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Navigating YouTube's Copyright Rules: A Guide for Creators [2023] 💥

Navigating YouTube's Copyright Rules: A Guide for Creators

As a global platform for sharing videos, YouTube has established guidelines to ensure the respect and protection of copyright laws. This guide will help creators understand and navigate YouTube's copyright rules, offering tips to avoid copyright infringement and ways to use copyrighted content legally.


Understanding YouTube's Copyright Policies

YouTube adheres strictly to copyright laws, which protect original works like music, videos, and books from unauthorized use. As a creator, it's crucial to understand that any content you didn't create or obtain legal rights to use can potentially lead to copyright infringement. YouTube's copyright policies can be found here.

How YouTube Handles Copyright Infringement

When a copyright owner identifies that their content has been used without permission, they can file a Copyright Infringement Notice. YouTube investigates these claims, and if the platform finds the complaint valid, the video will be removed. If you receive multiple copyright strikes, YouTube may terminate your channel. Understanding these consequences can help prevent inadvertent copyright violations.

YouTube's Copyright Strike System

YouTube uses a "three-strike" system to handle copyright infringement. If a video is removed due to a copyright complaint, the creator receives a strike. Three strikes in 90 days result in the termination of the channel. Strikes expire after 90 days, but you must complete Copyright School, which can be accessed here, during this period. Repeated offenders may face termination regardless of the number of strikes.

How to Use Copyrighted Content Legally

There are legal ways to use copyrighted content in your videos. Here are a few methods:

Get Permission: The safest way to use copyrighted content is by getting explicit permission from the copyright owner. This might be in the form of a license or a written agreement.

Fair Use: Under certain circumstances, you can use copyrighted material without permission, called Fair Use. This generally applies when the content is used for critique, commentary, news reporting, teaching, or research. However, Fair Use can be complex and its interpretation may vary by country. You can learn more about it here.

Use Creative Commons: Creative Commons is a set of licenses that creators use to give others permission to use their work under certain conditions. You can find Creative Commons content through YouTube's library here.

Resolving Copyright Claims

If you receive a copyright claim, there are several steps you can take:

Contact the Claimant: If you believe the claim is a mistake, you can contact the claimant directly and ask them to retract their claim.

Dispute the Claim: If you believe your video was wrongly claimed or falls under Fair Use, you can dispute the claim. YouTube provides a process to do this here.

Remove or Swap the Music: If the claim is because of the music in your video, YouTube’s Audio Library provides free music and sound effects. You can also use YouTube Studio to swap the copyrighted music with a song from the library or to mute the segment of your video containing the claimed music.


Understanding and navigating YouTube's copyright rules is critical for any creator on the platform. Respect for intellectual property is a cornerstone of YouTube's community guidelines. By staying informed and proactive, you can protect your channel from strikes and ensure your content adheres to YouTube's policies.

With a little research and thoughtful keyword selection, you can improve your video's chances of reaching your target audience and achieving YouTube success.

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