Copyright management tools

YouTube provides a variety of tools for copyright owners to protect and manage their content on YouTube. Whether you're a new creator on YouTube and have an infrequent need to submit takedown requests, an established company with a dedicated rights management team or somewhere in between, we have a tool that is appropriate for you. YouTube strives to provide users with the right tool based on:

  • Your demonstrated need for rights management
  • Your available resources to manage your rights and content
  • Your knowledge of YouTube's copyright system

By default, everyone on YouTube has access to at least one copyright management tool, the copyright takedown webform. You can find more info about the webform below.

We're always working to expand access to additional tools while remaining committed to protecting our ecosystem from significant disruptions that may result from misuse.

Use the webform for occasional takedown needs

If your copyright-protected work is posted on YouTube without permission, you can use our webform to take down the video. For most copyright owners, this is the fastest and easiest way to request a copyright takedown.

This form is open to any YouTube user but should only be submitted by the copyright owner or an agent authorised to act on the owner's behalf.

You can learn more about copyright takedowns and access the webform here.

Get access to other copyright management tools

Individuals or organisations that regularly submit takedown requests or believe that the copyright webform doesn't address their needs should consider using one of the tools below. 

To get started, fill in this form to provide more info about your copyright management needs. We'll review your responses, let you know by email which tool is the best match and provide you with instructions on how to get started.

We'll look at your history to determine which tool is right for you, including:

  • How often you upload videos
  • How often your videos are re-uploaded
  • Whether or not you manage an account on behalf of a company
  • Your history of submitting takedown requests through our webform

In particular, we'll look at how your previous webform requests have demonstrated your understanding of copyright and your need for frequent takedowns.

Note: When submitting the form, check that you're logged in with the email address that you've used to submit previous takedown requests in the webform. This helps us understand your history with the webform. Filling in the form more than once will not speed up review of your submission.

 Tools for frequent takedown needs

Copyright Match Tool

If your audiovisual content is uploaded frequently by other users, you may be able to use the Copyright Match Tool. The tool locates full re-uploads of your videos, regardless of which privacy setting you've applied. From there, you can choose different actions to take. Either:

  • Email the uploader of the matched content
  • Request immediate removal of the content
  • Request a scheduled removal of the content (seven-day notice)
  • Archive the match without taking action on the video

The Copyright Match Tool uses the same matching technology as Content ID but is easier to manage and requires fewer resources. The Copyright Match Tool is accessible to channels that have applied and shown that they need a scaled rights management tool. It's also automatically available on the Studio Copyright page for all channels in the YouTube Partner Programme

Learn more about the Copyright Match Tool.

Tools for scaled takedown needs 

Content Verification Programme

The Content Verification Programme is for copyright owners who have a frequent need to remove content from YouTube and have consistently submitted many complete and valid takedown requests. The tool allows owners to search for material that they believe to be infringing and issue copyright takedown requests for many videos at a time. 

If you don't need to search for and request the removal of numerous videos on an ongoing basis, you may use the copyright takedown webform.

Learn more about the Content Verification Programme.

Content ID

For those who have the most complex rights management needs (like a record label or movie studio), are submitting a high number of complete and valid takedown requests and are able to dedicate the resources needed to manage it, we have Content ID. Content ID is a system that helps copyright owners easily manage their intellectual property on YouTube. 

How it works

Videos uploaded to YouTube are scanned against a database of files that have been submitted by copyright owners. If Content ID finds material that matches one of your works, you can choose to:

  • Block a whole video from being viewed
  • Monetise the video by running ads against it, in some cases sharing revenue with the uploader
  • Track the video's viewership statistics

These actions can be country-specific. For example, a video may be monetised in one country and blocked or tracked in another.

Content ID is not a tool for everyone. Even unintentional misuse of Content ID can have serious consequences for YouTube and creators. It comes with complicated controls that require ongoing management and a high-level understanding of copyright. Copyright owners who use Content ID must also make sure that their content is eligible for Content ID and safe for automated matching technology.

Note:  Many rights holders prefer to use a third-party service provider to manage their rights via Content ID. These existing Content ID service providers represent rights holders for a fee. To find one, start with this directory.
Using any of these tools to submit a takedown request starts a legal process. Misuse of this process may result in the suspension of your account or other legal consequences. It is important to consider whether fair use, fair dealing or other exceptions to copyright apply in each situation.
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