves.

This tool can inform you if the music belongs to someone else and even help you find a version that’s free from copyright restrictions.

Fortunately, the internet offers libraries where you can find music that’s free from copyright claims, so you can steer clear of issues like SMEs asserting copyright on your video.

YouTube itself provides access to such libraries, making it quite convenient for you to find suitable music without much hassle.

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Taking Down the Copyright-Claimed Video

In the event that you discover that the music you’ve used in your video indeed belongs to Sony, it’s advisable to consider removing the video from your channel if it’s feasible.

This step is taken to prevent the situation from escalating further and causing potential complications.

By promptly taking down the video that’s subject to a copyright claim, you demonstrate your willingness to respect copyright ownership and avoid any potential disputes.

This proactive approach can help maintain a positive standing with both content creators and copyright owners in the online community.

While it might be disappointing to remove a video you’ve put effort into creating, prioritising compliance with copyright laws can safeguard your channel’s integrity and prevent any potential long-term consequences.

Additionally, this action can also serve as a valuable learning experience, encouraging you to be more cautious about the content you use in your videos moving forward.

Get in Touch with YouTube Support

If you find yourself amidst an ongoing dispute with a claim, or if SME keeps asserting copyright over your videos, it’s a wise step to reach out to YouTube support for assistance and clarification.

YouTube support is the sole entity capable of providing you with an accurate and comprehensive explanation for the claims being made against your videos.

Engaging with their support can shed light on the situation and help you navigate the intricacies of copyright-related matters more effectively.

Keep in mind that obtaining a response from the support team might take a bit of time due to the volume of inquiries they receive.

While waiting for their response, exploring the YouTube support forums can also offer valuable insights and potential solutions from fellow content creators who might have faced similar challenges.

To initiate contact with YouTube support, follow these steps:

  • Visit YouTube.com and click on your profile picture.
  • From there, access the “Help & Feedback” section.
  • Within the “Need More Help?” section, choose “Contact Us.”

It’s important to note that being a part of the YouTube Partner Program is a requirement for accessing this avenue of support.

For those who are not part of the Partner Program, an alternative approach is available:

Click on your profile picture and select the “Send Feedback” option. Here, you can submit a detailed report describing the issue you’re facing.

When doing so, be sure to specify that Sony Entertainment Enterprise is the party making the claim.

Utilising YouTube’s support resources demonstrates your commitment to resolving copyright infringement conflicts while maintaining a constructive relationship with the platform.


In the realm of YouTube, SME’s copyright claims hold significant implications for content producers.

Understanding the concerns surrounding content ownership, popular music copyrights, and potential copyright strikes is crucial.

Utilising online copyright checkers and directly contacting YouTube support can assist in addressing issues efficiently.

Content creators should navigate copyright complexities to ensure compliance and safeguard intellectual property rights.

A proactive approach, like disputing claims with the support of direct access to YouTube’s assistance, safeguards original content and future revenue, benefiting both creators and copyright holders.

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This fosters a balanced environment where revenue flows to music creators and content producers maintain copyright-compliant YouTube channels.


What does SME stand for on YouTube?

SME stands for Sony Music Entertainment, a major record music label that claims rights to a significant music catalog.

What is SME copyright on YouTube?

SME copyright refers to Sony Music Entertainment’s ownership claims over content, particularly sound recordings and music, uploaded by users on YouTube.

Can I monetise my music video if it’s claimed by SME?

No, when SMEs claim a video, they typically control the monetisation, and the original uploader might lose that privilege.

Are there legal implications for bypassing content restrictions?

While using VPNs and proxies is generally legal, ensure you’re not infringing on any terms of service or copyright regulations.

Why does SME copyright videos?

SME copyright claims are usually made when users include music or sound recordings owned by Sony in their videos. This protects the intellectual property rights of the copyright owner.

What’s the risk of SME copyright claims?

Receiving SME copyright claims could result in content removal, strikes on your channel, or shared revenue with the copyright holder. Multiple copyright strikes could lead to channel suspension.

Can SME claim copyright even for original content?

SME might claim copyright mistakenly on original content. It’s essential to assert your rights and dispute such claims, using proof of ownership.

How can I check if my music is copyrighted?

You can use online copyright checkers like Eproves to determine if the music in your video is copyrighted. This helps you avoid copyright-related issues.

Can SME copyright claims affect my future revenue?

Yes, copyright claims might impact your video’s revenue. You might have to share the revenue with SME if the claim is upheld.

Can using popular music lead to copyright claims?

Yes, using popular songs increases the likelihood of copyright claims, as the music is often owned by major labels like SMEs.

How do SME copyright claims impact music creators?

SME copyright claims allow music creators to receive decent revenue from videos that use their music, ensuring fair compensation for their work.

Can I prevent SME copyright claims on my YouTube channel?

While you can’t entirely prevent claims, using copyright-free music and understanding fair use guidelines can minimise the risk of copyright strikes and claims.

What’s the role of content producers in SME copyright issues?

Content producers should be aware of copyright laws, use licensed music, and promptly address copyright claims to maintain a compliant and successful YouTube channel.