How Content ID works

Some copyright owners use Content ID, YouTube's automated content identification system, to easily identify and manage their copyright-protected content on YouTube.

What does Content ID do?

Using a database of audio and visual files submitted by copyright owners, Content ID identifies matches of copyright-protected content. When a video is uploaded to YouTube, it's automatically scanned by Content ID.

If Content ID finds a match, the matching video will get a Content ID claim. Depending on the copyright owner's Content ID settings, a Content ID claim results in one of the following actions:

  • Blocks a video from being viewed
  • Monetises the video by running ads against it and sometimes sharing revenue with the uploader
  • Tracks the video's viewership statistics

Bear in mind that any of these actions can be geography-specific. For example, a video can be monetised in one country/region and blocked or tracked in a different country/region.

Who uses Content ID?

Content ID is available 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 to YouTube.

YouTube also sets explicit guidelines on how Content ID can be used. Content ID use and disputes are monitored on an ongoing basis to make sure that these guidelines are followed.

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

If you're a copyright owner and believe that your content meets the criteria for Content ID, you can fill in this form to let us know more about your copyright management needs.

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