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Top 3 SECRETS About Copyright Strikes on YouTube

Getting copyright strikes on YouTube can be extremely detrimental to your channel. In fact, three copyright strikes and you’re facing permanent account termination ☠️!

Between flagging content for copyright infringement and trying to avoid flags 🚩 with fair use, the legal intricacies of YouTube copyright are seemingly endless. As a result, there are a plethora of little known secrets to be discovered!

Luckily for you, you don’t have to find these hidden details on your own.

As a social media lawyer, I educate my clients on the ins and outs of YouTube copyright they need to know to keep their channel out of trouble. Check out some of the top secrets YouTubers don’t know about copyright strikes below:

1. Livestream game play is usually breaking copyright law

Did you know, most of those livestream game plays and video game 🕹️ walkthroughs are actually against the law?!

Many people are shocked to discover that posting videos of themselves playing video games on YouTube or other social media platforms without the consent of the publisher is fair game for copyright strikes!

More specifically, live game streaming is “illegal” because most video game developers have NOT ❌ provided written consent  for us to use their art for a different purpose. Considering many YouTubers and Twitch users make money from their streaming, this could be very problematic.

Furthermore, while many game play videos include commentary 💬, instruction, or critique by the player and therefore should qualify as fair use, this is not always the case.

That being said, luckily most video game developers will not file copyright strikes on Youtube for game play videos. Think about it: live game streamers often help developers bring in more fans and sell games!

However, if a developer did want to file a copyright strike for any reason, they would almost always have the legal right to do so.

For example, even after PewDiePie made millions of dollars 💸 for game creators by streaming their video games online, everything changed when he used a racial slur during a livestream in 2017 and faced DMCA takedown notices.

I often advise my clients to take advantage of game developers’ implicit consent until told otherwise. However, it’s always a good idea to be educated on every developers’ terms of use, which can be found on their website, as there may be specific copyrights in place that you are unaware of.

Finally, be sure to keep controversial and especially derogatory hate speech OUT of your game play videos. In fact, let’s keep that dialogue off of YouTube and out of our daily lives as well 🙅‍♂️.

2. YouTube has an audio library full of royalty free music for your fair use enjoyment!

Some people choose to follow the doctrine of fair use by finding royalty free music online. However, most websites require a monthly subscription or payment for access to this music 🎵.

That being said, there is another way.

Did you know that YouTube’s Audio Library provides royalty free music and sound effects – for FREE?!

You can use anything you download from YouTube’s Audio Library legally in any of your YouTube videos. That being said, in order to use the material on any other site, you must contact the original artist and request permission 👌.

Additionally, be sure to check out YouTube’s rules and regulations for using the content. 

For example, one of the most important rules is “You can NOT remix the music without the author’s consent”. While many YouTubers use royalty free music for instructional videos on DJing and remixing 🎚️, you cannot use the YouTube Audio Library for this purpose.

Also note that if you are earning revenue from your video and face a copyright strike, you will be required to provide proper documentation proving the audio is royalty free.

Finally, pay careful attention to the icon next to the content you download, which will determine whether it requires specific attribution in your video description 📝. 

3. You can actually EARN MORE MONEY when your content is stolen

Back in 2007, YouTube created Content IDs to protect YouTubers’ audio and videos from copyright infringement. However, not all YouTube creators are aware of how Content ID works – or that it even exists!

Believe it or not, Content ID can be a great tool not only to protect your content but also to help you earn revenue 💲 if your videos are stolen.

That being said, not all videos are eligible for Content ID, so be sure to check out YouTube’s qualifications.

More specifically, you must own exclusive rights to every part of your video in order for it to qualify. For example, according to YouTube, the following types of videos most often do NOT qualify for Content ID:

  • mashups, “best of”s, compilations, and remixes of existing works

  • video gameplay and trailers

  • recordings of performances

Obviously, any video that uses unlicensed or non-exclusively licensed music or video is also ineligible ⛔.

That being said, assuming you own all copyrights to your video, once it’s uploaded to YouTube, the Content ID system automatically scans and remembers every second of your material. 

Then, if another user uploads a video that includes the same exact content, you will have the choice to either block it or mute certain portions.

That being said, if you leave the stolen content alone, you have the option to benefit from it! More specifically, you can monetize 💰 off of your copyrighted material when it appears in others’ videos by running advertisements against it to earn ad revenue.

In the end, you may determine that the free advertising you’re getting from the stolen content in addition to the new source of income may be worth leaving the stolen content alone 💁‍♂️.