Validate potentially invalid reference content

The features described in this article are available only to partners who use YouTube's Content ID matching system.

When a reference includes content that YouTube identifies as potentially invalid, the reference is flagged as an issue that requires action in Content Manager. The content owner needs to verify that they own the content exclusively with sufficient rights, or that it’s sufficiently distinct from other references, and either request re-evaluation or exclude that segment of the reference from consideration when making claims.

You have 30 days to review potentially invalid references. If you don't complete the review in that time, YouTube excludes the flagged portion of the reference.

To review potentially invalid reference content:

  1. You’ll see Invalid References that require your review appear in the Issues section of your YouTube Studio Content Manager with the status: Action required. Click “Invalid reference” on each row to review the flagged segment.

  2. Above and on the video player you’ll see information about the reference and the potentially invalid portion, including what percentage of the reference has been flagged. Play the reference to review the flagged portion.

    • Future claims against a potentially invalid segment are automatically set to pending and cannot be confirmed as active until the invalid reference is resolved. You can review examples of prevented claims to the right of the video player.

  3. Verify that you own the content in the flagged portion and that it’s sufficiently distinct from other references, or exclude the flagged portion from the reference.

    • If you own the flagged content exclusively and it follows the Content ID reference guidelines, click Request re-evaluation.

    • If the flagged portion features third-party material, such as public domain footage, short clips used under fair use principles, commercial breaks, or non-exclusive audio loops, click Exclude invalid segment.

If the segment is confirmed as valid after re-evaluation, pending claims based on the segment can be reviewed and confirmed as active. If you exclude the segment, any claims based on the segment are released

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