YouTube ends manual music copyright claims in an attempt to protect creator revenue

YouTube has faced backlash from creators after letting music companies steal their revenue. This new rule aims to change that.


YouTube is making new changes to copyright enforcement policies with regards to music used in videos. These updates can result in a huge rush of blocked videos in the immediate term but could result in a more relaxed and healthier ecosystem in the long run.

According to the upcoming updates, copyright owners cannot monetize videos that contain a very short or unintentional use of their copyrighted music through the “Manual Claiming” tool. On the other hand, copyright owners can, however, prevent monetizing the video or they can alternatively block the content as well.

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

It is to be noted that these upcoming changes apply to the “Manual Claiming” tool alone, which isn’t the most popular route for copyright violations currently. Content ID match system sees the majority of the copyright claims instead; this system scans the videos uploaded on YouTube against the files submitted by the copyright owners.

Once a violation is found, copyright owners can then either block or monetize the videos on their behalf.

With Manual Claiming tool, copyright owners are allowed to search through all the publicly uploaded and available videos on YouTube. In this case, owners can file for a claim once a match is found.

For instance, if a vlogger happens to walk past a car that plays a certain song, the copyright holder of the song can file for a copyright violation through the “Manual Claiming” tool and result in the loss of revenue for the vlogger for the particular vlog.

Out of the Content ID match system and Manual Claiming tool, the latter one tends to cause the most damage to creator uploaded content on YouTube. Even an unintentional or a very short presence of copyrighted music can result in a copyright claim and subsequent loss of revenue.

“We strive to make YouTube a fair ecosystem for everyone, including songwriters, artists, and YouTube creators. We acknowledge that these changes may result in more blocked content in the near-term, but we feel this is an important step toward striking the right balance over the long-term,” wrote the company.


Naga Pramod

Naga Pramod is a computer science major and tech news reporter with a passion for cyber security, networking, and data science. [email protected]