Copyright Match Tool

The Copyright Match Tool finds full reuploads of your original videos on other YouTube channels. Once a match has been identified, you can review it in YouTube Studio and choose which action you’d like to take. Currently, this tool is available to channels in the YouTube Partner Program.

Here’s how it works: When you upload your original video to YouTube, we’ll scan all the videos that are uploaded after yours to check if any of them match. It’s important that you're the first to upload the content to YouTube (with public, private, or unlisted visibility) since we use the video upload time to decide who should see matches. Be sure to check back regularly to keep an eye on any new matches we’ve found.

Please be sure to use the Copyright Match Tool responsibly. Misuse, including intentional or repeated abuse of the copyright removal process or attempted probing or reverse engineering of the match system, may result in loss of feature access or termination of your YouTube partnership. Just because we’ve found an upload that matches your video doesn’t guarantee it's copyright infringement. It's your responsibility to review each video and consider whether fair use, fair dealing, or a similar exception to copyright applies before you submit a takedown request.

Using the tool

  1. If you’re eligible for the tool, you’ll see the Copyright section in your left navigation in YouTube Studio.
  2. Under the Copyright section, monitor the Matches tab to see any similar videos that we find uploaded to YouTube.
  3. There are several actions you can take when reviewing matches in the tool, depending on how you want to manage your rights:
    1. Archive - Move the match to your Archive tab without taking action on the video. You can still take action  later if you choose.
    2. Message the channel - Start a conversation with the uploading channel notifying them that the reupload has been identified. You can keep track of who you’ve notified in the Messages tab and continue the conversation over email.
    3. Request removal - Submit a legal request for YouTube to remove the matched video from the site. You have two options when choosing this action:
      1. Scheduled: Send a 7-day notice - Send the channel a notice to remove the video. After 7 days, if they haven’t removed the video, it will be taken down and they may get a copyright strike.
      2. Standard: Request removal now - Your removal request will be submitted directly to YouTube. After removal, the uploading channel may get a copyright strike.
      After submission, keep an eye on your email in case we need more information before processing your request. You can also check your Removal Requests tab for a record of your submissions and updates on their status.


What happens if I don’t want to take any action on a match?
No worries - that’s fine. You can archive a match to remove it from your Matches tab. We’ll only send each match once, so you won’t see those videos again.
I found a video on YouTube that matches my content but wasn’t in my Matches tab. Why wasn’t it caught?
The Copyright Match Tool is meant to find full or nearly-full matches to your videos. If someone used a short snippet of your video, it may not be surfaced. If you know of a reupload of one of your videos that you’d like removed, you can always report it via the copyright webform.
Why aren’t all of my videos eligible for matching?
There are a few reasons why we might not scan for matches to one of your uploads:
  • You weren’t the first person to upload the video to YouTube
  • The video is already protected by Content ID
  • The video has a Content ID claim on it

I’m a musician. Can I use this tool to find reuploads of my songs?
The Copyright Match Tool is intended to find identical or nearly identical matches to your videos on YouTube and surface them to you for review. This includes cases where the audio may be replaced or dubbed. If someone used a portion of your video (just the audio, for example), it will not be surfaced in the tool. If you know of a reupload of your content that you’d like removed, you can always report it via the copyright webform.

Why don’t you just take down my matching videos automatically?
YouTube relies on copyright owners to notify us of unauthorized uses of their content. We can only tell who uploaded a video first, not who owns it or has permission to upload it. Many creators give other channels permission to reupload their videos, reach a licensing agreement after the reupload, or even collaborate on videos and agree to upload copies to multiple channels. To balance the rights of uploaders with the rights of original copyright owners, the Copyright Match Tool tries to give creators information about reuploads. Then, after they carefully review the match, the Copyright Match Tool allows them to decide what they want to do.

On top of that, just because a video uses your content doesn’t necessarily mean that video is infringing on your copyright. Before taking action, it’s the original creator’s responsibility to review each match to confirm that they're the ones who created the matched content. You should not file a copyright takedown request for content that you do not own exclusively, such as public domain content. Uploaders should also consider whether the matched content could be considered fair use or be subject to some other exception to copyright and hence not require permission for reuse.

I’ve requested removal of multiple videos on a channel. Why hasn’t it been terminated?
We have numerous safeguards in place against abuse of the copyright takedown process, including a system to make sure that channels have an opportunity to address copyright strikes they get before being terminated. If you submit numerous takedown requests against a channel that is still live, then it's likely that one of those mechanisms is in effect. The volume of takedown requests against a channel is taken into account in our enforcement policies, so please continue to report any content that you come across that you believe infringes on your copyright. 

Can I report an entire channel?
When a user creates a channel or video using another individual's real name, image, or other personal information to deceive people into thinking they're someone else on YouTube we consider that impersonation. If you feel that you're being impersonated,  you can report the channel by following the instructions here. If those criteria don’t apply, you can use our copyright complaint webform to report videos you feel infringe on your copyright.

How can I get access to the Copyright Match Tool?
Currently, this tool is available to channels in the YouTube Partner Program. If you aren't eligible but still believe you have a need for more copyright management options, please fill out this form to see if the Copyright Match Tool or another tool is a good match for you based on your copyright management needs.

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