How Content ID works

Copyright owners can use a system called Content ID to easily identify and manage their content on YouTube.

Videos uploaded to YouTube are scanned against a database of files that have been submitted to us by content owners. Copyright owners get to decide what happens when content in a video on YouTube matches a work they own. When this happens, the video gets a Content ID claim.

What options are available to copyright owners?

Copyright owners can choose different actions to take on material that matches theirs:

  • Mute audio that matches their music
  • Block a whole video from being viewed
  • Monetize the video by running ads against it
  • Track the video’s viewership statistics

Any of these actions can be country-specific. A video may be monetized in one country, and blocked or tracked in another.

Who can use Content ID?

YouTube only grants Content ID to copyright owners who meet specific criteria. To be approved, they must own exclusive rights to a substantial body of original material that is frequently uploaded by the YouTube user community.

YouTube also sets explicit guidelines on how to use Content ID. We monitor Content ID use and disputes on an ongoing basis to ensure these guidelines are followed.

Content owners who repeatedly make erroneous claims can have their Content ID access disabled and their partnership with YouTube terminated.

If you are a content owner and believe your content meets the criteria, you may apply for Content ID.

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