Strikes FAQ

What happens if I get a strike?

If you get a Copyright strike or a Community Guidelines strike, we’ll let you know through email, through notifications on mobile and desktop, and in your YouTube channel. We’ll let you know why you got the strike and what to do about it next.

Why do we have 2 different systems?

We have 2 systems because we see Community Guidelines strikes and Copyright strikes as separate issues.

Copyright and Community Guidelines violations happen for different reasons. Our Community Guidelines are rules we want creators and viewers to follow to keep the YouTube Community safe. Copyright rules are in place to make sure creators’ rights are protected and that everyone follows the law when using content in their videos, live streams, and stories.

You may be familiar with copyright restrictions, but unfamiliar with our policy around nudity and sexual content. Or you may know about our policies around thumbnails, but not realize that using someone else’s song in your video could result in a copyright strike. We wanted to give you the opportunity to learn about all of our policies.

If you want to learn more about what types of things are considered copyright violations, you can read:

If you want to learn more about our Community Guidelines, you can watch this video or review the individual policy in the Help center.

Why are the outcomes of each type of strike different?

We’ve designed the penalties for copyright strikes and Community Guidelines strikes in a way that best helps users learn from their experience and get back to enjoying YouTube. For Community Guidelines strikes, we found that users are often able to quickly understand why their content broke the rules once they get a warning and visit the corresponding policy page.

If it's your first strike, you'll need to complete Copyright School.

Why don’t you always get a warning?

Whether or not you get a warning depends on a few things, like if it was a Community Guidelines or Copyright violation, or if it’s your first violation.

We understand that mistakes happen. That’s why the first time your content doesn’t follow one of our Community Guidelines, we issue a warning. We hope that it gives you the chance to review our policies and avoid it happening again.

If we get a copyright takedown request, however, we take the upload down and issue a Copyright strike, even if it’s the first time. We do that to comply with the law. In order to have a video taken down, the copyright owner must submit a complete and valid legal request.

Note: Content ID claims don’t result in a strike.

How do I know which kind of strike I have?

When we let you know about the strike, we’ll let you know which kind of strike you received. If it’s a Community Guidelines strikes, we’ll also tell you which policy your content violated.

Some other ways to tell:

What do I do if I get a strike?

We understand mistakes happen and people don’t mean to violate our policies or infringe on someone else’s copyright. We know that getting a strike can be scary, but there are actions you can take to avoid having lasting negative impact on your channel.

If you get a Community Guidelines strike, we recommend you do the following:

  1. Learn about our Community Guidelines to make sure your content follows our policies.
  2. After reviewing our policies, if you think we've made a mistake, let us know. You can appeal the decision here.

If you get a Copyright strike, you have the following options:

  • Wait for it to expire: Copyright strikes expire after 90 days. If it's your first strike, you'll need to complete Copyright School.
  • Get a retraction: You can contact the person who claimed your video and ask them to retract their claim of copyright infringement.
  • Submit a counter notification: If your video was mistakenly removed because it was misidentified as infringing, or qualifies as a potential fair use, you may wish to submit a counter notification.
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