Frequently Asked Copyright Questions
Why did YouTube ask for more information regarding my copyright notification or counter notification?
Copyright submissions are formal, legal requests that require specific elements in order to be complete and actionable.
When we receive an incomplete or invalid copyright request -- be it an infringement notification or a counter notification -- we respond with information that will help the sender complete their request.
If you received a response like this following your submission of a copyright request, it is important to review it carefully and respond accordingly. In most cases, we won’t be able to take action on your request until you do so.
I have permission to use this content. Why was it removed?
If you have cleared the rights to use certain copyright-protected material in your video, you may want to alert the original content owner of your video's title and URL on YouTube, to avoid a mistaken removal.
Before you issue a dispute, you may want to ask yourself a few questions to make sure it’s a valid dispute:
- Are you the copyright owner of the material in your video?
- Do you have permission to all third-party material in your video from the appropriate copyright owner(s)?
- Should your use of copyrighted material be considered a fair use or fair dealing under the applicable copyright law?
If one of the conditions above applies to your video, you may want to research the most appropriate dispute process or consult an attorney. If not, you may be in violation of copyright laws.
How do I get permission to use someone else's song, images or footage in my video?
If you plan to include copyright-protected material in your video, you will need to seek permission to do so first. YouTube cannot grant you these rights and we are unable assist you in finding and contacting the parties who may be able to grant them to you. This is something you’ll have to research and handle on your own or with the assistance of a lawyer.
YouTube cannot grant you the rights to use content that has already been uploaded to the site. If you wish to use someone else’s YouTube video, you may want to reach out to them via our messaging feature.
Why was my video was removed, but similar ones weren't?
When a copyright holder or their authorized representative notifies us of a YouTube video that infringes their copyright, we remove the content promptly.
Keep in mind, sometimes a copyright owner will authorize some, but not all, of their works to appear on our site. Other times, very similar videos are owned by different copyright owners, and one may grant permission while another does not. If there are additional videos on the site that appear similar to the one(s) we've removed, we are either not aware of them or do not have reason to believe they are infringing.
I purchased or recorded the content myself. Why was it removed?
Just because you purchased content doesn't mean that you own the rights to upload it to YouTube. Even if you give the copyright owner credit, posting videos that include content you purchased may still violate copyright law.
Additionally, recording a television show, video game, concert or other performance with your phone, camera or microphone doesn't mean that you own all rights to upload it to YouTube. This is true even if the event or show you recorded was open to the public. For example, recording a concert of your favorite band does not necessarily give you the right to reproduce and distribute the video without permission from the appropriate rights owners.
Why was my cover song removed?
Recording a cover version of your favorite song does not necessarily give you the rights to upload that recording to YouTube. You may need permission from the owner of the underlying music in order to upload the recording legally.
I need to request the removal of an entire channel. Can I do that?
No, you cannot. You are required to identify any allegedly infringing content by its video URL.
Below are instructions on how to obtain a video URL:
- Find the video in question on YouTube
- In the address bar at the top, you will see the video URL. It should look like this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxxxxxxxxxx
I got a notice saying my video was matched but not removed. Why was it later removed?
We provide content owners with the ability to control the use of their content on YouTube. Because content owners have the right to change their mind about how their content is displayed on our site, it's possible that content that was once allowed is now blocked. Also, it is possible that multiple parties hold rights to different components (e.g. audio, video) of a copyright-protected work. While one owner may allow the use of their material on YouTube, another may decide to forbid use.
If I’ve already submitted a copyright complaint to YouTube, why do I have to provide all my information each time I have another request?
In accordance with copyright law, we require complete copyright notifications for each removal request.
The easiest way to submit another complaint is to sign into your Google or YouTube account and use our copyright complaint webform.
How do I know who claimed copyright ownership of my video?
If your material is removed for copyright infringement, we’ll notify you with the details of the removal.
If your video was removed but you don’t remember receiving a notification, please check the email address associated with your YouTube account for this notification.
If you’re having trouble finding an email notification from us, try checking your email inbox’s spam folder to make sure it wasn't misfiled. If it was, adding "email@example.com" to your address book may prevent this from happening again.
If you still can't find the email from us, it’s possible that your account is associated with a different email address than the one you are checking. The correct email address will be listed on your YouTube account page.
What are the consequences of copyright infringement?
On YouTube, the consequences of copyright infringement are simple. We comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and other applicable copyright laws. Under these laws, we remove videos when properly notified that they violate copyright.
If we receive a valid infringement notification identifying videos in your account, they will be removed and you will receive a strike. If you receive three strikes, your YouTube account will be terminated. At time of termination, all your other videos will be removed and you will be permanently blocked from creating new accounts or accessing YouTube's community features in the future.
In addition, copyright owners may choose to sue for infringement. In the U.S., copyright infringement may result in statutory damages of up to $150,000 per work and, in some cases, criminal penalties.
What if a video provides passwords or key generators that allow unauthorized access to my copyrighted works?
If a video includes information allowing people to bypass access restrictions to your software, such as passwords, key generators or cracks, the appropriate and most efficient way to notify YouTube of these issues is through our Other Legal Issues form.
I notified YouTube of a video that infringed my copyright and it was removed. But, I just received an email saying it may be reinstated to the site. What is happening?
We have likely received a counter notification regarding your removal request. In accordance with the law, the video will be reinstated unless you submit evidence that you’ve filed a court action against the user seeking to restrain the allegedly infringing activity. If we don't receive that notice from you within 10 days, we may reinstate the material to YouTube.
Where else can I find more information on copyright in countries outside the U.S.?
In European Union countries, the European Commission's website has some helpful information and links.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has a list of international intellectual property and copyright offices where you may find information about copyright laws applicable for your country.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation provides a database of copyright laws around the world.
Disclaimer: We are not your attorneys and the information presented here is not legal advice. We provide it for informational purposes.