Music and Copyright on YouTube – what I can and cannot do


Usually, many do not know the copyright on YouTube. Today we review the most frequently asked questions about copyright on YouTube, especially in Music and Copyright.

How does music copyright work on YouTube?

Sometimes you receive notices from YouTube , surely it has ever happened to you, such as that your channel has infringed the copyright in a video or in several of your YouTube channel.

In my case, and with the Blank Generation Vinyls Youtube channel , it has happened to me. A notice comes and you shit your feet down, you think that the channel is going to be liquidated, and you know that you have not uploaded music or infringed copyright (at least you think so).

Well, know that even if you have bought a vinyl, a CD or any physical medium with music, you cannot record the music when you play it, even whistle the melody that you like so much, because you may be penalized by YouTube .

Types of copyright in music on YouTube

Thus, on YouTube, there are two types of copyright in music .

1- Copyright of ownership, of authorship : what artist has created the music that you listen to so much.

2- Copyrights on lyrics and melodies .

They are composition or publication rights .

So when you hum or whistle a tune, or play a tune on an instrument, you are using the copyrighted lyrics or tunes.

And be careful, you do not have to share the entire song on YouTube: a part of the musical theme in question may be the subject of non-compliance on YouTube.

Thus, in this way you can also receive a notice for breach of copyright or content claim .

If they send you a breach notice, it doesn’t mean you have to delete the video.

Youtube, using the Content ID tool , can automatically compare all the videos uploaded to Youtube to see if there are any copyright matches, in this case related to music.

I tell you:

In many of those YouTube music rights claims, the proceeds are shared among the creators of the YouTube Partner Program.

correct copyright claim prevents you from monetizing your YouTube video. You will not be able to earn money with third-party ads on your YouTube videos, which reduces your income, especially in videos that have more viewing time on your channel.

What is the Youtube Partner Program

The YouTube Partner Program allows you to have several advantages:

1- Assistance and help with the Support team for Creators on YouTube.

2- Access to the Youtube Copyright Match Tool.

3- Monetization functions of your YouTube channel. To earn income with Youtube.

To participate in the Program, you must comply with:

1- The YouTube monetization rules.

2- Live in a region or country where the Partner Program is active.

3- More than 4000 hours of viewing in the last 12 months.

4- More than 1000 subscribers.

5- Have a linked Google Adsense account.

If you are eligible and enter the Youtube Partner Program, you can choose if you want to share the income from the video when you confirm that it is a version.

What do I do if I have a notice for copyright infringement for music on YouTube

If YouTube sends you a notice for non-compliance, it is because YouTube has found matches in the content you have uploaded and published on your channel.

Thus, YouTube can even file complaints for microphone tests or white noise.

Other YouTube notices may come from coincidences in the rhythmic bases .

They are automated notification systems (Content ID), so they have their errors, and you should know it.

Not all claims are good. Sometimes they are wrong, and you have the right to make claims.

You can contact the copyright claimant, and see if the notice is due to real or not so real matches.

If both parties agree, you can continue to monetize the video between the two of you until the dispute is resolved.

Each copyright claim is called a strike , and after 3 strikes in 90 days, your YouTube channel can be closed .

Buy the copyright to be able to use music in your YouTube videos

In general, to use copyright freely for your YouTube videos, you have to buy them first.

Buy an official music license .

They allow you to use that song with certain limits, depending on the license. You can make limits by exclusivity, by geographical areas and by duration of use of the right.

You can find royalty-free music in the Youtube Audio Library . You will find both music and sound effects.

Best Practices for Music and CopyRight on Youtube

To use music and not be disappointed, if you want to monetize YouTube, take advantage of the YouTube Audio Library, or other third-party options such as Evento Elements or Jamendo, for example.

To avoid receiving a warning of a video that has already been published, first try to make it hidden or private. The claims will reach you before it is public, so you don’t have to remove it.

Delete the audios already uploaded in your videos, even for a few seconds. You can edit them also once uploaded. Youtube tells you what seconds or minutes have the notice for breach.

Claim an erroneous copyright notice through YouTube, so that the claimant can see it.

Don’t use pieces of other people’s videos to make your own. Make your videos with original content, to avoid automatic tracking and manual claims by other users.

Become a YouTube channel B to upload the tests and see how they work before publishing them on your Channel A. On Channel B, see the claimed pieces of audio, if applicable, and cut and adapt them for the final video in the Channel A.

Your experience with Music and Copyright on YouTube

And you, how do you use music on YouTube? Have you had any case of copyright infringement notices?


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I write about technology, marketing and digital tips. In the past I've worked with Digital Tech, Tirupati Trip. You can reach me at

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