Define rights policies

The YouTube XML format is being replaced by DDEX (music only) and CSV templates (all industries). YouTube strongly discourages any new implementations of the YouTube XML format. This page should be used solely as reference material for existing implementations. Visit Using the YouTube DDEX feed for more information about the new format.
The features described in this article are available only to partners who use YouTube's Content Manager to manage their copyrighted content.

A rights policy specifies rules that explain how a rights holder administers an asset. Rules are comprised of match conditions and watch conditions that specify the circumstances under which a rights owner wants its content to be available on YouTube or blocked from appearing on YouTube.

YouTube provides two ways for content owners to create policies:

  • You can define and save policies on You can then associate a saved policy with a claim or to specify that a saved policy is the default policy for claimed videos that match a particular asset.

  • You can define policies in the XML feeds using the <rights_policy> tag. Policies defined in a feed are not stored as saved policies that could then be assigned to other assets or referred to in other XML feeds. However, the policies defined in a feed can be used to claim videos that appear in the same feed or assigned as the default policies for assets that appear in the same feed.

Every policy specifies one or more rules, and each rule can contain one or more conditions. YouTube enforces a rights policy if any of the rules specified for the policy are valid. For a rule to be valid, all of the rule's conditions must be satisfied.

The XML snippet below shows a sample rights policy, which specifies three rules:


  • The first rule indicates that the content should be blocked from users in the United States. Sorry, U.S.! No soup for you.
  • The second rule indicates that a video should be monetized in other territories if at least 66.7 percent of the video matches the asset associated with the rights policy.
  • The third rule indicates that a video should be tracked if more than 33.3 percent and less than 66.7 percent of the video matches the asset associated with the rights policy.

    <rights_policy tag="block-monetize-track">
      <rule action="block">
        <condition restriction="include" type="territory">US</condition>
      <rule action="monetize">
        <condition restriction="greater_equal" type="match_percent">66.7</condition>
      <rule action="track">
        <condition restriction="greater_than" type="match_percent">33.3</condition>
        <condition restriction="less_than" type="match_percent">66.7</condition>


Note that while every policy specifies at least one rule, a <rights_policy> element in your feed does not need to contain any rules if it identifies a saved policy by name.

  • If you identify a saved policy by its rights policy ID or its name, the <rights_policy> element should not contain any rules. (Any rules that are specified will be ignored since the specified saved policy will be used.) Using XPath explains how to refer to a saved policy in a relationship.

  • If your feed contains an empty <rights_policy> element, the element will refer to the default match policy that you have selected for your assets. For example, the XML excerpt below assigns the default match policy as the match policy for an asset and the default usage policy as the usage policy for a particular claim.

      <rights_policy tag="default"/>
      <rights_admin owner="True" type="match"/>
      <rights_admin owner="True" type="usage"/>
        <item path="/feed/rights_admin[@type='match']"/>
        <item path="/feed/rights_policy[@tag='default']"/>
        <related_item path="/external/asset[@id='ASSET_ID_1_']"/>
      <claim type="audiovisual"
             video="/external/video[@id='VIDEO_ID_1_']" />
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