YouTube has just announced new rules for song clips and copyright claims on the platform. Videos that now get claimed for "unintentional use of music" have an opportunity to fight back. YouTube creators who get their videos claimed for only having under 10 seconds of a song in their video will also be able to appeal and retain full ownership of their content.
The YouTube copyright system can be incredibly complex for those not in the know. If a company feels that their content is being used, they can issue a claim to YouTube. This process can keep a video from being shown worldwide or withhold a clip's profits until the claim is settled. A YouTuber can either remove the copyrighted content or fight the claim. If the claim is challenged, the claimer can either agree that the claim is invalid or double down on its accusation. If this passes through two rounds of back and forth, the channel received a copyright claim. The only way to settle it is through legal action.
Previously, music rights holders, like Universal Music Group and Sony Music could claim a video if any amount of a song of theirs was played. Regardless of if it was a one-second clip or playing from the speakers in a public place, these companies could claim all the profits on a video. Putting hours of work into a piece of content you can't make any money on can be pretty infuriating, especially when your intended revenue goes to a mega corporation instead.
The policy is currently active but won't be truly "ramping up" until mid-September, an official blog post says. Users who feel that their content has been incorrectly claimed can contact YouTube for further assistance.
YouTube's copyright system is still somewhat broken, but it's nice to see the company take some action to fix it. Creators feel like they are at the whims of YouTube, struggling to adapt to each change to the algorithm or AI faux pas. Because copyrighted content on the internet is still a difficult subject to navigate, this new policy suggests a stance of increased caution when dealing with such claims.