YouTube Copyright Rules and How To Avoid Strikes In 2024

Discover how the YouTube Content ID system works, explore the consequences of copyright infringement, and learn how to enhance the protection and monetization of your YouTube content in the event of infringement.

Temitayo Michael


The copyright universe for YouTube creators can be likened to opening a treasure chest. 

As a YouTube channel owner, understanding the ins and outs of copyright laws, laying claims via Content ID, and protecting your own channel from strikes or termination isn't just a legal necessity; 

it's the key to safeguarding your creatives on the platform. 

In this short article, we'll unravel the complexities of YouTube copyright, and explore how it can empower your creativity on the platform. 

We'll explore the significance of Content ID to your channel revenue, explain the potential consequences of violating copyrights, and outline actionable steps for appealing penalties in the event of copyright violations.

Furthermore, we'll guide you on how to fortify your channel's defenses, offering a comprehensive understanding of the digital landscape you are conquering.

But before we embark on this journey, let's first answer a fundamental question: What is YouTube copyright?

What Is YouTube Copyright?

YouTube copyright refers to the legal protection of original works uploaded to the YouTube platform. 

In most cases, only the copyright owner has the authority to grant permission for the use of their work. 

Various types of works can be copyrighted, including:

  • Audiovisual Works: This category includes TV shows, movies, and online videos.

  • Sound Recordings and Musical Compositions: Musical creations, both in recorded form and as written compositions.

  • Written Works: This includes lectures, articles, books, and musical compositions.

  • Visual Works: Paintings, posters, advertisements, and other visual creations are in this category.

  • Video Games and Computer Software: Copyright protection also extends to video games and the software that powers them.

  • Dramatic Works: This category covers plays, musicals, and even code, 

Which shows the wide spectrum of creative works that are covered by copyright.

Some Key Aspects of The YouTube Copyright Law

Although YouTube itself has no specific copyright laws and is simply following the standard laws that relate to ownership of content in most regions it operates, 

The standard aspects of the YouTube copyright policy include:

1. Copyright ownership: 

The creator of an original work or content holds the copyright unless they have transferred or licensed the rights to someone else.

For example; License transfer occurs when a music artiste works with a record label.

2. Unauthorized use:

Uploading or using copyrighted content without the copyright owner's permission is a violation of YouTube's copyright policy.

3. Copyright claims: 

Copyright owners can directly file copyright claims against content (videos or sounds) they believe infringe their rights. 

These claims can result in various consequences for the uploader, including content removal, strikes against the account/channel of the uploader, and potential legal action.

4. Fair use: 

Certain situations may allow for the use of copyrighted material without permission under the concept of fair use. 

This doctrine considers factors such as the purpose and extent of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, and the effect on the market for the original work.

5. Copyright takedown requests: 

Copyright owners can also send direct takedown requests to YouTube, requesting the removal of content (sounds or videos) they believe infringe their rights. 

These requests must comply with specific legal requirements -listed later in this article- and provide supporting evidence of copyright ownership.

YouTube Copyright Best Practices

Securing permission to use copyrighted material is typically a feasible process. 

A well-articulated request, outlining how the content will be utilized, is often sufficient to obtain permission from the rights holder.

The team at Yoola MCN is skilled at securing permissions & collaboration where required by our creator partners. Reach out to discover more

What’s The Significance Of YouTube Content ID?

YouTube Content ID is a tool designed by YouTube to help people with complex rights management needs, such as musicians and movie creators concerned about piracy. 

It works like a digital fingerprint, allowing those who own the copyrights to certain content to upload their content as a reference. 

Then, when anyone uploads content (video or audio) to YouTube, the Content ID system checks if it matches any of the reference files uploaded by the original owner.

For instance, think of YouTube TVs like Ndani TV

They buy exclusive rights(copyrights) to content made by creators and use Content ID to prevent other channel owners from using it without permission which allows them to offer their viewers on YouTube exclusive content.

When you upload something on YouTube, Content ID checks it against its database. 

If there's a match, the content owner can choose what happens, which can include:

1. Blocking the Video: The original owner can stop the video from being viewed, however, the uploader doesn't get a copyright strike.

2. Monetizing the Video: They can allow the video to stay up on the uploader’s channel and even make money from it by showing ads. 

Sometimes, they share this revenue with the uploader.

3. Track Views: They can also just keep an eye on how many people are watching the video -or taking specific analytical metrics- on the uploader’s channel.

Possible Consequences of Violating YouTube Copyright 

Violating YouTube's copyright policy can come with very serious consequences, including 

1. Strike penalties against the uploader's account and 

2. Multiple strikes (usually 3 strikes )leading to channel termination

Additionally, copyrighted content owners may pursue legal action against anyone who infringes on their content.

How To Avoid A Copyright Strike On My YouTube Channel

Copyright strikes can be a major setback for any YouTube channel, potentially leading to channel termination and loss of all your uploaded content. 

To protect your channel and avoid copyright strikes, it's essential to understand copyright law and adhere to YouTube's policies. 

Here are some key strategies to avoid copyright strikes on your YouTube channel:

1. Make Sure You Create Original Content: 

The safest way to avoid copyright issues is to create your own original content. 

This includes writing your own scripts, composing your own music, and filming your own videos. 

If you do use any copyrighted material, make sure it falls under fair use or you have obtained the necessary permissions from the copyright holder.

2. Use Royalty-Free Music and Sound Effects: 

Many royalty-free music and sound effects libraries, such as the YouTube audio library often offer high-quality audio that you can use in your videos without worrying about copyright claims. 

These libraries typically charge a fee for access to their content.

3. Use Fair Use Transformatively: 

Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows for the use of copyrighted material without permission under certain circumstances. 

For your use to fall under fair use, it must be transformative, meaning it adds a new dimension or meaning to the original work. 

Examples of fair use include adding criticism, commentary, parody, or news reporting.

4. Obtain Licenses for Copyrighted Material: 

If you want to use copyrighted material in your videos, you need to obtain the necessary licenses from the copyright holder. 

This can be done through music licensing services, stock footage websites, or by directly contacting the copyright owner.

Yoola MCN facilitates collaboration among creators. Join us to begin collaborating with more creators in and out of your niche.

5. Cite Sources and Give Credit: 

Even if you believe your use of copyrighted material falls under fair use, it's always good practice to cite your sources and give credit to the original creators. 

This shows respect for their work and can help you avoid disputes.

“Please Note: Using phrases like "No copyright infringement intended," or "All rights belong to the respective owners" on a video does not confer copyright protection.

6. Be Aware of YouTube's Content ID System: 

YouTube's Content ID system automatically scans uploaded videos for copyrighted material. 

If your video is found to contain copyrighted content, the copyright holder may issue a claim, which can result in monetization restrictions or even video removal.

Join Yoola MCN creators to experience zero to no copyright infringement due to the effective channel monitoring system.

7. Respond Promptly to Copyright Claims: 

If you receive a copyright claim on your video, attempt to read through it carefully and respond promptly. 

If you believe the claim is incorrect, you can also file a dispute or get your MCN to handle it on your behalf.

However, if the claim is valid, you may need to remove the copyrighted material or monetize the video under the copyright holder's terms.

8. Seek Legal Advice if Uncertain: 

If you have any doubts about whether your use of copyrighted material is legal, consult with a copyright attorney or an MCN like Yoola

This gives you access to expert guidance and helps you protect your channel.

By following these strategies and working with Yoola MCN on copyright issues, you can minimize the risk of copyright strikes on your YouTube channel and continue creating great content for your audience.

Filing A YouTube Copyright Claim: How To Go About It 

Submitting a copyright removal (or content ID) request is regarded as a legal process,  so If you feel like your copyright-protected content was posted on YouTube without your authorization, 

Here's how to submit a copyright removal request to request that the content be removed. 

Step 1: Prepare Your Request:

Before submitting a request, check if your content falls under any copyright exceptions, like fair use or fair dealing.

Confirm this consideration as you’ll be prompted by YouTube to ensure you checked that thoroughly.

If a copyright exception applies, your removal request may not lead to the content being taken down.

Step 2:  Personal Information:

Understand how your contact information will be used when submitting the request.

Only the copyright owner or an authorized agent should submit the removal request.

Step 3: Timing Consideration:

YouTube suggests scheduling your removal request to take effect within 7 days.

This allows the content uploader a 7-day window to delete the content and helps them prevent having a copyright strike on their channel.

Step 4: Explore Your Submission Options:

The fastest and simplest method is to fill out the copyright claim web form on a computer.

Alternatively, YouTube accepts removal requests via email, fax, and mail.

Remember, the process involves legal considerations, and it's crucial to ensure that you, as the copyright owner or an authorized agent, are the one submitting the request.

If you find the process too complicated. Reach out to the team at Yoola MCN to access professionals skilled in making copyright claims.

How To Appeal A Copyright Strike On My YouTube Channel

1. Dispute the Content ID claim:

If you believe the Content ID claim on your video is incorrect, you can dispute it directly through YouTube. 

This process involves providing evidence to support your claim, such as proof of ownership or permission to use the copyrighted material. 

If your dispute is successful, the claim will be removed from your video.

Join Yoola MCN to access a team particularly skilled at helping to dispute such claims.

2. You Can Initiate A Counter-Notice: 

If a video has been removed from your channel due to a copyright claim, you can file a counter notice to YouTube directly to dispute the claim. 

This may lead to the video being reinstated if YouTube confirms your claim of fair use or if the copyright content owner does not respond to the counter-notice within a specified timeframe.

If you need help appealing a Copyright strike and unfair monetization policy, simply reach out to Yoola MCN professional team to help with the process.


It is obvious that YouTube's copyright policies, including ownership, fair use, and takedown requests, are the guardrails that keep the platform vibrant and fair for all creators. 

By adopting the best practices listed above, understanding how the Content ID system works, knowing that the consequences of copyright violations are not to be taken lightly, and seeking guidance when necessary from MCNs like Yoola, 

YouTube creators can not only protect and monetize their channels appropriately but can also contribute positively to YouTube's creative platform.