Do you know the difference between a copyright strike vs a claim? If you’re creating videos on YouTube or another social platform, you probably should!

Copyright claims and copyright strikes both happen when someone claims that you’ve used their work without permission. It could be a song, an image, or a video clip. However, a copyright strike is much more serious than a copyright claim because your channel can be suspended for repeated offenses.

Here’s what you need to know about a copyright strike vs claim, what to do if you are accused of copyright infringement, and how to avoid these issues altogether.

Copyright law governs intellectual property. It protects original works from the moment they are completed. This includes music, artwork, movies, books, photographs, architectural designs, and much more. Copyright does not protect discoveries, ideas, concepts, or procedures.

For example, you can’t copyright an idea for a song, but you can copyright your song once it has been written or recorded. At that point, your song becomes an original work and you are automatically the copyright owner.

While it’s not necessary to register a copyright, it’s a good idea to do so. This ensures that you have exclusive rights should you even need to prove them in court. To do this, you’ll need to register your work with the US Copyright Office.

A copyright strike is issued when a YouTube creator uploads a video that contains audio or images that they don’t own the rights or a license to. In this case, the copyright holder finds the violation manually and asks YouTube to take the video down. This means the video will no longer be viewable or generate ad revenue for the content creator.

  • Copyright Strikes adversely affect your entire YouTube channel.
  • If proven valid, your video will likely be taken down.
  • If you receive a Copyright Strike, you are no longer eligible to monetize your videos or live stream from your account until the strike expires.
  • If you receive three Copyright Strikes, your entire channel will be terminated and you will be banned from the platform.
  • Copyright Strikes do eventually expire, usually within 90 days

It’s important to know that removing the offending video from YouTube will not remove the strike from your channel. Your best course of action is to sit tight, avoid any more violations, and wait for the strike to expire unless you feel you truly have grounds to file a counterclaim.

Here’s what happens when you receive your first, second, and third copyright strike on YouTube.

  • First Copyright Strike: Your first copyright strike is more or less a warning that YouTube no longer looks at your channel as being in good standing. This will negatively impact your channel by restricting your ability to monetize any videos or do any live streaming.

That being said, YouTube is willing to give creators another chance after their first strike. If you complete YouTube’s Copyright School, the strike will expire after 90 days and your privileges will be reinstated.

  • Second Copyright Strike: If your channel receives a second copyright strike before the first one expires, you will have to wait an additional 90 days for the second strike to expire. Your monetization and livestream privileges will be restricted the entire time.
  • Third Copyright Strike: As you can imagine, the consequences of receiving a third strike before strikes one and two have expired are severe. Your YouTube account will automatically be terminated and your uploaded videos will be removed. You will also be banned from creating any new YouTube channels in the future.

You should also be aware that the consequences of copyright issues don’t always end with YouTube. The copyright holder could also choose to take you to court. If you lose the case, you will likely end up with a considerable fine to pay, as well as legal fees.

A copyright claim happens when content is uploaded by someone who does not own it. A YouTube Copyright Claim is often called a Content ID claim.

The Content ID system is a fully automated management tool that’s used to protect the digital rights of copyright owners. The tool scans all videos uploaded to YouTube and notifies copyright holders if their audio, video, or image files may have been placed in a video without proper permission.

Essential things to know about Content ID/copyright claims include:

  • A Content ID or copyright claim only affects the individual video, it does not negatively affect your entire channel.
  • The rights owner may be able to claim any revenue from your video if you have used their work in your content without permission.
  • The copyright holder will be able to place ads on your video to earn revenue for themselves.
  • The copyright owner can prevent your video from being shown in certain regions or countries.
  • Copyright claims/Content ID claims can be proven false if you can show that you own or have the proper license to use the work that is being claimed.
  • The copyright holder may decide not to take any action at all.
  • Copyright claims only apply to the video that has been flagged, not your entire channel.

How Content ID/Copyright Claims Work on YouTube

YouTube takes copyright infringement very seriously and has strict guidelines that line up with US Copyright Law. Their Content ID detection system is extremely sophisticated. It automatically notifies copyright holders when their work may have been used without permission.

The rights holder can then choose to file a copyright claim or submit a copyright takedown notice, based on whether or not the Fair Use Law applies. It’s also important to note that copyright holders can make a claim manually if the Content ID tool overlooks a potential violation.

Typically, Content ID and Copyright Claims apply to audio, video, and other types of content that qualify as owned media and haven’t been made available for YouTube publication. It applies to songs, music clips, and other copyrighted media.

The rights holder has full control over what action is taken when a Copyright Claim is made. They may request that the video be taken down, or they may allow it to remain and claim all or a portion of the ad revenue.

Copyright or Content ID claims contain tracking that allows the rights holder to restrict views and monetization of the video at their discretion. In other words, they can prevent your video from being shown entirely or just in certain areas.

They can also place ads on your video and claim all or part of the revenue earned. If they choose to take all of the revenue share, you can keep the video up but you won’t generate any income.

The rights holder can also choose to simply keep track of the video’s stats, disable any monetization, and see how the video performs. In this case, they may decide to claim revenue later on if the video is getting a lot of views.

If you are the uploader of a video that receives a copyright claim, there are a few different courses of action you can take.

  1. You can choose to dispute the claim.
  2. You can mute or replace the copyrighted material. Muting or replacing the copyrighted material will remove the copyright claim and allow you to monetize the video again.
  3. You can choose to do nothing and allow the copyright holder to collect any ad revenue.

If you choose to formally dispute the claim, the rights holder has thirty days to respond. If you can provide evidence that you do have the proper permission to use the material, such as a music license, the rights holder will likely release the claim. They may also choose not to respond to the dispute and simply let the claim expire.

If the rights holder feels they have a valid case, they can reject your dispute and uphold the claim. They may also choose to submit a copyright takedown request, which will trigger a copyright strike against your YouTube channel.

While your video is in dispute, any ads revenue or viewing restrictions are put on hold. However, revenue is held in a separate account to be released to the individual who wins the dispute. If there’s no response from the rights holder, the claim is released in 30 days.

If they reject your dispute, you can appeal and present your case, giving the rights holder 30 days to respond. At this point, the rights holder can either release the claim or request that the video is taken down. They can also allow a delayed takedown, giving you seven days to remove the video yourself and avoid a copyright strike.

So what’s the difference between a copyright strike vs a copyright claim? Copyright claims are fully automated by the Content ID program, but copyright strikes are defined by law and activated manually by the rights holder.

Copyright strikes happen when a rights holder asks for the legal removal of your video because you didn’t have permission to use their audio, image, or video content. The process is initiated when the rights owner manually submits a DMCA Takedown Request.

The rights owner will need to provide YouTube with their contact information, a detailed description of what they want to protect, and a sworn statement of good faith that they believe the material is being used without proper permission.

Once a takedown request is submitted and ruled valid, the video will be removed and your channel will receive a copyright strike. At this point, you can either accept the decision or file a counterclaim. If the claim is upheld and the video is still taken down after your counterclaim, the copyright strike will also still apply.

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is maybe. You’ll need to apply for the YouTube Partner Program and see if you’re accepted. Typically, you must be in compliance with YouTube’s Terms of Service, Google’s ad policies, and all copyright and community guidelines to be approved.

If you have copyright claims that have been resolved, you will likely still be approved as long as you’ve adhered to all of their other guidelines. On the other hand, copyright strikes are serious offenses and they may reject your application at their discretion, even after the strikes have expired.

It’s rare for a copyright claim to turn into a strike, but it can happen. If a Copyright ID claim against you is proven valid and you are asked to take the video down, but neglect to do so, it can result in a copyright strike. The best course of action is to take the video down before it gets to this point.

The best way to avoid copyright claims and strikes on your videos is to upload only your original content. You can also use copyrighted music, images, or video clips in your videos, as long as you purchase the proper license. It’s that simple.

Track Club by Marmoset is a small-batch, meticulously- curated music licensing app for content creators. Licensing a song through Track Club gives you the right to use it in your videos without fear of copyright infringement, claims, or strikes. And, if you ever do get a claim, you’ll have the grounds to dispute it and get the claim released.

Wrapping Up

Copyright claims and copyright strikes on YouTube can have serious consequences, but they’re easily avoided. Simply upload only your original work and obtain a proper license for all music you use in your videos. Need a music license? Try Track Club’s music licensing app for free! It’s the only small-batch music catalog that’s 100% customizable.