YouTube To Stop Allowing Manual Copyright Claims On Short Music Clips

Beginning in mid-September, YouTube will stop allowing copyright holders to make manual claims to monetize creator videos that include very short music clips or “unintentional” music.

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

However, copyright holders can continue to block or disable monetization for videos, including those with short music clips, with the manual claiming tool. The change only affects claims made by the manual claiming tool, which requires copyright holders to review each video; the majority of claims are made using YouTube’s Content ID matching system.

“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,” the company said via a statement. “Our goal is to unlock new value for everyone by powering creative reuse and content mashups, while fairly compensating all rightsholders.”

Just over a month ago, YouTube began requiring copyright owners to provide timestamps for all manual claims, so creators know exactly which portion of the video is being claimed. YouTube also updated its editor tools in Creator Studio to allow creators to use those timestamps to remove manual claimed content from videos, which automatically releases the claim and restores monetization.The company says that copyright owners who do not abide by the new guidelines will have their manual-claiming rights suspended. It was also noted that if creators feel their use of copyrighted music qualifies as fair use, they can dispute claims via YouTube’s appeals process.


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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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