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. Any additional violations of our content manager policies in the following year will put their contracts at risk of termination.

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 will lose access to channel linking 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 Usage Policy
Manual claiming / manual search is a feature that exists to correct missed matches by the Content ID system. Content managers cannot use manual claiming for any other purpose. It is a sensitive feature that is only granted to partners who demonstrate profound need on a selective basis. You can read more about manual claiming in the YouTube Help Center.

Policy requirements:

  • Content managers may not abuse or misuse the manual search feature.
  • Misuse of the manual search feature will result in the temporary removal of the feature, typically for 1 to 6 months. Egregious or repeated misuse will result in permanent removal and possible termination of the content owner accounts.

Examples of violating this policy include:

  • Claiming content belonging to someone else.
  • Claiming content for non-copyright reasons (eg. privacy, image, or trademark rights management).
  • Using manual search as a substitute for providing valid references, such as using one asset to claim multiple different works.
  • Creating improper 3rd party claims to circumvent YouTube’s monetization requirements or generate improper revenue sharing.
  • Making manual claims (via any means, including API or UI) without human review.

What you can do to follow the policy:

  • Only manually claim content when there is a legitimate missed match by the Content ID matching service.
  • Ensure you are using assets with valid, active references when manually claiming content.
  • Don’t make manual 3rd party claims on videos uploaded by channels with which you have a business relationship. Instead, link those channels in your content manager CMS.
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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