Music can enhance the video content of any YouTuber by elevating the production quality, but unauthorized use of copyrighted music may result in copyright lawsuits and even the removal of content.

Avoiding copyright claims requires obtaining the correct legal permissions, and is not as simple as just crediting the artist. We'll talk about the process of utilizing music legally to avoid copyright claims on YouTube in this article.

What is Music Copyright Infringement?

Music copyright infringement occurs when someone uses music that is copyrighted without the owner's legal authorization. The legal notion of copyright gives the creator of an original work (such as music) the sole authority to manage its use and distribution. This means that the only people who can duplicate, distribute, or present the work publicly are the copyright owners. If you use copyrighted content without the owner's consent or a license from them, you are engaging in copyright infringement. In music, this can include reproducing, distributing, performing, or displaying a song or sound recording without legal permission.

If a copyright owner's exclusive rights are violated, there may be legal implications, including a notification of a copyright claim or takedown notice, a possible court case for damages, and the removal of the offending content from the platform. Therefore, to prevent any potential legal complications, it’s crucial for YouTubers to understand the fundamentals of copyright law and how to legally seek the necessary permissions or licenses to use copyrighted music.

Why Does YouTube Copyright Music?

The majority of music created is copyrighted to protect artists and the other creatives who are involved in the music-making process. In order to safeguard copyright holders and make sure they are fairly compensated for the use of their music, YouTube copyrights music. YouTube upholds copyright law through a system called Content ID. When you upload a YouTube video, the Content ID system checks it to see if it contains any music that is copyrighted and could be used without authorization.

Overall, YouTube copyrights music to protect the rights of copyright owners, prevent infringement, and ensure that its platform is used legally and responsibly.

YouTube’s Copyright Policies

Let's examine YouTube's copyright policies in more detail now that we know why the video sharing platform is strict about upholding copyright law. YouTube’s Content ID technology flags the uploaded video and notifies the copyright holder if it finds any music or audio that is being used without legal permission.

A copyright owner has several alternatives after receiving a notification. They have the option to monetize it, mute the music, or prohibit the video. Any ad revenue earned will go to the copyright holders if they choose to monetize the video rather than the YouTuber who uploaded the video.

However, Content ID doesn’t know if you have the legal permissions to use the copyrighted song in your video. Thankfully, a copyright claim notification only lets you know that you are using copyrighted material, and doesn’t mean that you will face any repercussions. If you have obtained permission from the copyright holders to use the tracks in your YouTube video, you can dispute a Content ID claim and the copyright owner can release the claim, allowing your uploaded content to be viewed as usual.

If you don’t have the correct legal approval from the copyright holders, they decide to take action against your video, and YouTube determines it to be valid, you will receive a copyright strike. As a result of your first copyright violation, you may not be able to monetize your videos for 90 days and be required to learn about copyright and how YouTube enforces copyright law.

Once you receive three copyright strikes, it’s possible for you to face serious repercussions such as,

  • Account termination.
  • Deletion of videos uploaded to your YouTube channel.
  • Prevention of creating new channels.

Even if you remove the video, your account will still be subject to the copyright strike. There are several ways to get rid of copyright strikes:

  • Wait through the 90-day copyright strike validity term.
  • Request that the copyright holder withdraw their request for copyright removal.
  • Submit a counter notification to refute the claim.

Track Club can help you avoid the complications of music licensing and YouTube’s copyright policy with the easy-to-use TrackID that takes care of any Content ID claims you might get on YouTube, automatically. Learn more about how to prevent copyright claims with TrackID here.

How to Avoid Copyright Claims on YouTube

To avoid copyright claims on YouTube and continue providing quality content to your audience, you must abide by the following YouTube rules:

  • Using only music that you own the rights to, such as original music or music in the public domain.
  • Obtaining the required permits from artists or record labels to utilize music that is protected by copyright.
  • Observing the rules of the YouTube community.

Using music that you have the rights to use is by far the safest strategy to fend off copyright claims on YouTube. This can be music that you have obtained the appropriate licenses for, music that is in the public domain, or music that you have written yourself.

How to Use Copyrighted Music on YouTube Legally

If you do want to use music that has a copyright, you must acquire the required licenses and permissions if you wish to use music that is protected by copyright, legally. We’ve created a detailed guide walking you through how you can license music for YouTube and why it’s essential, here.

Here are a few of the most typical legal methods for using copyrighted music on YouTube:

  • Get a License or Permit from the Copyright Owner: Getting a license or permission from the copyright owner is one of the simplest ways to lawfully use copyrighted music on YouTube. You can do this by getting in touch with the copyright holder directly.
  • Utilize Creative Commons music: Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that offers licensing options so that authors can share their work with others while still protecting their intellectual property. The rules and restrictions of a Creative Commons license specify how the work may be used.
  • Use Public Domain Music: Public domain music is not covered by copyright, thus it may be utilized without restriction or a license. Music enters the Public Domain when all possible copyright protection has expired.

Track Club, a music licensing subscription service, offers a meticulously curated small-batch catalog of unique, high-quality music for brands and creators. Our app features 100% customizable songs, many of which are produced in-house and go through multiple revisions to ensure the highest quality.

Track Club gives YouTubers access to quality music at an affordable subscription price. Subscriptions start at just $12 a month. Or, try it out for free using Test Drive!

Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Avoid YouTube Music Copyright Claims

Even after taking the proper safeguards, copyright claims might still be made against content authors. Here are some typical errors to avoid:

  • Assuming that YouTube use is authorized by a license. Not all licenses permit the usage of YouTube. Make sure to carefully read the license and confirm that it can be used for the purposes of your video.
  • Crediting the song’s artist in the description. Even if you credit the owner, you still don’t have permission from the original owner to use the song.
  • Speeding up or slowing down a song to try to bypass Content ID. Distorting the song not only potentially lowers the quality, but YouTube is constantly updating Content ID to identify music that has been warped.
  • Only playing a short portion of the song. Even a few seconds of copyrighted music can be identified by Content ID. Plus, it’s much better to use more than just a few seconds of a song to create a quality viewing experience for your audience.

Wrap Up

Copyright disputes on YouTube can be a pain for content creators. By becoming aware of YouTube’s copyright policy and taking the required safeguards, you can effectively prevent copyright issues on your YouTube channel.

A Track Club subscription makes the music licensing process more efficient and cost-effective by granting unlimited sync music licenses for songs in the Track Club catalog, without needing to negotiate with the rights holders. Track Club takes care of everything from music selection to abiding by YouTube’s copyright policies, so you can continue putting out high-quality videos.