YouTube modifies its protocol for copyright claims – possible shutdown of many channels in the future

YouTube is making changes on how it handles copyright claims to provide the video creators with a better ecosystem to work on. However, the company warns that the changes will ultimately result in more blockages of videos.

In the past, creators on YouTube have faced constant challenges with record labels claiming copyright content on the music that sometimes appears (often unintentionally) in the background of their videos. For example, from a radio of a passing car. After the implementation of the new rule, the copyright holders can continue to address claims on the videos. However, they cannot monetize from these claims.

YouTube explains that from now onwards when a music label files a manual claim for a ‘very short video’ that is momentarily part of the actual video – they will no longer earn money from the ads placed on the video. Instead, they can choose to either leave the video as it is or block the video entirely. The new rules will apply solely to audio copyright claims and not video content.

According to the official blog post by YouTube, the move is not a perfect solution but the company hopes that since record labels will not be able to make money from the accidental clips, they will rather choose to leave the creators alone.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee and the video-streaming company admits that this can revoke and record labels could choose to block the video entirely.

YouTube claims that they have noticed an increase in the number of manually filed copyright claims on small clips in the past few months. The company also observed several big and small YouTubers losing money from these disputes.


The company’s new policy aims to stop these situations to safeguard the creators.

However, besides the potential blocking of videos, there are other factors for this policy that requires consideration. For starters, the policy applies only to the ‘manual’ copyright claims when the record label identifies their music and reports it to YouTube. On the other hand, if any music content is flagged by YouTube’s Content ID system, the rights holder will still be able to make money from the video – regardless of how brief the music is.

Additionally, the content creators at YouTube have no say in the process even if they feel that they have been wrongly claimed under the new policy. In short, they will no longer be able to dispute the claims made on their videos.


Photo: Dado Ruvic / Reuters

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