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YouTube's message to those hit by copyright onslaught

Firm sends blanket message to account holders after controversial mass video cull

YouTube has contacted account holders with it's official messaging related to the site's brutal crackdown on copyrighted material.

YouTube last week implemented a new 'Content ID' copyright detection system designed to more tightly moderate the posting of copyrighted material. But the system has sparked controversy after well-stablished YouTubers reported receiving thousands of copyright flags on game videos and other content despite having publishers' consent, and some flags seemingly linked to firms not related to the IP in question.

Zoom

The furor over the new tech, which removes revenue sharing from flagged videos severely impacting those who rely on YT revenue as a main source of income, has prompted YouTube to issue an email statement to account holders.

It's not, however, the messaging YouTube users will be hoping for. The email, obtained via Kotaku, fails to address burning issues such as the use of videos from consenting publishers, or the linking of videos to seemingly unrelated companies. Nor does it offer any indication of a possible change of policy.

The firm clarifies its introduction of new tech, and offers advise on how to contest flags on videos that the poster feels should not be flagged.

Here's the statement in full:

Hi from YouTube,

You might have heard about, or been impacted by an increase in copyright claims made on videos over the past week. We're getting in touch to explain what's happening and how you can get back to creating and monetizing great videos.

What's happening
Content ID is YouTube's system for scanning videos for copyrighted content and giving content owners choices on what they want us to do with them. Last week, we expanded the system to scan more channels, including those affiliated with a multi-channel network ("MCN"). As a result, some channels, including many gaming channels, saw claims appear against their videos from audio or video copyright holders.

Understanding Content ID claims
Keep in mind one video may contain multiple copyrighted works, any of which could potentially result in a claim. For example a record label may own music playing in the video (even in the background), a music distributor may own a game's soundtrack, or a game publisher may own in-game cinematic content.

Also, online rights are often resold to companies like music labels and aggregators. While you might not recognize the owner, this doesn't necessarily mean their claims are invalid.

Deciding what to do
When a claim is made, you'll see what's been claimed, who's claimed it, what type of claim it is (audio or video), and you can play back the part of your video that it matched. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to act on Content ID claims, and you can find out all your next steps, dispute options, and other troubleshooting resources here.

It's also important to know that most claims won't impact your account standing.

Tips for new videos
If you're creating videos with content from other people, remember that rights ownership can be complicated and different owners have different policies. Be aware of music. Many games allow you to turn off background music, while leaving sound effects enabled. And if you're looking for music you can freely use (and monetize!), check out our Audio Library.

Whether gaming, music or comedy is your passion, know that we love what you do. We've worked hard to design Content ID and other tools to give everyone - from individual creators to media companies - the opportunity to make great videos and earn money. As YouTube grows, we want to make sure we're providing the right product features to ensure that everyone continues to thrive.

Sincerely,
The YouTube team

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