What does copyright claim mean on YouTube

The scariest thing for every YouTuber is to get a "strike". Okay, maybe the scariest one is getting banned, but a strike is no less worrying. As such, everyone wants to know more about them – both those who have received a strike and those who haven't but are very nervous about getting one. Therefore, let's figure out how to avoid getting copyright claims and strikes and what to do if it's already happened.

YouTube copyright claim

Copyright claim vs strike

First, let's define the meaning of these terms. They're often confused with each other, since both directly relate to copyright infringement, but they're not exactly the same.

In short, a claim is a notice by the Content ID system on YouTube indicating that copyrighted material has been detected in an uploaded video. It doesn't have an immediate impact on its availability as the video is not published yet, and the creator can fix the issue before posting.

Receiving a strike is more serious since it needs to be done manually. This means the copyright owner believes their rights are infringed and acts upon them. It often results in the deletion of the video and potentially more severe consequences for the uploader.

Copyright claim regulations

How do copyright claims affect views

Besides the loss of time spent creating claimed videos, their potential removal due to copyright issues can affect the channel's performance as a whole.

The most common example is when a popular video with many views from recommendations and the main page gets claimed. When hidden or deleted, other videos pulled up through the recommendations, end screens, and so on will also get fewer views.

How copyright claims affect views

How to fix copyright claim on YouTube

In YouTube Studio, the creator can see which video got the strike and for what time period, a form for appealing the strike, and options for resolving the issue. The latter often include cutting out the problematic parts and replacing the copyrighted songs with royalty-free ones or muting the infringing fragments altogether.

However, if the author thinks their content was claimed incorrectly, they can file a dispute. In it, they should clarify why their use of the material falls under fair use or other legal exceptions, submit it, and wait for the copyright owner's response (it may take up to 30 days). During this time, they can check the status of the dispute in YouTube Studio.

If the copyright owner upholds the claim, the creator has to reach an agreement with them directly or cut the infringing content out.

How to avoid copyright claim

How to avoid copyright on YouTube

The easiest way to not get claimed is to create original content and use licensed or royalty-free material. But if the use of someone else's clip or song is absolutely needed, creators may try to:

  • apply filters or other means to alter the image visually (we would not advise considering other options, though);
  • use short (under 10 seconds) clips or song fragments;
  • credit the authors when using their content;
  • get permission from creators to use their material.

Also, some users strike videos incorrectly with malicious intent, so regularly checking for copyright claims and addressing them promptly is a must.


What is a copyright claim?

A copyright claim on YouTube is a legal notification issued by the copyright owner or their authorized representative, such as a music label or a production company, to protect their intellectual property rights. This claim asserts that someone has used their material without proper authorization.

What is YouTube's fair use dispute?

A fair use dispute occurs when a video uploader believes that their use of copyrighted material falls under "fair use" exceptions to copyright law and thus makes it legal to use. YouTube reviews these disputes and determines whether the material qualifies as fair use or if it should be removed or monetized for the copyright owner.

How to dispute a copyright claim on YouTube

A video with a copyright claim can be disputed in YouTube Studio using the "File a dispute" function in the "Copyright" section. The user has to choose the appropriate reason, provide a concise explanation, submit the dispute, then wait for the copyright owner's response and act based on it.


To not worry or experience restrictions on your channel, you need to conscientiously and responsibly approach the selection of content for publication. Use only original content or publicly available materials. This will help you avoid copyright violations and YouTube internal rules. To avoid video deletion and problems with the monetization of some videos, keep an eye on notifications from Content ID.