Solution To Youtube’s Copyright Problem

YouTube has a problem.  Their Content-ID system makes it possible for practically anyone to claim copyrighted material and earn money by having advertising run on the claimed videos.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree wholeheartedly that those who own the rights to content have the right to protect those rights.  They’ve got every right in the world to make claims on YouTube videos that use their content without permission.

There are a lot of people, myself included, who make videos that use only royalty free creative commons licensed music.  Yet the music in these videos is all too frequently claimed by organizations that do not own the rights to that music.

This has a particularly bad effect on YouTube partners.  People who spend a lot of time making videos and fully expect to be able to monetize them.  These people make it a point to only use music that they have rights to use.

Part of the problem is that the Content-ID system is flawed.  There are entirely too many false positives.  Music, video segments, and sometimes sound effects or background noise, are identified as being some copyrighted content.

Another part of the problem is that virtually anyone can arrange to have music and video content automatically claimed even though they do not own the rights to it.  This represents a loss of income to YouTube partners like myself because when a copyright claim is made on a video the partner cannot monetize it until that claim is successfully disputed.

This is particularly bad because for most videos, 90% or more of the views that it will ever have normally happen within 48 hours of it being uploaded.  Being able to monetize it a few days or even as much as 30 days later means the partner has lost whatever money they would have earned in that time.

YouTube needs to do two things.

1.  Content-ID needs to become much more accurate than it is now.  False positives need to become exceedingly rare.

2.  Before anyone is permitted to make copyright claims on something, they should be required to prove that they actually own the rights to do so.  Also, when somebody disputes the copyright claim, that dispute needs to be addressed quickly.  Ideally within one day or less.

In addition to that, when a claim is released the advertising earnings that accumulate between the time a claim is made and the claim being released needs to be given to the up-loader so that they don’t lose out on income that, had the system worked right in the first place, they would have been entitled to.

YouTube up-loaders need to do two things.

1.  DON’T USE COPYRIGHTED CONTENT! Make absolutely certain that you have rights to use whatever video and music content that is in your video.  This must include the right to use it for commercial purposes.  The royalty free Creative Commons attribution 3.0 license is best.

2.  When a copyright claim appears on one of your videos and you are CERTAIN that you have the needed rights, DISPUTE THAT CLAIM!! Frequently this will mean including a statement like the following example.

I created this video and own all the rights to it.

The claimed content “bogus claim symphony” is NOT used in this video.
The music used is:
“Motivator” by Kevin MacLeod (

Don’t take bogus copyright claims lying down.  Dispute them.  If you keep track of what content you use and what license applies to it then filing a dispute will only take a minute or two.

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