Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. The content of this article is not, and should not be construed or taken as, legal advice. If you believe that you are in need of legal advice, please enlist the services of an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction in which you live and/or do business.
This series is here to teach you what I know of the rules and best practices to keep you from running into copyright problems when uploading videos to YouTube based on my experience working as a contractor within YouTube's Content Manager CMS as well as a content creator on the platform. All of the information here can also be found in the Creator Academy, which is available to all YouTube creators, but has been distilled in such a way as to assist you with interacting with the individuals and companies enforcing and managing their rights through the Content ID system.
So, I've talked about assets, Content ID, licensing and defined fair use and public domain content. Now let's talk about how to dispute a wrongful copyright claim on your videos. I'm not talking about DMCA claims because you likely know how to counter-notify one of those, and there isn't much more involved in there. I will say though, that if you get a DMCA, it might be worth getting a lawyer.
So, when you get a copyright claim, you'll be given the option to dispute the claim. If you know that the claim is invalid, dispute it as fast as you can. That will turn on any monetization the video is eligible for and put it in escrow, so if your dispute is successful, you'll eventually get the money.
If you click the link to dispute the claim you'll get to this screen:
Now, the first three options will not allow you to dispute the claim. Instead they'll take you to a page that explains why that selection isn't allowed, but it basically comes down to distribution. The fact is, putting a video on a public platform, like YouTube, is distribution (even if it's set to "Private"). Owning the CD/DVD or buying the content online is a license to consume the content, not to distribute it. Whether or not you're selling the video and/or making any kind of money doesn't eliminate the fact that the distribution is still happening, so it's still an infringement of the copyright owner's rights. As far as giving credit, all that does is notify anyone watching whose copyrights you're violating. It doesn't indemnify your use or release you from liability.
The bottom four options on that screen will take you to a screen that looks like this:
On this screen you'll be given a box to explain your dispute. The text in that box does not go to anyone at YouTube. That text goes directly to the party or parties who have claimed your video. This means that the text you put in that box needs to be directed at them, and should be specific to your video and the specific claim you're disputing (yes there can be more than one claim on a video). Remember, there is an actual person reviewing this dispute, so make it as clear and concise as possible. It doesn't hurt to be polite either. The person reviewing your dispute may not be (or even work in the same country as) the person who claimed your video (in the event it was manually identified instead of matched through Content ID).
Next time I'm going to talk about suggestions specifically for disputing a claim on 100% original content and content you've licensed.
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