How to Use a DMCA Counter Notice to Fight Copyright Strikes on YouTube

Copyright strikes ❌ on YouTube are, unfortunately, a common problem for many creators. In fact, it can sometimes take YouTubers one or two strikes just to recognize how they’re violating copyright law!

That being said, not all YouTube copyright strikes are warranted. On the contrary, some YouTubers have been known to report unfounded copyright infringement!

So what do you do if you receive an illegitimate copyright strike on your YouTube channel 🤷‍♂️? Read on to find out.


When another YouTuber files a DMCA takedown notice against your video, YouTube will assess the claim and, if they deem it valid, remove your content.

Then, as soon as you receive notification of your copyright strike, the FIRST ☝️ thing you should do is review the reporter’s claims. 

Sometimes, creators use copyrighted material in a way they believe follows the doctrine of fair use. However, while some people may think using 30 seconds of a song in their video, for example, is acceptable, the original artist may disagree.

Therefore, it’s important to closely examine 🔎 your video and the claim against you. If your use of the copyrighted material is at all questionable, it’s best to leave things alone. 


On the other hand, if the DMCA takedown notice you’ve received is unfounded, you do have a chance to fight 💪 it. For example, if you believe you have totally transformed a piece of content or have a license to use it in a particular way, you should be protected by copyright law.

If you believe you have received a false copyright claim on YouTube, the first step you should take is to try to retract it amicably.

More specifically, upon receiving a copyright violation claim, you will be provided with the reporter’s personal information, including their email address 📧. Therefore, if you believe this claim was falsely filed, you can contact the reporter and request that they retract their claim.

Unfortunately, if the reporter refuses to retract their claim and you are insistent upon reinstating your video, the situation will get a bit more serious. 

In order to continue the fight to keep your content on YouTube, you will have to file a DMCA counter notice.

DMCA counter notices are legal requests 🙏 made in response to false copyright strikes on YouTube.

First, in order to file a counter notice, YouTube will ask you to provide proof ✔️ that your request meets all of the legal requirements. Next, you will have to explain your use of the copyrighted material and why it should remain on the platform.

Furthermore, YouTube provides the following guidelines for users considering a DMCA takedown counter notification:

Before submitting a counter notification, consider the following:

💭 Who owns the content?

💭 If you’ve used someone else’s copyrighted work, can you provide evidence of a license or permission for that content?

💭 Is your use of the content protected by fair use, fair dealing, or a similar exception to copyright?

💭 Is the content in the public domain? (Source: YouTube Help)

YouTube has provided these considerations because DMCA counter notices are serious legal matters that could end poorly if you’re not careful. Therefore, it’s important to be completely sure 👍 that your use of copyrighted material is legal BEFORE filing your response.

Also, before you file your counter notice, it’s important to recognize that doing so will provide the copyright holder with your personal information. If you prefer to keep this information private, you may choose not to fight the takedown.

Finally, and most importantly, note that DMCA counter notices provide the other party the legal right to file a federal lawsuit ⚖️ against you, should they insist that their takedown was legitimate. 


With this information in mind, it’s no wonder I advise my clients to speak with a social media attorney for assistance with any counter notices they plan to file. 

First, retraction requests submitted by an attorney usually receive a more favorable outcome. Plus, if your case goes to court 🏛️, you’re going to want proper legal protection. 

Believe it or not, if a false copyright strike has resulted in loss of AdSense revenue or other types of damages, a social media lawyer can fight to get your money 💰 back!

Ultimately, any YouTuber who utilizes copyrighted material in their videos should hire a social media attorney to ensure complete safety and protection against DMCA takedowns. 

However, at the very least, let a social media lawyer help you decide whether a DMCA counter notice is really worth the risk.