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Copyright Claim vs Copyright Strike – What’s the Difference?

Copyright claim vs copyright strike

Knowing the difference between a copyright claim and a copyright strike is undeniably important. For instance, both claims and strikes affect a YouTube channel but at varying degrees of severity. Before we jump to copyright claims vs copyright strikes, let’s understand what copyright is.

The Meaning of Copyright

Copyright is intellectual property. It essentially protects original creations as soon as a work is completed. Copyright law covers creations such as books, movies, artwork, music, photographs, architectural designs, and a myriad of more works. Copyright protects expressive works and not things such as concepts, discoveries, procedures, or systems. Anyone and everyone who creates original work is a copyright owner.

Legally, original creations from January 1, 1978, and onwards, have copyright protection for the life of the author/creator and seventy years after their death. Further, it is not necessary to register a copyright, but it is good practice and an important step to ensure exclusive rights of copyright, when in litigation if addressing violations of use. To copyright work in the United States, the one place to register is the US Copyright Office, which also offers services online at

After understanding what copyright is, let’s delve into copyright claim vs copyright strike.

First off, let us discuss copyright claims.

What is a Copyright Claim?

An example of copyright claim vs copyright strike

A copyright claim, on a platform such as YouTube, is when content is uploaded or used by someone who does not own it and/or did not create it. The legitimate owner may then identify the copyrighted material and decide not to do anything, or they can choose to claim ownership and monetize the video; advertisements will be played on the video and paid out to the copyright holder.

Alternately, the video can be blocked worldwide, or in certain countries and areas. Copyright claims are also called Content ID claims on the YouTube platform. The system scans videos and alerts rights-holders of violations. These violations are applied to the individual flagged videos.

In terms of using royalty-free music on YouTube videos, read our article on how you can use royalty-free music on YouTube.

What is a Copyright Strike?

On the other hand, copyright strikes are when copyright holders outright object to their work being used in a video, and it is removed from YouTube. This happens when the rights holder files a DMCA takedown request. This request will have the contact information of the copyright holder, a description of the work, and a statement of good faith. After the request is filed, YouTube takes down the video that is in violation, and the uploading channel can then either accept the decision or respond by filing a counter-notice.

The main drawback with receiving a copyright strike is that it will expire after 90 days, flagging the account as being in bad standing. Ultimately, if three strikes are acquired before the two previous strikes have expired, YouTube will terminate the account and automatically remove all the videos on the account. This could escalate to litigation and legal problems that can be costly and stress-inducing. If trying to keep the account active, after a copyright strike, be mindful that live streaming will no longer be allowed, and videos longer than 15 minutes cannot be uploaded.

How is Copyright Claims vs Strikes is Reflected in Video-Sharing Platforms and Related to Royalty-Free Music?

A video explaining copyright claims and copyright strikes in YouTube

Along with having to go to court, another consequence of receiving either a copyright claim or a copyright strike is that the YouTube channel may have difficulty trying to monetize itself. Even channels with no copyright claims or strikes are not automatically accepted into the YouTube Partner Program.

This is incredibly important when deciding what content to upload and what supporting graphics, music, sounds, videos, etc. should be used in videos.

When contemplating copyright claim vs copyright strike, remember that claims affect an individual video, while strikes affect the entire channel. Put in the work and research to avoid using copyrighted videos, music, or material that can lead to consequences and serious outcomes that are counterproductive to the time and effort it takes to establish a solid, thriving channel.

How to Avoid Copyright Claims or Copyright Strikes on Your Videos?

Creating original content is rewarding but it can also be frustrating at times. One of the biggest frustrations you may encounter being a video creator and uploading videos to a popular video-sharing platform, are such copyright claims or strikes.

To avoid an unpleasant situation like this, it is best advised to use only original footage and licensed music (which also refers as “Royalty-free music”). Here’s where you can get royalty-free music easily.

Can a Copyright Claim Turn Into a Strike?

Although copyright claims that turn into a strike are not common, The only way a copyright claim can turn into a strike is if you copy someone else’s content and post it on your site without getting their permission. The other way is if you steal someone else’s content and post it on your site without giving them credit for the work.

For example, copyright infringement claims can lead to an author being given a strike on their account, which leads them to lose access to certain parts of their content, whether it’s a website, a social media page, or even a YouTube channel where they publish new content on.

Regardless of whether the copyright claim becomes a strike, you should always ask for permission before posting somebody else’s work. If you want to avoid copyright claims or strikes, the best practice is to hold a license to use the content or own the content yourself.

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