How Content ID works

Content ID is a tool that we’ve developed for content owners that lets them easily identify and manage the copyrights to their material on YouTube.

Videos uploaded to YouTube are scanned against a database of files that have been submitted to us by Content ID users. When the system identifies a match between your video and a file in this database, it claims the video for the relevant content owner and applies whatever policy they’ve specified for it. Content owners can choose among the following policies:

Block the video: If the content owner has chosen a Block policy, your video will either not be viewable, or its audio will be muted.
  • If your video is blocked worldwide, your account may be in bad standing and you may have lost access to certain features.
  • Because copyright is administered country by country, your video may be allowed to play in some countries while remaining blocked in others. So while you may not be able to see your video, or hear its audio, people in other regions may still be able to view and interact with it as usual. You will still be able to view, moderate and respond to comments on the video from the Comments page in My Messages.
Monetise the video: If the content owner has chosen a Monetise policy, ads may display on or before your video, or around the video player. There may be a promotional link in or below the video to let fans discover more of the creator’s content.
Track the video: If the content owner has chosen a Track policy, your video will be unaffected. However, its viewership statistics will appear in the content owner's YouTube Analytics account.

Once a video is claimed by a content owner, they can update their policies at any time.

A content owner may use Content ID to apply different policies in different locations around the world, depending on where they own rights. A video may be monetised in one country, and blocked or tracked in another.

How to manage Content ID claims on your videos

Content ID claims on your videos are listed in the Copyright Notices section of your account.

If there’s a Content ID claim on your video, you may simply acknowledge it and carry on. But if you believe the claim is invalid, you may dispute it.

If you have already disputed a Content ID claim and feel that it was mistakenly upheld by the content owner, you may be able to appeal their decision.

If your video has been claimed by “one or more music publishing rights collecting societies,” you might want to learn more about collective rights management.

Worldwide block policies on videos claimed by Content ID will affect your account standing. You can check to see if any of your videos have been blocked worldwide on your Account Features page, under Content ID Claims.

Who can use Content ID?

YouTube only grants Content ID to content owners who meet specific criteria. To be approved, content owners 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.