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Step 1: Determine how and why your video was blocked

First you need to figure out how and why your video was blocked, which is important to know in deciding what to do about it. YouTube generally removes videos for one of three reasons:

1. Community Guidelines Violation
2. Content ID Match
3. DMCA Takedown Notice/Copyright Strike

How to tell why a video was blocked:

  1. The easiest way to tell why your video was blocked is often just to go to your Video Manager panel and click on the link to the video, which will then bring up an error message which will say why it was blocked. You may also have gotten an email from YouTube telling you why the video was blocked.
  2. You should also check the account status section of your account settings. This page will say whether you are in "good standing" in three categories: community guidelines, copyright strikes, and Content ID claims. After three "strikes" under any of these categories,your account may be terminated (though I have been unable to verify if this is the case with Content ID strikes). Regular copyright strikes result from a DMCA takedown notice being sent against one of your videos. You can also be in "bad standing" from Content ID claims which result in a global block on a video rather than merely monetizing it or blocking it in a few specific countries. This may result in a 15 minute limit being imposed on the length of newly uploaded videos and the disabling of other features like unlisted videos and Creative Commons licenses--penalties which also result from DMCA copyright strikes.
  3. Go to your My Videos panel and check under Content ID Matches. This will be the main way to identify videos that were blocked by YouTube's automated filter rather than a DMCA notice.

What you can do about it:

  1. Community Guidelines Violations - Because YouTube is a private website run by a private corporation, they are not obligated to allow all forms of speech protected by the 1st Amendment, and can block any video which in their opinion violates the site's rules. Videos are usually removed for Community Guidelines violations when they are violent, pornographic, or "hate speech." This results in a "strike" on your account which is separate from copyright strikes. According to YouTube, "The first strike on an account is considered a warning. If an account receives two strikes within a six month period, the ability to post new content to YouTube from that account is disabled for two weeks. If there are no further issues, full privileges are restored automatically after the two week period. If an account receives a third Community Guidelines strike within six months (before the first strike has expired) the account is terminated." While these types of removals are not the focus of this tutorial, there is an appeal process if you believe your video was removed in error. You can find more information about that process here.
  2. Content ID Match - YouTube's Content ID system automatically scans videos as they are uploaded for copyrighted material and blocks access to videos containing material which copyright owners have told YouTube to block. This system may either block access to a video entirely, or merely mute the audio (depending on whether there is a video or audio match), in which case the video will still be playable but with no sound. Alternatively, Content ID may "monetize" videos, in which case adds will play next to the video and the copyright owner will get a share of the ad revenue. Monetized videos are also often blocked from viewing on mobile devices and sometimes blocked from being embedded on other websites. Because this system blocks all uses of copyrighted content indiscriminately, there is a high chance it will block material that is in fact "fair use" under U.S. copyright law, and you can easily get your video restored by disputing the content ID match. The copyright claimant is then given the chance to "confirm" or "reinstate" their claim, which you can then appeal using a second dispute process. If the copyright claimant still disagrees with your dispute, they can then file a DMCA notice against your video, invoking the DMCA notice and counter-notice process described below.
  3. DMCA Takedown Notice/Copyright Strike - This is where copyright owners have filed a formal demand with YouTube that your specific video be taken down because it infringes their copyright. While content ID matches are entirely automatic and are also restored automatically, if a video was blocked by a DMCA notice it (at least usually) means that an actual person has looked at your video and decided it is infringing. Contesting these is thus somewhat more likely to result in a lawsuit if the copyright owner is really serious about keeping your video off YouTube. However as mentioned above, no regular YouTube user has ever been sued over a video. The process for getting a video restored that was blocked by this method is considerably more complicated, since you have to file a formal DMCA Counter-notice. The copyright owner then has 10-14 business days to notify YouTube that they intend to sue you to seek an injunction against your video; otherwise they will restore the video. Unless you file a counter-notice, DMCA notices result in a copyright strike on your account. While these usually expire after six months, if you get three copyright strikes within that time, your account will be terminated. As long as there is an active strike on your account, you may be unable to upload videos longer than 15 minutes, post unlisted or Creative Commons licensed videos, or appeal reinstated Content ID claims.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 November 2012 13:34

 

Comments  

 
+4 #1 Hermes Outlet Online 2012-06-07 19:52
Very pleased to see such a good article, I appreciate deeply.
 
 
+1 #2 Dolce&Gabbana Outlet 2012-06-07 22:11
The contents of this article is very interesting, I am willing to read it, thank you it brings me happiness.
 
 
+2 #3 spsyed 2012-07-19 08:44
In June/July 2012, I have managed to get YT-google to stop making false allegations of copyright infringements on each fair use video clip YT and content owners blocked or removed. In my emails to copyright@youtu be.com, I told them their allegations remain libellous, slanderous, malicious, and defamatory, particularly without complete legal discovery, trial and court verdicts.
However, YT-google and content owners continue to deny, reject or refuse fair use allowed under the 1998 US-EU doctrine or its counterpart in other laws.
YT-google fails to disclose valid contact information of copyright claimants, and often provides their invalid email addresses. As a result, YT-users remain unable to resolve the disputes directly with the alleged copyright owners or ultimate content owners.
The content owners fail to respond expeditiously to the legal notices; fail to follow and comply with legal and formal DMCA process, and failed to file lawsuit seeking injunctions.
So, there is a need to get YT-google and the content owners to comply with fair use provisions of the copyright laws, including DMCA.
Please contact me tyneham at boxbe dot com if you can help or need help. Thank you.
 
 
+1 #4 Jared 2012-11-11 15:42
What's the definitive word on copyright strike expirations? I've scoured the Internet and gotten mixed results at best, and little that seems to be up-to-date with YouTube latest policies (which don't seem to specify, as far as I can find). I have one copyright strike on my account and I'm trying to decide whether to try to wait it out, in hopes that it will expire, or begin a new account with a (hopefully) clean slate. If anybody can answer this for me I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
 
 
0 #5 Patrick McKay 2012-11-17 14:06
Copyright strikes usually expire after 6 months (or therabout). That may be affected by any intervening strikes during that period though.
 
 
0 #6 Glyntech 2012-12-28 14:20
I am confused by these things - I posted a Gangnam parody video - it was content matched - which is fine, but then the video will not show on mobile devices - should I contest the matching? I am OK with it being the tune and recognised as such, but want the content on mobile like thousands of others are
 
 
0 #7 Patrick McKay 2012-12-28 15:29
That would be because of the content ID match. A lot of music labels block videos from being viewed on mobile devices because they can't show ads on them so they don't make money from those views. Really stupid and shortsighted if you ask me. I usually dispute videos that are blocked on mobile devices because that takes away like half your potential views right there. Just be prepared to go through the whole dispute process up through the DMCA counter-notice stage, since that's what's happened every time I've done it.
 
 
0 #8 Joel Moore 2013-09-15 12:29
None of this applies to live streaming. YouTube cut my live feed while we where streaming saying we are copy right violation. This means I did not even get the chance to upload the whole service. My church holds a CCLI copyright license. How can I prevent them from blocking my live event againg?
 
 
+1 #9 Patrick McKay 2013-09-16 10:12
Hmm, unfortunately I don't really know how this all works with live streaming. Did you see any kind of option to dispute, or was your live stream just terminated with no option to do anything? I'll have to research that issue more.
 
 
-1 #10 Eli Damon 2013-10-31 19:46
Thank you for this page. I used it successfully in the past.

A month ago, I noticed that one of my videos had been silenced (I don't know when) due to a Content ID match. I disputed the silencing on fair use grounds using your guide. Youtube said that the copyright holder had until yesterday to respond, which they didn't. However, the audio has not been restored. Do you have any clues on how to get audio restored after a successful dispute?
 
 
0 #11 Patrick McKay 2013-11-04 20:35
Sometimes it takes and extra couple days. Has it been restored now? Do you have the option to file a new dispute?
 
 
0 #12 Eli Damon 2013-11-04 22:18
The sound has not been restored, but I no longer see any notice about a copyright claim or about it being silenced.
 
 
0 #13 Patrick McKay 2013-11-05 21:58
Well not sure what you can do then. I've never heard of that happening. You may just need to delete and re-upload the video.
 
 
0 #14 Eli Damon 2013-11-06 07:04
Thanks.
 
 
0 #15 Siggy Mueller 2013-11-19 00:17
I posted a memorial video of my son who passed away in 2011. The video consisted of a picture slideshow of my son from birth to most recent pictures before his death. The background music was a song by the group Westlife (I'll See You Again), which made this a very touching and personal video for my family and friends, some of whom reside in other states and overseas. The video was only blocked in Germany and I did not become aware of it until just a few minutes ago. Another video had a portion of the song Bleed playing in the background just before a speech by my daughter at the funeral. This video was also flagged but I disputed it under the fair use clause as it was not the main focus on the video and only a portion was played, disrupted by people coughing etc., so I highly doubt that it will cause any harm to the artist, more likely the opposite, free publicity if people happen to inquire about the song if they like it. Nobody is going to copy the song from my video, it would be dumb to get an incomplete and poor quality recording of it.
 
 
0 #16 John 2014-01-03 02:11
I have few questions. I understand that if you get 3 copyright strikes, your account gets terminated. And if you get a copyright strike or 2 and wait 6 months without another copyright strike, then those strikes disappear. First question, If I have one copyright strike and in a period of 6 months I did not receive another copyright strike but I did get my video blocked world wide, will my copyright-strike disappear after the 6 months? And second question is: If my video got blocked world wide, and this caused some of my features to be blocked on my account, and a dispute of this will be rejected or just not worth doing, how do I receive my features back? Does this operate with a 6 month rule just as copyright strikes?Last question: If I receive 2 copyright strikes and then a video blocked world wide or community violation strike, will they terminate my account?
 
 
0 #17 Carl 2014-01-04 18:12
Hi just wondering if some one can help me, at the moment i'm racking my brain to find out if i can dispute my video.
I have posted a link http://youtu.be/oj1AjDw-594
if someone could give me any advice it would be much appreciated.
 
 
0 #18 Siggy Mueller 2014-01-05 18:24
Carl, you appear to have the same dilemma I did with my memorial video for my son. Both of us had our videos flagged for incorporating a copyrighted song. In my case it was Westlife's I'll See You Again, in your case the song Holiday Road from the movie National Lampoon's Vacation (funny movie btw.). My video was only removed from viewing in Germany, not the USA or rest of the world. I'm not sure if that counts as a full strike. I'm also not sure if it constitutes fair use since the video's main focuses were on something other than the music. The music was only there as enhancement to the original, non-copyrighted footage. They were not videos about the musical artists such as people who post unauthorized music videos with or without added lyrics. I'm still waiting to get a response from Youtube about my video.
 
 
0 #19 John 2014-01-08 00:47
I have few questions. I understand that if you get 3 copyright strikes, your account gets terminated. And if you get a copyright strike or 2 and wait 6 months without another copyright strike, then those strikes disappear. First question, If I have one copyright strike and in a period of 6 months I did not receive another copyright strike but I did get my video blocked world wide, will my copyright-strike disappear after the 6 months? And second question is: If my video got blocked world wide, and this caused some of my features to be blocked on my account, and a dispute of this will be rejected or just not worth doing, how do I receive my features back? Does this operate with a 6 month rule just as copyright strikes?Last question: If I receive 2 copyright strikes and then a video blocked world wide or community violation strike, will they terminate my account??
 
 
0 #20 Patrick McKay 2014-01-10 17:31
John - I'm afraid I don't have any solid answers for your questions. DMCA strikes and content ID strikes from global blocks are tracked differently, and there really isn't any public information from YouTube on how they interrelate. As far as I know, the only ways to get features back that are disabled by a global content ID block are either to dispute the content ID claim or delete the video. For DMCA strikes, deleting the video has no effect.

Carl - I'm afraid I don't really have time to watch your video and give you an evaluation on whether or not it is fair use. Read the second in my tutorial about determining fair use and then just act on your best guess. A lot of a time it is really a crap shoot whether it's fair use or not, but you are still allowed to claim fair use on YouTube, even if a court might not find fair use if it went to trial.
 

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