How to Use The YouTube Copyright Matching Tool

YouTube's Copyright Matching Tool alerts you to any other videos that may be using all, or part of your content. Here's our quick guide to using it.

YouTube has a system in place that alerts you to any other video that may be using all, or part of your content. Here's our 3 minute guide to using the Copyright Matching Tool

How to Access the YouTube Copyright Matching Tool

When you are logged into YouTube, you should see your channel logo in the top right-hand corner of most YouTube screens. If you click on that, you have the option to go to YouTube Studio. This is currently in beta, but will become the standard as 2019 progresses. This is the new creator studio dashboard and from here, you want to click on the Copyright section down the left-hand side.

When you first visit this screen, you will need to read the guidelines and agree you understand how to use the copyright matching tool. This tool should be available to all creators in the YouTube Partner Program.

Once you have access to the tool, the main screen will show you if there are any content matches. YouTube uses the earliest upload of the original content to know who to match it to. Duplicates uploaded after are displayed and show you the video details such as the number of views, upload date, and the channel with the matching content, the percentage match of a video against your original, and the three actionable steps you can take to protect your content.

How to Take Actionable steps to Protect Your Content

The first action is to simply archive the match. This means that you have taken no action, but have acknowledged the content ID match. There is an archive tab at the top, which you can click to take you to all of the previously archived matches. You can click on the three dots to the right here to take a new action, if you want to.

The second action you can take is the strongest one and that is to request that the content be removed. First, click on the warning sign and then, confirm the request to remove the video. Once you've confirmed this action, a lengthy form will pop up that you need to complete in full. This action should not be taken lightly, as you are claiming ownership of the content, which, in extreme cases, you may need to defend legally.

Because of this, there are three legal agreements you need to check before you submit your request. Also, consider the impact on the channel you are claiming against. If you request a removal now, this will instantly serve a copyright strike against a creator. If you schedule a seven day notice, this at least give the creator a chance to remove the video and protect their channel. Of course, this decision is entirely up to you. Once you've submitted the video removal, you can track it's progress from the removal request tab. Do note that you may need to take further action to get a video removed.

If you think all of this is a little too drastic, you can take the nicely, nicely approach and simply contact the creator using your content. This will automatically generate an email template that will be sent to the creator warning them of what they are doing and what could happen. All you need to do is add an email, so that you can have a conversation, if required.

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