YouTube Changes Music Copyright Claim Policies

(Photo: YouTube)

YouTube announce a revision of its copyright policies involving the manual claiming of videos over short instances of copyrighted music. The video platform’s previous system allowed groups to manually claim a content creator’s video if it contained even a brief clip containing music and then gave them the ability to profit from that video. The new policy still allows these copyright holders the opportunity to claim a video, but they won’t be able to monetize it anymore.

New plans for the manual copyright policies involving music were announced by YouTube on Thursday in a post which outlined what’s changing and why. YouTube said back in April that it would working to improve content creators’ experiences when using the platform, and the latest post makes takes more steps to do so by addressing what YouTube called a “concerning trend.”

“One concerning trend we’ve seen is aggressive manual claiming of very short music clips used in monetized videos,” YouTube’s blog post said. “These claims can feel particularly unfair, as they transfer all revenue from the creator to the claimant, regardless of the amount of music claimed.”

Parts of a video where a clip from a video game is used that features music from that game is just one example of something a copyright holder could manually claim to monetize the video. To avoid that, the content creator would in theory have to mute that part of the game clip or not use it at all. To lessen the incentives for groups to seek out these short clips of music, YouTube is removing the ability to profit off these videos.

“Including someone else’s content without permission — regardless of how short the clip is — means your video can still be claimed and copyright owners will still be able to prevent monetization or block the video from being viewed,” YouTube’s post said. “However, going forward, our policies will forbid copyright owners from using our Manual Claiming tool to monetize creator videos with very short or unintentional uses of music. This change only impacts claims made with the Manual Claiming tool, where the rightsholder is actively reviewing the video.”


Those who still choose to copyright claim a video based on its music usage will have three options. They’ll be able to prevent monetization of any kind from any either party or could block a video from being viewed. The final option which YouTube seems to be hoping these groups will go for is to simply leave the video alone and not file a claim since there’s no monetization incentive to be had.

YouTube’s new policy for copyright claims involving short uses of music is in effect now. The full post detailing its plans and reasoning can be seen here.

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