/ Youtube Copyright Rules

Youtube Copyright Rules

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Manish Jindal

February 15, 2024


0min read

Youtube Copyright Rules

YouTube copyright rules represent a critical facet of the platform’s operational framework, warranting careful examination by every user, particularly content creators.

This article seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of the intricate and nuanced aspects of YouTube’s copyright regulations.

Our objective is to elucidate the principles of fair use, copyright strikes, and Content ID, among others, thereby equipping readers with the necessary knowledge to avoid inadvertent infringements.

We invite you to engage with this informative piece to better comprehend the legal implications of content creation and distribution on YouTube.

Let us look into the Youtube copyright rules!

What is Copyright in Youtube? – Youtube Copyright Rules

Copyright on YouTube is part of a global, legal framework that protects original works of authorship.

In the context of YouTube, copyright becomes important in several ways. If you upload a video that you’ve created and it’s entirely your original content, you’re the copyright owner.

YouTube has systems in place, such as Content ID and copyright strikes, to identify and manage copyright infringements.

Content ID allows copyright owners to identify and manage their content on YouTube, whereas the copyright strike system is a tool that YouTube uses to enforce copyright laws.

Violation of these laws can lead to serious consequences, ranging from the removal of the infringing content and demonetisation to legal action from the copyright owner.

Understanding copyright is crucial for all YouTube users to ensure the platform remains a fair and creative space for sharing and viewing content.

How Copyright Infringement Can Result in Youtube?

Copyright infringement on YouTube occurs when someone uses, reproduces, displays, or creates derivative works from copyrighted content without the necessary permissions from the original copyright owner.

Similarly, using clips from movies or television shows in your video without permission from the production company or copyright holder would also be infringing upon their copyright.

As such, YouTube has put measures in place to protect copyright holders.

They use a system called Content ID, which automatically scans uploaded videos against a database of files submitted by content owners.

Additionally, copyright owners can manually issue copyright infringement notices, leading to copyright strikes against the uploader’s account.

Receiving multiple strikes can result in penalties, including the termination of the YouTube account.

Remember, exceptions to copyright law, such as fair use, can permit the utilisation of copyrighted materials under specific circumstances.

Fair Use of Copyright India Youtube

Fair use principle allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the copyright owner.

Under Indian copyright law, certain uses of copyrighted works are allowed for specific purposes such as private or personal use, criticism or review, reporting of current events, and in the case of records, the making of records in certain circumstances.

Applying this to YouTube, an Indian content creator could use copyrighted material if the use falls under these exceptions.

For instance, a film reviewer could include short clips from the film in their review, or a news channel might use clips to report on current events.

However, the use must still be ‘fair’ and not unduly harm the interests of the copyright owner.
However, it’s essential to note that YouTube operates globally and follows the U.S. law’s “Fair Use” doctrine in its copyright enforcement measures.

If a copyright owner, particularly from another country, flags your content for copyright infringement, YouTube may still take action even if you believe that your content falls under Indian “Fair Dealing” laws.

How Youtube Copyright System Works?

There are two main components to this system: Content ID and the copyright strike system.

Content ID

This is a system developed by YouTube that scans uploaded videos against a database of files submitted by content owners.

Block the video

The video is not viewable.

Monetize the video

Ads may appear on or alongside the video, with revenue going to the copyright owner.

Track the video

The copyright owner receives statistics about the video’s views.

Copyright Strikes

If a copyright owner identifies a video that they believe infringes their copyright, they can send a legal request (a copyright takedown notice) to YouTube to have the video removed.

When this happens, the video uploader receives a copyright strike.

If a user receives three copyright strikes, their channel is terminated, all their videos are removed, and they are barred from creating new channels.

Strikes expire after 90 days, but to have a strike removed, the user must complete Copyright School, which is an online course that teaches about copyright and YouTube’s policies.


YouTube also offers a mechanism called Copyright Claim, which is slightly different from a strike and usually doesn’t carry punitive measures.

It typically leads to the video being monetized by the copyright owner, not by the video uploader, or the audio track being muted or blocked in certain regions.

It’s also important to note the role of “fair use,” a legal doctrine in U.S.

Whether a use qualifies as fair use depends on a case-by-case evaluation and is determined by the courts.

This is how YouTube’s copyright system works in a nutshell.

It’s designed to help protect the rights of content creators while also providing tools to help content users understand and navigate copyright rules.

What Counts As Copyright on Youtube? – Youtube Copyright Rules

On YouTube, copyright applies to original, creative works that are fixed in a tangible medium. This could include a range of content types such as:

Video Content

If a person creates and films an original video, they own the copyright to that video.

Anyone else who uses part or all of this video without permission could be infringing on this copyright, unless it falls under an exception such as fair use.

Audio Content

This includes music tracks, sound effects, or any other audio material.

Images and Artwork

This could include photographs, illustrations, graphics, or any other forms of visual art.

Written Content

This could include written scripts for videos, on-screen text, and other written content. Using another person’s written content without permission may constitute copyright infringement.

Software and Games

Gameplay and software demonstrations can also be subject to copyright.

Some developers and publishers allow their games to be used on YouTube; others do not.

How Much Copyrighted Video Can I Use?

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There’s a common misconception that there’s a specific amount of copyrighted content (such as a certain number of seconds of a song or a video clip) that can be used without infringing copyright law.

However, this is not true.

In most cases, using copyrighted content without permission is considered copyright infringement, regardless of the length of the content used.

There is an exception known as “fair use,” which is a legal doctrine in U.S. copyright law.

Fair use allows for the use of copyrighted material without permission from the rights holder under certain circumstances.

The purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and the effect of the use on the market for the original copyrighted work are all considered in determining fair use.

However, fair use is subjective and determined on a case-by-case basis.

Even if you think your use of copyrighted material qualifies as fair use, it’s still possible that the copyright owner may disagree and submit a copyright infringement notification to have your content removed.

So, while fair use can allow for some use of copyrighted material, it does not provide a specific amount that’s considered acceptable.

If you plan to use copyrighted content in your video, the safest approach is to obtain explicit permission from the copyright holder, use content that is in the public domain, or use Creative Commons-licensed content.

What is Copyright Issue in Youtube?

A copyright issue on YouTube arises when copyrighted material is used in a video without the necessary permissions or licenses from the copyright holder, or without falling under an exception to copyright law such as fair use.

These issues can have serious implications, including the removal of videos, demonetization, or even legal action from the copyright holder.

Here are some common scenarios of copyright issues on YouTube:

Unauthorised Use of Content

This is the most frequent copyright issue.

It happens when a user includes copyrighted material such as music, film clips, TV clips, sound effects, or even photographs in their video without obtaining the necessary permissions from the copyright holder.

Copyright Strikes

If a copyright owner identifies a video that they believe infringes their copyright, they can send a copyright takedown notice to YouTube.

If the notice is valid, YouTube removes the video and issues a copyright strike to the uploader.

If a channel receives three copyright strikes, it is terminated.

Content ID Claims

YouTube’s Content ID system automatically scans uploaded videos against a database of files that were submitted to YouTube by content owners.

If the Content ID system finds a match, the copyright owner is notified and can decide what action to take, which may include blocking the video, muting audio, or monetizing the video by placing ads on it.

Monetization Issues

If your video contains copyrighted material, you might not be able to monetize it.

This means you won’t be able to earn advertising revenue from the video. Instead, the copyright owner may choose to place ads on your video, and the revenue goes to them.

Disputes Over Fair Use

Sometimes, a user may believe that their use of copyrighted material falls under fair use, while the copyright owner disagrees.

This can lead to copyright strikes or Content ID claims, even if the user believes their use was lawful.

How to Avoid Copyright Violation in Youtube as a Content Creator?

As a content creator on YouTube, it’s essential to understand and respect copyright laws to avoid violations.

Here are some strategies to help you stay on the right side of copyright law:

Create Original Content

The best way to avoid copyright issues is to create 100% original content.

This includes everything from the video footage itself to the music, voice-over, sound effects, and any images or graphics you use.

Use Copyright-Free Material

If creating entirely original content isn’t feasible, consider using copyright-free or royalty-free materials.

Understand Fair Use

Fair use is a legal doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders.

It includes commentary, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, and scholarship.

Seek Permissions

If granted, keep a record of the permission agreement as you may need to provide proof to YouTube.

Take Advantage of YouTube’s Resources

YouTube provides a library of free music and sound effects that creators can use in their videos without worrying about copyright infringement.

It’s called the YouTube Audio Library and it’s a great resource for content creators.

Understand Content ID Claims and Copyright Strikes

If you receive a Content ID claim or a copyright strike, take it seriously.

Understand how these systems work, and respond appropriately.

If you believe your content was wrongly flagged, you can dispute the claim or strike.

Educate Yourself

Copyright laws can be complex and vary by country. Educating yourself about copyright laws is essential to avoid any infringement.


In conclusion, navigating YouTube’s copyright rules can be a complex process, but it’s a critical aspect of content creation on the platform.

Understanding and respecting these rules not only prevents legal issues and protects your channel from strikes or removal but also upholds the fundamental ethics of creativity.

By honoring originality and securing necessary permissions when needed, or using copyright-free materials, creators can ensure a flourishing, respectful digital environment.

Remember, the core of YouTube’s copyright rules is to promote creative freedom while protecting the rights of content owners.

With careful navigation and respect for others’ work, the possibilities for content creation on YouTube are limitless.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I use copyrighted music on YouTube?

If you use copyrighted music on YouTube without proper licensing or permission, your video could receive a Content ID claim or a copyright strike.

This can result in the video being blocked or removed, the audio being muted, ads being placed on your video with revenue going to the copyright owner, or in serious cases, your channel may even be terminated.

Can I use copyrighted material under fair use on YouTube?

Yes, fair use is a legal doctrine that allows the use of copyrighted material without permission under specific circumstances, such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.

If you believe your use qualifies as fair use, it may be best to consult with a legal advisor.

How does YouTube’s Content ID system work?

YouTube’s Content ID is an automated system that scans uploaded videos against a database of files submitted by content owners.

How can I dispute a Content ID claim?

If you receive a Content ID claim and believe it’s mistaken (for instance, you have the necessary permissions or your use qualifies as fair use), you can dispute it directly on YouTube.

When you dispute a Content ID claim, the copyright owner will be notified and will have 30 days to respond.

They can either release the claim, uphold the claim, or if they don’t respond, the claim will be released automatically after 30 days.

Can I use a few seconds of copyrighted content without any issue?

Contrary to popular belief, there’s no specific length of copyrighted content that can be used without potentially infringing copyright law.

Even a few seconds of copyrighted content can lead to a Content ID claim or copyright strike.

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