YouTube attempts to stamp out ‘copyright trolls’

News Article

Video sharing platform, YouTube, has announced changes to its copyright ID system that will make it easier for creators to manage claims.

YouTube’s comprehensive copyright ID system helps copyright owners quickly and effortlessly claim content should they feel copyright has been breached.

However, creators have long argued that the system can be easily abused, with many copyright owners claiming the monetisation rights over entire videos, even if their intellectual property is used in just a portion of the content.

Today’s new measures look to change the system to curb the “aggressive manual claiming” of very short music clips used in monetised videos.

These types of claims divert all revenue from the creator to the claimant, regardless of the length of content claimed.

To address this, YouTube has now introduced a new requirement for copyright owners to provide timestamps for all manual claims. This enables the creator to use those timestamps to remove manually claimed content. This will automatically release the claim and restore monetisation.

A second measure introduced this week will also forbid copyright owners from claiming monetisation rights on creator videos with “very short or unintentional uses of music”. However, they may still be able to prevent monetisation or apply a block policy.

Commenting on the change, YouTube said: “We strive to make YouTube a fair ecosystem for everyone, including songwriters, artists, and YouTube creators.

“We acknowledge that these changes may result in more blocked content in the near-term, but we feel this is an important step toward striking the right balance over the long-term. Our goal is to unlock new value for everyone by powering creative reuse and content mashups, while fairly compensating all rights holders.”

Luke Morgan, a Partner with Palmers, who specialise in IP law, said: “This latest clarification by YouTube illustrates that the way in which IP law is applied in the fast moving tech and social media world, needs to constantly adapt in order to protect the rights of the original holder.

“Any business concerned about the protection of their IP rights should seek specialist legal advice.”

For help and support on all aspects of IP law, please contact us.


We want to protect you and our staff from the spread of coronavirus.

We would kindly request, where possible, that you contact us by telephone or email in preference to attending personally at our offices.

If you are feeling unwell or have been in contact with anyone who is unwell, please do not visit our offices.

Where possible, please send correspondence and documentation to us electronically so that we are able to progress matters remotely if necessary. Thank you for your co-operation.