Fighting Back Against False Copyright Claims

social media lawyer

Has your YouTube channel been hit 🎯 with a false copyright strike? 

Are you looking to get it back in good 👍 standing? 

Here are four steps to fighting ⚔️ false copyright strikes on YouTube:

1. Don’t ❌ use copyrighted material

Now, I know it may sound intuitive 🤷‍♂️, but avoiding the use of other people’s material in your YouTube videos is a surefire way to put an end to false copyright strikes. 

Instead, you can try using YouTube’s audio 🔈 library, music 🎵 licensing services, or simply obtaining permission from other artists. 

If you ask the original creator of a piece of content you want to use and they agree, you won’t face false copyright strikes.

2. Demand a #retraction

If you used someone else’s content in your YouTube video and received a false copyright strike, then the next step is to demand 🗣️ a retraction from the purported owner of the copyrighted material.

Fortunately, YouTube – and the law – require that anyone who makes a copyright strike on another account lists their name, email 📧 address, physical address 🏠, and phone ☎️ number, so you know who the false striker is. 

Once you’ve collected this information, there are two ✌️ ways to demand a retraction.

First, you can go into the Creator Studio, click “Copyrights” on the left-hand side, and then click “Retraction”. 

A window should pop up with an email to the alleged copyright holder with which you can demand the retraction.

The second option is to use a lawyer. 

Lawyers generally make retraction demands via email or U.S. mail 📮. 

Attorney-managed retraction demands are often taken more seriously, and have a chance of getting false copyright strikes reversed in the first try.

That being said, regardless of which tactic you choose, you need to take an apologetic 🙏 tone in your demand. 

Remember that your goal is not to prove that you’re right and someone else is wrong 🙅, but simply to get that copyright strike off your account.

Therefore, I advise my clients that the first line in any retraction demand should be an apology,  followed by the reason why you used the copyrighted material in the first place. 

Finally, your demand should end with the request that the alleged copyright holder retract their claim using YouTube’s process.

3. The counter #notification process

If you’ve made a retraction demand but did not get results within 7-10 days 🗓️, it might be time for a DMCA counter notification. 

🔑 Note that this step would also be the first step for anyone who DID NOT use copyrighted material in their YouTube video, but still received a strike.

Okay, but what is a DMCA counter notification?

DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and it’s a U.S. 🇺🇸 law that provides for the process on alleged copyright infringement on social media platforms. 

A DMCA counter notice is a legal request to a social media platform – in this case, YouTube 📺 – to reinstate accused content and do away with the copyright strike.

Keep in mind that a DMCA notice is serious business and should only be filed under the following circumstances:

❇️  You included someone else’s content in your video by mistake

❇️ You didn’t include anyone else’s content

❇️ Your use of the copyrighted content was protected by the doctrine of fair use. 

If you received a copyright strike for any other reason, then you need to let it go, take a copyright class 🏫, and let the strike expire on its own in 90 days. 

Here’s why:

Filing a DMCA counter notice requires you to give to the alleged copyright holder your name, email address, physical address, telephone number, and consent to go to #federal #court 🏛️ for a copyright infringement lawsuit. 

Additionally, you have to make your statements 💬 under penalty of perjury. 

…that’s pretty intense 😬.

Plus, once you file the notice, the alleged copyright holder can file a federal lawsuit against you for copyright infringement. 

At worst, this accuser can use your personal information to harass you 😳. 

Therefore, I always advise anyone who has a legit counter notification claim to use a lawyer to manage the counter notice process. A lawyer will represent you and protect 🛡️ your personal information so you don’t put yourself in any kind of danger.

Plus, lawyers like me will complete the entire process for you, from filing 📨 the counter notification to protecting your personal information; we get the burden off your shoulders. 

Whether you file your own DMCA counter notification or use a lawyer, once the notice is filed the alleged copyright holder has 10 days to file a federal lawsuit against you for copyright infringement.

If they do so, and provide YouTube with adequate evidence, YouTube will keep the copyright strike in effect and keep the video down ⬇️. 

However, if 10 days pass and no federal lawsuit is forthcoming, YouTube is required by law to reinstate your video and reverse the copyright strike. 

In this case, you win 🙌.

4. Talk to a lawyer about legal action

If the copyright striker does file a lawsuit, it’s time to speak with a lawyer about taking legal action.

If you’ve been damaged by the false copyright strike – maybe lost AdSense revenue 💸 or business opportunities 🤝 as a result – then I would advise consulting with a lawyer about potentially filing a copyright strike misrepresentation lawsuit.

In Title 17 U.S. Code § 512(f), it reads that if someone lies about you using their material in your video, then you have the right to recover your damages, including your attorney fees 💲, via action in federal court. 

As a content creator, you’re protected under the law, and should not be subject to any false copyright infringement claims without the right to retaliate.