Copyright Match Tool

The Copyright Match Tool finds full re-uploads 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. At this time, we're rolling this tool out as part of a small pilot.

Here's how it works: When you upload your original video to YouTube, we'll begin scanning all of the videos that are uploaded after yours to see if any of them match. It's important that you are the first to upload the content to YouTube as a public video, since we use the video upload time to decide who should see matches. Make sure that you check back regularly to keep an eye on any new matches that we've found.

Please make sure that you 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 that it is copyright infringement. It is 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-hand navigation in YouTube Studio.
  2. Under the Copyright section, monitor the Matches tab to see any very similar videos that we find uploaded to YouTube.
  3. There are several actions that 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'll still be able to take action at a later date if you choose.
    2. Message the channel – Initiate a conversation with the uploading channel notifying them that the re-upload 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 seven-day notice – Send the channel a notice to remove the video. After seven days, if they haven't removed the video, it will be taken down and they may receive a copyright strike.
      2. Standard: Request removal now – Your removal request will be submitted directly to YouTube. After removal, the uploading channel may receive a copyright strike.
      After submission, keep an eye on your email in case we need more information before we can process your request. You can also check your Removal Requests tab for a record of your submissions and updates on their status.

FAQ

What happens if I don't want to take any action on a match?
No worries – that's totally 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.
How can I get access to the Copyright Match Tool?

For now, we're releasing this tool as part of a small pilot. Over time we plan to expand the feature to more channels.

I found a video on YouTube that matches my content but wasn't in my Matches tab. Why wasn't it caught?
There are a few reasons why a video might not be surfaced in your Copyright Matches tab. First, the tool is meant to surface full or nearly full matches to your videos. If someone used a short snippet of your video, it may not be surfaced. Second, the system currently requires a minimum of 25 views before a re-upload is eligible to be reported as a match. If you know of a re-upload 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
  • The video has been uploaded as private or unlisted

I'm a musician. Can I use this tool to find re-uploads 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 re-upload 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 unauthorised uses of their content. We're only able to tell who uploaded a video first, not who owns it or has permission to upload it. Many creators give other channels permission to re-upload their videos, reach a licensing agreement after the re-upload 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 provide creators with information about re-uploads and then allows them to decide what they want to do after carefully reviewing the match.

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 are 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 a 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 ensure that channels have an opportunity to address copyright strikes that they receive prior to 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 are someone else on YouTube, we consider that impersonation. If you feel that you are being impersonated, report it using our impersonation webform. If those criteria don't apply, you can use our copyright complaint webform to report videos that you feel infringe on your copyright.

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