Content Manager Policies

YouTube is committed to ensuring that our content management ecosystem is clean, fair, and free from abuse. To achieve this goal, we have created a number of policies governing the use of the features available to content managers through the Content Management System (CMS). All content managers are responsible for upholding these policies and standards for their content owners.

What happens if you violate our content manager policies

Losing access to CMS features

Partners who misuse or abuse CMS features will lose access to those features. This is usually temporary, and typically lasts for a set period of time which varies from policy to policy. Whenever possible, we’ll warn you when you’re at risk of a violation. If you violate one of these policies, you’ll also get an email about the violation. Your partner manager will have information about the specific details and next steps. If you do not have a partner manager, you can contact the Creator Support team for more information.

Repeated and egregious violations

We take these policies very seriously. Partners who repeatedly or egregiously violate our content manager policies will face harsher penalties. These penalties may include losing access to additional CMS features, losing specific features for longer periods of time, or losing access to CMS entirely and termination of any contracts with YouTube.

In some cases, we may issue a “final warning” to comply with our policies. Content managers who are issued an official final warning notification will lose access to most of their CMS features until they can pass an abuse audit sometime within the following year. Any additional violations of our content manager policies in the following year, as well as failing to request and pass an abuse audit will put their contracts at risk of termination.

Ownership of Multiple Content Owners

Note that if you have a controlling  stake in multiple content managers on YouTube, violations incurred in one content manager could result in penalties across all content managers under your ownership. 

General Content Manager Policies

These policies apply to every partner with access to the YouTube CMS

Channel Accountability
Content managers are responsible for ensuring that the content of all channels linked to their content manager follows YouTube’s content policies and guidelines. This includes content uploaded to both Owned & Operated (O&O) and Affiliates. If a content manager’s channels are terminated or lose monetization privileges due to policy violations, that partner will be penalized across all of their content manager accounts.

Policy requirements:

  • Content managers must keep the number of trailing channel-level abuse events (eg, termination & demonetization) across all of their O&O and affiliate content owner accounts below 50 distinct events per 90 day period.
  • If the number of events crosses this threshold, your content owners will lose the ability to link any channels until the trailing total drops below 50.

    Note:Partners who continue to accumulate additional abuse events beyond the initial 50 may face harsher penalties.

What you can do to follow the policy:

  • Educate the channels you manage about YouTube’s Community Guidelines, Advertiser-friendly content guidelines, and ensure they act in accordance with YouTube’s Terms of Service.
  • Don’t link more channels to your content owners’ accounts than you can manage.
  • Make sure you have adequate vetting processes for new channels in your content owner.
  • If you have persistent issues with certain content areas, try focusing on the things you do well.
  • If you’re having trouble with linked channels following this policy, reach out to your partner manager.

You can learn more about Community Guidelines strikes and other channel-level issues in the Help Center.

Channel Entry Policy
Content managers are expected to have relationships with creator channels before adding those channels to their network. Content managers who, among other things, onboard creators through spammy or dishonest means, or abuse channel linking privileges, may lose access to CMS features.

Policy requirements:

  • Content managers must maintain above a 90% acceptance rate for their channel linking invitations each month.
  • Content managers that fall below 90% acceptance rate may have channel invites throttled for their entire content owner family for 1 month.

What you can do to follow the policy:

  • Send your invitations early in the month.This gives your creators enough time to accept the invitation.
  • Only send invites to channels you know and with whom you actually have a business relationship.
  • Reach out to creators and remind them to accept their invitations, if needed.
Circumventing Systems
We trust content managers to manage rights and content on behalf of their content owners, resolve issues in their network, and use the YouTube CMS responsibly. That trust extends to the features built into the YouTube CMS. Content managers who abuse these features to circumvent YouTube’s established systems or processes violate that trust and harm the entire YouTube ecosystem.

Policy requirements:

  • Content managers are prohibited from engaging in practices that attempt to go around or interfere with YouTube’s systems, processes, or policies.
  • Violating this policy is considered egregious abuse, and may result in termination of your entire content owner family.

Examples of violating this policy may include:

  • Using CMS to improperly monetize content that is ineligible for monetization on YouTube. This includes content that violates our community and brand safety guidelines, as well as content prohibited by any applicable laws and regulations.
  • Manually adding your ownership to Content ID assets that you do not have a legitimate intellectual property interest in, even temporarily.
  • Using manual Content ID claiming to circumvent the claim dispute resolution process.
Content Manager Copyright Strikes Policy
When a channel receives a copyright strike, channel-level penalties are applied. Partners should avoid accumulating copyright strikes across their managed channels. Failure to do so will result in penalties applied to their content manager in addition to existing channel strike policies. Partner strike penalties limit access to features. This impacts both the content owner and associated content owners.

Policy requirements:

If a partner receives 10 copyright strikes across managed channels in a 90 day period, then the partner is subject to further review, the results of which may include loss of the ability to link channels, loss of the ability to upload videos, and termination of the partnership agreement. After 90 days, copyright strikes will expire and be removed from the channel and content owner’s total. YouTube also reserves the right to evaluate and address abuse at any time, at its discretion.

What you can do to follow the policy:

  • Use care when selecting new channels to manage. Avoid adding channels that might pose a risk to your strike total.
  • Most partners perform best when they keep the number of channels on an O&O content owner below 120.
  • Educate the channels you manage about copyright and ensure they act in accordance with YouTube’s policies.
  • Ensure you maintain proper internal controls as you increase the number of channels you manage.
You can always view your partner strikes within your YouTube account. If you believe any of the associated copyright strikes are invalid, you may wish to learn more about filing counter notifications or requesting claim retractions.
You can learn more about Copyright strikes in the Help Center.

Policies for Content ID

These policies apply to partners with access to the Content ID matching system. You can find out more about qualifying for Content ID in the Help Center.

Content ID Reference Delivery Policy
Content managers must only deliver reference files that are appropriate for Content ID matching. Invalid references are harmful to both creators and the YouTube rights management ecosystem. You can read more about what content is eligible for Content ID in the Help Center.

Policy requirements:

  • All content managers must keep invalid Content ID references < 1% of their content owner catalogue and not exceed 500 invalid references within a 30 day period.
  • Content owners that exceed this may have reference delivery throttled or disabled.
Content ID Manual Claiming Policy
Manual claiming is a feature that exists to allow content owners to manually place claims on videos containing their content when a claim is not otherwise made by the Content ID system. Access to manual claiming is a privilege that is selectively granted to partners based on a demonstration of profound need. In order to ensure a healthy, fair ecosystem that is consistent with YouTube's four freedoms, this sensitive feature has strict requirements governing its acceptable use.

Restrictions on how you claim content:

  • You must conduct a human review of user content before submitting a manual claim.
    • Automation of the manual claiming process is not permitted.
  • All assets that are used to make manual claims must have accurate, human-readable metadata and valid reference content. 
    • The only exception to this is where the reference material for the claimed content is unsuitable for matching and/or prohibited by our reference policy. 
    • While these assets do not require references, all claims must be for the same, distinct content and accurately described by the metadata (e.g. no ‘bucket' or 'catch-all' assets).
  • Assets used in manual claiming must accurately reflect the scope of your ownership.
    • For example, if you are a regional broadcaster claiming re-uploads of licensed content, you cannot use manual claiming to place a global block policy if you do not have global rights to that content.
    • Additionally, broadcasters may have rights to show licensed content in a region, but that does not always mean they have rights to claim videos containing that content in that region.
  • All manual claims must include accurate timestamps that identify where the claimed content exists in the video. 
    •  Individual matching segments must be specified with discrete timestamps.
    • Deliberately or repeatedly providing misleading timestamps may be considered a serious violation of our policies.
  • Manual claims on audio content that is only present in a small portion of a video may only use a monetize policy in very limited circumstances. Generally, manual claims on short uses of audio content may only use a block or track policy unless the claimed content:
    • ​Is part of a video compilation, music countdown, or music-themed challenge.
    • Is part of an intro/outro that is used to brand a channel.
    • Is in a video that already has an existing, valid Content ID claim with a monetize policy.
    • Is in a video uploaded to an Official Artist Channel represented by the claimant.
    • Comprises the majority of the video.
  • Manual claims on  “unintentional use” of audio content may not use the 'monetize' policy, but you may still generally apply the 'track' or 'block' policy on any use of your content.
    • ​For the purposes of this policy, we define “unintentional use” as instances where:
      • ​The content was not added to the video by the creator.
      • AND There is no interaction between the creator and the content.
    • Some examples of “unintentional use” are:
      • Television heard from another room of the creator’s house or office.
      • Music from a passing car.
    • Examples of where use is not considered unintentional include:
      • Singing, dancing, or playing along to the music.
      • Any content that is added in post-production or editing software.
      • Background music in a place where the creator has direct control over the music, or the intent of the video is to capture the audio, such as a concert.

Restrictions on what content you can claim:

  • Only claim videos that contain copyrighted content that you own exclusively.
    • Do not manually claim content that is not present in the video.
    • Do not use manual claims to manage trademark, privacy, or other non-copyright issues. 
    • Abusing manual claiming for the purpose of censorship may result in immediate and/or permanent loss of the feature, in addition to other possible penalties.
  • Do not manually claim content with a 'monetize' policy that violates YouTube’s community or brand safety guidelines.
    • This may be considered a violation of our Circumventing Systems policy. Read more here.
  • Do not manually claim videos that are currently claimed or were previously claimed by an asset for the same content.
    • This includes manually claiming videos that have successfully disputed a previous claim for the same content.
    • Manually creating duplicate, competing claims may be considered an egregious violation of our Circumventing Systems policy. 
  • Do not use manual claims to create an invalid revenue sharing arrangement among existing claims on the video.
    • This may be considered an egregious violation of our Circumventing Systems policy.
  • Don’t manually claim videos if your ownership is, or should be, embedded in other assets.
    • Don't make a composition claim on a segment of a video if there's already an existing claim on that segment from a sound recording asset containing your composition. Composition ownership should be embedded in sound recordings whenever possible.
Content ID and Political Censorship
Using Content ID for political censorship is not allowed on YouTube. Any attempt to do so may result in termination of the content manager’s entire content owner family.

Tips for avoiding issues:

  • Keep an eye on your “block only” claims, and report any issues you find directly to your partner manager.
Content ID Manual Action Policy
Content ID relies upon a number of manual review actions from content managers such as, but not limited to:
  • Resolving unclear ownership of assets, claims, and reference material
  • Resolving potential and disputed copyright claims against uploaded videos for technical, legal, and license accuracy

Policy Requirements

  • Manual actions require human review and can not be automated or scripted in any way without prior approval from YouTube.
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