What to do when YouTube Content ID matching system blocks or mutes your video for using background music.
If you are a video creator and use background music in your YouTube videos, you may have heard about YouTube’s Content ID matching system.
What is YouTube Content ID matching system?
YouTube Content ID matching system was created to prevent the unauthorized use of copyrighted material in YouTube videos. The system allows copyright owners to track and to manage how their content is being used on YouTube.
How YouTube Content ID matching system works?
When you upload a new video to YouTube, the matching system scans your video against a huge database of copyrighted music and video that belongs to the eligible content owners. If something in your video (for instance, the background music) matches a file in that database, YouTube flags your video and applies the policy chosen by the content owner.
Every time you upload a video to YouTube, it gets scanned for copyrighted content
What happens if Content ID system flags your video for using copyrighted background music?
Our good friends at SafeMusicList made this nice and quick explainer video:
If your video gets flagged by the Content ID system, one of the three things may happen:
- Block / Mute. Your video is blocked / sound is muted completely or in certain countries. This is the worst possible outcome, since your video is essentially gone from public view or turned into ‘silent film’. What’s worse, if your video is blocked worldwide this may negatively affect your YouTube account standing and you may lose access to some YouTube features.
- Monetize. YouTube runs ads in your video and sends the advertisement revenue to the content owner. For non-commercial and family videos that may not be a big deal. However, if you are a YouTube partner that means you won’t see any ad money for this video, even if it goes viral. If you are a small business and promoting your products and services on YouTube, your viewers may end up seeing your competitors ads in your own video.
- Track. YouTube grants the content owner access to this video’s viewing statistics. The video remains unaffected.
Which one will happen is hard to tell upfront and depends on the policy (that is, Block, Monetize, or Track) chosen by the copyright owner for his content that’s monitored by YouTube’s Content ID system.
If YouTube finds copyrighted content in your video it will Block, Monetize, or Track it
How to check if your video was flagged?
In the old YouTube video manager you can see if any of your videos have been flagged by the Content ID system by looking under “Copyright Notices” section. In this section you will see all your videos with matched content.
In the new creator studio, you’ll have to scroll through the videos and look for Copyright Claim note under video’s status.
Is it possible to remove all and every claim?
No, there is no guarantee and it’s up to the copyright owner to decide.
Your best insurance against YouTube copyright claims is a formal license that grants you explicit rights to use given music on YouTube
This does not mean you always have to buy the license. Even if someone offers you the music for free – ask for a formal written permission, something that you could forward to YouTube in case you get the claim on your video.
I have the license to use background music in my videos. Why am I still getting the claims?
You may be getting copyright claims on your videos, even if you purchased the license (or otherwise secured the permission) to use copyrighted music on YouTube.
The Content ID system does not know whether you have the license or how much you have paid for it. It merely informs you that it detected some copyrighted content in your video.
Now, if you do have the license and the license explicitly grants you the right to use the music on YouTube, you should be able to easily dispute the copyright claim by either contacting the copyright owner (supposedly the one who provided you with the license) or by following the steps below.
Many YouTubers wrongly assume that royalty free music is copyright free.
Royalty free literally means no royalties for recurring use and, in fact, a great deal of royalty free music is copyrighted and not free. Since it’s copyrighted, you will be getting copyright claims if the owner relies on the Content ID system (or any other digital fingerprinting service) to monitor music usage.
Royalty free music isn’t copyright free and you still may be getting YouTube copyright claims
How to resolve YouTube Content ID third-party match
Did you receive a copyright claim for using my music? Follow these simple instructions
If you did use copyrighted background music without proper permission and your video isn’t blocked, you may simply acknowledge it and move on.
If your video gets blocked because of unlicensed background music, you can erase the song in the video manager.
Alternatively, you can dispute with YouTube that the music in your video qualifies as ‘fair use’. I helped many YouTube partners to make music parodies of popular commercial songs and this approach often works. I wouldn’t recommend it as a sure-fire way of defending against copyright claims, however.
Submitting Content ID dispute, step-by-step
Even if you are using the perfectly legal background music your video still may get flagged by the Content ID system, since many musicians and composers rely on this system to track how their music gets used across YouTube.
Fortunately, as long as you can prove that you have the copyright owner’s permission to legally use the music (like the invoice you received if you ever purchased royalty free music at MikS Music), you can resolve third-party copyright claims fairly easily.
Even if you use 100% legal background music, your video still may get flagged by YouTube
In order to reverse the effect of the third party content match, you need to dispute it. Follow the steps below to submit the dispute to YouTube.
Go to the Videos section and select the video where you want to dispute the claim.
You have a choice – to acknowledge or to dispute the claim. To dispute – click on the Dispute button. If you want to acknowledge the claim, simply do nothing.
Assuming that you legally purchased the license, specify that you have the written permission from the copyright owner to use the music.
Acknowledge that you do have the proper license and want to dispute the claim.
“Licensing” is the most important field and YouTube will base their decision based on the information you provide there. If you purchased the license at a royalty free marketplace, mention the URL of the marketplace and the license / order number if the store provided one.
If you are using the music purchased from MikS Music, you copy and paste the licensing certificate here.
Type your full name to serve as the electronic signature and submit the dispute. Keep in mind that disputes may take few days to get resolved. Hope this helps!
How to Quickly Resolve AdRev For The Third Party Copyright Claims on YouTube (with Infographic)
Do You Think AdRev Is Stealing Your YouTube Monetization Money?
10 Tips For Choosing The Right Background Music For Your Marketing Video
Looking for affordable and YouTube friendly background music for your videos?
Positive and confident royalty free background instrumental music with uplifting and motivational feel for corporate videos and marketing projects.
Positive corporate royalty-free music with assertive and grand feel for an uplifting and motivational corporate video or commercial.
Positive, motivational, and uplifting royalty free background music for corporate and small business videos with inspirational and confident feel featuring the mix of acoustic and electronic sounds.
My top 10 best selling royalty free music tracks
Got a copyright claim for using my music?
If you receive a copyright claim on a video that uses my music, do not dispute if with youTube! It will take a considerable time, while I can remove the claim much quicker. Send me a link to the YouTube video that received the claim along with the order number and I will white-list you video and remove the claim. You can find the order number in the confirmation email you received when you purchased the license.
Need more music?
Check out Safe Music List – a bigger and more diverse royalty free music library for marketing and promotional videos. Many of their music tracks are not registered with AdRev.
Making lots of videos? Get a music subscription!
Have a question?
Post it in the comments!