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In which Hank walks you through what it looks like when you've got a claim against one of your videos, what you should/can do about it, and also what it looks like and acts like from the rights-holders perspective.

None of this is legal advice...except for the part where I say "Don't Get Sued."

Hello and welcome to Hank Green goes on YouTube and talks about YouTubey stuff; which I haven't done in a while, so, hopefully you missed it.

We're are going to talk today about what to do if you have a copyright claim, how copyright claims work and what it all means. And we're gonna start, here, on the Vlogbrothers creators studio dashboard.

To go to your copyright claims, you just gotta click on your video manager and here, are my videos and then I can click on copyright notices.

And here, are the videos that we have uploaded that have had copyright claims against them. We have uploaded one of those since 2010. Uh, and it's complicated why that's a claim, but it is. So here are all the videos that we have had copyright claimed against us.

Uh, this. Here's a very straight forward one. This is the Google search stories. I used uh, some, a bit of the Harry Potter soundtrack to make this video; and it was claimed by the owner of that music, WMG. It means that I cannot monetize the video, so this video's not monetized for me, but if you watch that video, you may get an ad. And the revenue from that ad goes to WMG. It doesn't go to me. This is actually a fairly significant source of, of income for large rights holders like WMG, and, uh, and I guess Warner in general uh, and Sony, and, and like, Lady Gaga, makes a lot of money off of people uploading her, like, videos that use her music, uh, and then uh, they get sort of a retroactive license for that. So instead of WMG taking down my video for violating their copyright, they say, well, you just have to pay us a license, and that license is how ever much money that video makes. That's better, in my opinion, than having them take it down, but it would be nice if we get to share the revenue, since I also put work into that. But that's not how it works. YouTube is not set up to share revenue.

Now, if I thought that this was a legitimate use of the Harry Potter soundtrack, prologue, which I don't, but if I though it was, I could dispute the claim. I could file a dispute. And here's what that page looks like. I believe the copyright claim is not valid because this one is not valid, if you click that it won't matter. This one is not valid. This one is not valid. None of those are, are, in any way, reasons for you to own the copyright. The last four, however, are.

This is my original content video and I own all the rights to it. Now, the person, that means that the person who claimed it, claimed it inaccurately. That happens. Um, and if that happens to you, click that and press continue and dispute the claim and you will win.

Uh. Second. I have a license or written permission to use it. In that case, if you do, click that, click continue.

Third. The use of the content meets the legal requirements for fair use. This is the complicated one because fair use is weird. And you don't really know if it's fair use until a court of law decides it's fair use, so, you can click that, but it's, I mean you should, if you believe that it's fair use, absolutely click that, but there's no real knowing if you're right. And we'll talk about that in a second.

The content is in the public domain. That means if it's content from NASA or something, or if it's content that's very old, uh, and someone else has claimed it, uh, inaccurately, then you click that. This happens to me all the time because I'll upload something that has a clip from NASA in it, and then someone else, who is also a rights holder uh, who, who has access to content ID will upload a video that includes that clip, and then that clip uh, will flag my video as containing their rights. Now, they'll own all the stuff around that clip, but they won't own that clip. So it doesn't have to match 100% of the video, really- it's a very short amount of time that you'll need in order to get a flag - it's like five seconds or something. I mean it's not, to be clear, it is not a hard, fast thing. It's, it's a very fancy smart algorithm. So, um, but, uh, this happens to me quite frequently and then um, I claim it and then it's just dropped because everyone's like, yes, that is NASA's footage, we apologize, it's an automatic system. We didn't mean to claim it. Et cetera.

Umm. So. The use of my content meets - and I'm not gonna click continue, well, should I just click continue? I'm just gonna do it. So, uh, yes, I, uh, uh, I am sure that my video meets the legal requirements for fair use and I want to dispute this claim. This is a ridiculous statement because no one is sure if, hahaha, that the video meets the legal requirements for fair use. I mean, unless you're like an intellectual property attorney, or possibly a judge in the Supreme Court, you do not know for sure. But whatever. Um. So yes you can click that and then you can continue. I'm not gonna do that because as I say, (incoherent mumbly groans), it's not fair use, I just stole that from WMG and I'm paying a license to them basically.

So that's what you should do. Now, to walk you through the rest of the process, what will happen, is then the rights holder gets like, 30 days or so, I'm not exactly sure how long it is, to respond and say whether or not you are correct that you don't, that they don't have the right to claim that video. Um, in most cases, they will- they will do nothing and the rights will revert to you. And that's like, and the reason why is because 99%, 99.9%, let's say, of, of copyright claims, never get disputed. People don't know how this works. People don't understand, they, they just say like, oh I got a copyright flag, I'm, I'm not gonna touch that with a 10 foot pole, I don't wanna get sued, just let whatever happens happen. They freak out and they don't ever think about it ever again.

Now, because it's such a very small number of people who do dispute it, it's not a big deal from the perspective of revenue so, probably, you- they won't even think about it. They won't even have an employee whose job is to decide whether or not that was a thing.

That is the case for a lot of rights holders. It's not the case for Warner, for example. Like they have people who actually review it and say whether or not that was a rights violation, which is one reason why I would never click that button because I don't want to go down that road. But, it's not- if I did click that button it wouldn't be like I'm taking a legal action. I'm just saying I dispute it and then they get to say you are correct, thank you for disputing it, or you are wrong, we still claim the content.

At that point, then, there is a process by which you can submit basically a, like a legal action, to YouTube, to say no, no, no, this is fair use. Or this is my content, and they cannot claim it. At that point, you are kind of, like, you're kind of asking to be sued. Like, you're making the legal claim, they then have to respond with their legal team and if you are like, you know, I, I, I woul- I wouldn't, I wouldn't go there, personally, if this is like for, something, somebody like CinemaSins who makes like, commentary on, uh, on YouTube videos, or not on YouTube, commentary on movies, and they use like, and they use clips from movies to critique movies, which, is fair use, for them, sure. Whatever. Like they, you're a big deal, but if you're not a big deal, don't go past the first step. It's such a small number of times that they will even respond saying that you are, that, that they still own the video, uh, then, or they still claim the video then, it, it's just, it's not really worth doing.

If you do that and it turns out they still own the video, you will get a copyright strike; if you get three copyright strikes, your YouTube channel will no longer exist. So. Don't do that more than once. At least at a time. Like if you win, then you can do it again. But don't do it more than once. Um. Win. When I say win, they don't ha- they don't have the obligation to sue you, but they can, um, at that point. They probably won't. Because it's ridiculous. WHY would they. Um. It's a tiny, tiny amount of revenue, for a company like Warner.

Now, um, we have been through that, now we know what copyright notices are, what claiming is, and how to dispute it, and what disputes are insane and what, which ones aren't.

Now we're gonna look, you can stop watching this video now if that's all you came for. Uh, now we're gonna look though, at, what it actually looks like from the perspective of a rights holder. So this is the content of a person, no this is the webpage of a person who has had their content flagged. What does it look like, from the perspective of a person who has, uh, who has uploaded their videos into content ID, which is a library of pretty much just a massive amount of, of claimed property. Claimed intellectual property. Uh, that then all YouTube videos are run against in an algorithm to decide whether or not that content contains the property of another entity. Uh, so from my perspective, as a person who owns YouTube content, you can actually see like, some of, this is, this is a bad start, this, this, this is better, you can actually see how this, like, this works from a person who uploads content into Content ID. So I do that. I have a number of YouTube channels, and, they, they get like, matched against content.

So here's why do sharks, why don't sharks have bones, uploaded by somebody in Russia, you can click this and watch the video, and probably, let's turn that down, probably it will just be a re-upload of the video. It is. It's just a re-upload of the video. Sometimes they have subtitles or they've, they've uh, translated it into Russian, and then I'm like, yeah, cool, but no, this is just a complete re-upload of the video which is why we have an automatic claim. So we've automatically claimed this so those four views that this video has gotten, uh, I didn't mean to click on that, actually. Those four views this video has gotten are then monetized for us. This is entirely insignificant. Now, what else can I explain to you on this, on this video? I can play the exact match which is the entire video in this case. I can also, uh, so, so the applied policy, is uh, monetized if it's not inside of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, or Tunisia which are countries that North America, or that, that, the US has embargoes against, um, so we can't monetize from them, which is, interesting.

Um, I could decide to take this video down, uh, issue a take down  and it would get taken down, and that's how that would work. Um, and I can, uh, I could release the video, which would mean that that person would then have the rights to it and I would release my claim, or I could release and exclude which would mean that I would release the claim and say don't ever claim anything like that again. So I could basically release my, my, my claim to this content, not just in this specific case, but in all future cases. I'm not gonna do that. 

Uh. The other thing that I could do is manual claiming. So this, these are all just completely automatic. Anything that gets uploaded to this SciShow and Vlogbrothers and crash course and Sexplanations and the brain scoop, that automatically gets claimed against for people who just for some reason, and I don't know why they do it, but they do, just upload copies of our video. Constantly. It's gotta be some, some, some use beyond any of this. But, it's automatically claimed, that's how it works. We could automatically take down all of them, we have, we have policies that, uh, we monetize, like, most of our, our assets that we claim, we just monetize them. Um, some of them we track. *cough* 

Uh, we can also do manual claiming. So, the reason I would do this is if I wanted to say everyone who's ever covered Accio Deathly Hallows, which is a song of mine. I could search for Accio Deathly Hallows, I could even search for Accio Deathly Hallows cover, um, and I could say all people who have covered that, or people who have just uploaded it, that's mine. I take it. So this is just a, like a video that shows the lyrics while it plays the song. I can uh, say that, link this to the asset of Accio Deathly Hallows, so, then I search for the asset, it has no title because it's an old system, uh, not an old system but it's, that video is old enough that the system doesn't have it's title, and it's weird. So, see here. No title. I don't know why no title. Uh, and then I would say that I claim the audio, 'cause I, I guess I don't claim the video, and then I would monetize in all countries, and then I would claim it. And it would be claimed and it would be done and then I would own that video. I could also decide, or not own the video I would have claimed it.

I can also take it down. I can say the work is allegedly infringed, I can sign it as Hank Green, and I have good faith to believe that the music... ablaghjablahhh [... noises]... onto the penalty of perjury, I am authorized to act on the behalf of the power that the exclusive right that is allegedly infringed. I acknowledge that any person who knowingly materially misrepresents the material is infringing and maybe subject to liability for damages. So do not click this unless you are sure.

Claiming however, does not have that scary language associated with it which is interesting. Um. Yeah. Weird. So that's how manual claiming works. 

I could also whitelist channels if I felt like there was a particular channel that I didn't care if they used my content, uh, that would be for man- for, for automatic claims not manuals. 

There's also a list of to-dos. That would be if, uh, so the usual, the thing that we find in the to-dos, I don't have any right now, but the thing that we find in to-dos is, when, we have claimed something that someone else has claimed. So there's like an overlap in claims, and, and usually that's because, uh, we've used some footage from somewhere else, and someone else has used the footage from somewhere else as well, probably neither of us own it, and so I just exclude that piece from our rights library.

It's really kind of an amazing system. It works remarkably well. The idea of content ID, that they can take ALL of the rights that people upload into this system and sometimes it's just YouTube videos that people upload and sometimes, you know, Warner will upload all of their movies, every movie they've ever made, every song they've ever released, and then you check - [crash/break] oh god, I just knocked over a bottle - and then you check every YouTube video that gets uploaded against that massive library, every time, for every second of YouTube that's uploaded everyday, which is like, like a year of content is uploaded to YouTube everyday, the fact that that works even a little bit is actually pretty astounding. I'm kind of amazed, and gesticulating so much that I almost knocked my bottle over again

As you can see, that it's actually pretty cool, despite being imperfect, because this is just a fact of the matter, this isn't the most fair system. It isn't the most legally correct system. It's just the system that's possible. It's the only way to do it. Because if we didn't have a system, people would constantly upload episodes of Family Guy to YouTube. Constantly. Every second of every day. And YouTube would have no way of recognizing when that happens, except manually. And if they had to pay an army of people to check every video that gets uploaded to YouTube, YouTube wouldn't function. It couldn't exist. And if they didn't have that army of people, they would get sued out of existence. So instead we have this imperfect system which allows us to have YouTube. It's constantly being fixed, it's evolving, the problems that people have with it are being, are being, are better now than they have been, and hopefully they will continue to be better. People who have been false claiming are, you know, false claiming happens less and less. Uh, so, really, it's not so bad. We shouldn't be complacent we shouldn't say aw well it's a good enough system let's not complain when we get false claims. But we should, you know, recognize that there's no real other way to do this. So. That's my video on copyright um, claiming, and you can see how, how manual claiming works for a rights holder and how automatic claiming works for a rights holder and, how, having your videos claimed works for a person who uploads YouTube videos, uh, and, and, you know, before 2010, we had no idea what we were doing, so we used copyrighted content all the freaking time. Uh, we don't do that anymore because, I mean we sometimes do, um, and, and, honestly, the great thing is now we can upload, if we really want to, we can upload content with, you know, with intellectual property that isn't ours in it, and not have to worry about our channel getting taken down. We just have to recognize that that video isn't gonna make any money for us; it's gonna make money for somebody else. And if the video ID is good enough, then I got no problem with that. 'Cause it's still providing value for me in the form of creating good content for my audience and you know being something that I'm proud to create and that I feel good about. So intellectual property: it's weird. YouTube: it's weird too. Thanks for watching this video. I'll see you next time.