Are They Stealing Your Content!?!

Red alert!!!

Enterprising and aspiring, yet lazy wannabe YouTubers may be stealing your content! 

Okay, it's probably not that serious, but you don't want people stealing your content and reuploading it as their own.

Even so, this is a copyright infringement, so those other videos need to be removed.

If you're in the YouTube Partner Program, YouTube has a tool that will notify you when this happens.

The YouTube Copyright Match Tool

You can use the YouTube Copyright Match Tool to protect your content. 

Let's drop a little justice on those content thieves! 

The YouTube Copyright Match Tool is only useful if someone has actually stolen a portion of or your entire video.

In order to find that out, click into YouTube Studio.

Click Copyright in the left navigation.

If anyone has stolen your content, you're going to see those channels listed here.

In the video linked above, you'll see I have four channels that have used my content.

You can also see what video they have taken, what the name of the offending channel is, the date they uploaded the content, how many views they've gotten, and how much of your video they have used. 

Not every video showing here will be actual infringements. Some of them will fall under Fair Use. We'll talk about that more in a minute.

All four of the matches for my channel in the video were 100% of my video as their own video, so they all need to be reported and removed.

What Counts as Fair Use

Fair Use is when someone takes a portion of your content and includes it in their own content for commentary, to provide some type of feedback that is transformative in nature, reviews, etc. 

Obviously 100% isn't Fair Use. 

To the right of each video, you have three options: 

  1. Move to archive - hide the video without reporting it
  2. Request video removal - request that YouTube remove the video from the offender's channel
  3. Contact channel - you can contact the channel owner directly for whatever reason

In a situation where the entire video has been taken, I think there's little reason to contact the channel. I'll just request that they be removed.

When you click the Request video removal button, you'll be taken to the next screen. 

You have the opportunity to verify your information.

Then at the bottom, you have a couple of options: 

  • Scheduled: Send a 7-day notice - once the request is validated, YouTube gives the uploader 7 days to remove the video without a copyright strike
  • Standard: Request removal now - these can result in a copyright strike if YouTube decides to after it validates your request

At the very bottom are some checkboxes and a few statements you need to agree with to request the removal of videos. 

If that's all good with you, check the boxes, and type your name to sign off on the removal request.

It's important that you realize the purpose of this tool is not to go after people or to protect content as your own that you didn't create. 

If you do, you're going to run into problems. 

In my situation, I'm going with the Standard removal request. If it results in a copyright strike, then that's a great education for channels that are stealing content. They need to know that is not how it's done on YouTube.

YouTube actually keeps an archive of your removals and you can see those when you're all done.

You'll receive email notifications from YouTube regarding how your requests are handled on their end.

If you've contacted the channel, that correspondence would be under the Messages tab.

In the Archive tab, you can place videos where you've allowed portions of your content to be used that fall under Fair Use.

That's it.

You definitely want to keep a handle on where and how your content is being used. Most of the time, it's just some low-effort nobody trying to get views, but sometimes it can be nefarious.

I don't usually have issue with the partial clips, but these 100 percenters are a pet peeve of mine. 

It's just my way of doing my part to keep things cleaned up as much as possible.