Avoiding the Pitfall: How to Get a Copyright Strike on YouTube

When it comes to how to get a copyright strike on YouTube, it’s easier than you might think. Here are the quickest ways to invite trouble:

  1. Upload someone else’s content without permission: This includes using music, video clips, or images you don’t own.
  2. Ignore copyright laws: Acts like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) are serious business.
  3. Disregard claims and strikes: Accumulate three strikes, and your channel could be terminated.

Understanding the importance of navigating YouTube’s copyright rules is crucial for any creator. Copyright strikes can hamstring your channel’s growth, limit features like monetization and live streaming, and even result in legal challenges.

Infographic explaining causes and consequences of a YouTube copyright strike - how to get copyright strike on youtube infographic cause_effect_text

Understanding Copyright on YouTube

Before diving into how to get a copyright strike on YouTube, understand the basics of copyright law, intellectual property, and exclusive rights. This knowledge will help you navigate YouTube’s rules and avoid potential pitfalls.

Copyright Law

Copyright law grants creators of original work exclusive rights to use and distribute their creations. This applies to various types of content, including music, videos, images, and literary works. Essentially, copyright means that the creator has control over how their work is used, distributed, and monetized.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, like inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, and symbols. When you create something original, you automatically own the IP for that creation. This ownership gives you the right to control how others use your work.

Exclusive Rights

When you own the copyright to a piece of content, you have exclusive rights over it. These rights include:

  • Reproduction: Only you can make copies of your work.
  • Distribution: You control how and where your work is distributed.
  • Performance: Only you can perform your work publicly.
  • Display: You control how your work is displayed or shown.
  • Derivative Works: Only you can create new works based on your original content.

Understanding these rights is crucial because infringing on someone else’s exclusive rights can lead to copyright claims or strikes on YouTube. For example, using a copyrighted song in your video without permission can trigger a claim through YouTube’s Content ID system or even a manual takedown notice.

copyright law - how to get copyright strike on youtube

Tip: Always make sure you have the necessary permissions or licenses to use someone else’s content. This can save you from potential legal issues and help you maintain a good standing on YouTube.

In the next section, we’ll explore how to get a copyright strike on YouTube by discussing common triggers and the consequences of these strikes. Stay tuned to learn more!

How to Get a Copyright Strike on YouTube

Common Triggers for Copyright Strikes

There are several ways you can get a copyright strike on YouTube. Most of them involve using someone else’s content without permission. Here are some common triggers:

  • Music: Using copyrighted music in your videos without a proper license is one of the quickest ways to get a strike. Even a few seconds of a popular song can trigger a claim or a strike.
  • Video Clips: Uploading clips from movies, TV programs, or other YouTube videos without permission is another surefire way to get a strike. Content owners often monitor for unauthorized use of their material.
  • Images: Using copyrighted images in your thumbnails or within your videos can also lead to a strike. This includes photos, illustrations, and even memes that you didn’t create or don’t have permission to use.
  • TV Programs and Movies: Uploading full episodes, scenes, or even short clips from TV shows and movies without authorization is a big no-no. These industries have strict monitoring and enforcement practices.

Consequences of Copyright Strikes

The consequences of getting a copyright strike on YouTube are severe and can impact your channel in multiple ways:

  • Channel Termination: If you receive three copyright strikes within 90 days, your YouTube account will be terminated. This means all your uploaded videos and any associated channels will be removed permanently.
  • Loss of Monetization: Even a single strike can affect your ability to monetize your videos. YouTube may disable monetization features, which means you won’t earn any ad revenue from your content.
  • Legal Challenges: Beyond YouTube’s penalties, you could face legal challenges from the copyright owner. This could include lawsuits, legal fees, and fines if you lose the case.
  • Feature Restrictions: With just one strike, you might lose access to certain features like live streaming. This can significantly limit your ability to engage with your audience.
  • Reputation Damage: Having multiple strikes can damage your reputation as a content creator. Brands may be hesitant to work with you, and your audience might lose trust in your content.

In the next section, we’ll dive into the difference between copyright claims and copyright strikes. Understanding this distinction can help you navigate YouTube’s copyright policies more effectively.

Difference Between Copyright Claims and Copyright Strikes

Understanding the difference between copyright claims and copyright strikes is crucial for navigating YouTube’s copyright policies effectively. Let’s break down these two terms.

What is a Copyright Claim?

A copyright claim happens when YouTube’s Content ID system detects copyrighted content in your video. This system scans all uploaded videos against a database of copyrighted works. If there’s a match, the copyright owner can choose to:

  • Monetize the video: Ads may be placed on your video, and the revenue goes to the copyright owner. Sometimes, you might share the revenue.
  • Track the video’s viewership: This allows the owner to see how the video performs without monetizing it.
  • Block the video in certain regions: The video remains live but is restricted in specific countries.

Important Note: A copyright claim does not affect your channel’s standing. It only applies to the specific video in question.

What is a Copyright Strike?

A copyright strike is much more severe. It occurs when a copyright owner files a DMCA takedown request, claiming that you’ve used their content without permission. This process is manual and involves legal steps. Here’s what happens:

  • Video Removal: The video is taken down by YouTube.
  • Channel Penalties: With one strike, you lose access to features like monetization and live streaming.
  • Legal Implications: If you believe the strike is incorrect, you can file a counter-notice, but this may lead to legal action.

Critical Facts:
Three Strikes: If you receive three strikes within 90 days, your channel will be terminated.
Strike Expiration: Strikes expire after 90 days, provided no further violations occur.

While copyright claims mainly affect the revenue and availability of individual videos, copyright strikes can jeopardize the entire channel. Understanding these differences can help you better manage your content and avoid severe consequences.

Next, we’ll explore how to avoid copyright strikes on YouTube.

How to Avoid Copyright Strikes on YouTube

Avoiding copyright strikes on YouTube is crucial for maintaining your channel’s health and growth. Here are some practical tips to help you navigate the complex world of copyright:

Original Content

The safest way to avoid copyright issues is to create and upload your own original content. This means shooting your own videos, recording your own audio, and designing your own graphics. When everything in your video is your own creation, there’s no risk of infringing on someone else’s copyright.

Proper Licensing

If you must use copyrighted material, ensure you have the proper licenses. Licensing gives you the legal right to use someone else’s work. By purchasing a license, you can use the music in your videos without fearing copyright claims or strikes.

YouTube Audio Library

YouTube provides a free Audio Library filled with high-quality music and sound effects that you can use in your videos. This is an excellent resource for creators who need background music but want to avoid copyright issues. You can access it directly through YouTube Studio.

Fair Use

Understanding and applying the concept of fair use can help you use copyrighted material legally. Fair use allows for limited use of copyrighted content under specific conditions, such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, and research. However, fair use is a gray area and often requires a legal interpretation. Courts consider factors like the purpose, nature, amount, and effect of the use on the market value of the original work.


Sometimes, the simplest way to use copyrighted material is to ask for permission. Reach out to the copyright holder and request their consent to use their work. This can often be done through a formal agreement or even a simple email. Documenting this permission can protect you if a dispute arises later.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons licenses allow creators to share their work with specific conditions. Look for content that is marked with a Creative Commons license, which can often be used freely as long as you follow the license terms. Websites like Creative Commons offer a vast repository of such content.

YouTube’s Copyright Management Tools

YouTube provides several tools to help manage and avoid copyright issues:

Content ID

Content ID is YouTube’s digital fingerprinting system that scans uploaded videos for matches against a database of copyrighted content. If a match is found, the copyright owner can choose to monetize, track, or block the video. Understanding how Content ID works can help you avoid unintentional infringements.

Copyright Match Tool

The Copyright Match Tool helps creators find re-uploads of their original videos. It identifies near-full re-uploads on other channels and allows the original creator to take action, such as requesting removal or messaging the uploader. This tool is particularly useful for protecting your own content from being reused without permission.


For rights holders who need to remove unauthorized copies of their content, YouTube offers a DMCA webform. This form allows you to submit a copyright notification manually. It’s available to everyone and is an essential tool for managing your content’s rights.

By following these tips and utilizing YouTube’s management tools, you can significantly reduce the risk of receiving a copyright strike. Next, we’ll dive into some frequently asked questions about copyright strikes on YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions about Copyright Strikes on YouTube

What happens after 1 copyright strike on YouTube?

When you receive your first copyright strike on YouTube, it’s a serious warning. Your video gets taken down, and your channel’s standing is affected. Here’s what you should expect:

  • Video Removal: The offending video is taken down immediately.
  • Monetization and Live Streaming: You lose the ability to monetize your videos or live stream until the strike expires.
  • Copyright School: YouTube requires you to complete Copyright School, which involves watching an educational video and answering a few questions.
  • 90-Day Period: The strike will stay on your channel for 90 days. If you adhere to YouTube’s guidelines during this period, the strike will expire, and your privileges will be reinstated.

How long does a YouTube copyright strike last?

A copyright strike on YouTube lasts for 90 days. During this time, it’s crucial to avoid any further violations:

  • Expiration: After 90 days, the strike will automatically expire if you haven’t received any additional strikes.
  • No Removal by Deleting Video: Removing the offending video does not remove the strike. The best strategy is to wait it out and adhere to YouTube’s guidelines.
  • Reinstatement: Upon expiration, your ability to monetize and live stream will be reinstated, provided it’s your first strike.

How many copyright claims can you get on YouTube?

You can receive multiple copyright claims without immediate severe consequences, but they can still impact your channel:

  • Monetization: Content ID claims can result in the copyright holder monetizing your video, potentially sharing revenue or taking it entirely.
  • No Strikes: Unlike copyright strikes, claims do not count against your channel’s standing and do not lead to channel termination.
  • Resolution Options: You can resolve claims by removing the copyrighted content using YouTube’s editing tools, like the new Trim option.

However, it’s important to note that three copyright strikes within 90 days will lead to the termination of your channel. Therefore, understanding the difference between claims and strikes is vital to maintaining your channel’s health.

By staying informed and cautious, you can navigate YouTube’s copyright system more effectively. For more in-depth information, check out YouTube’s Copyright Policies.

Next, we will explore how to avoid copyright strikes on YouTube by creating original content and properly licensing any material you use.


Navigating YouTube’s copyright system can be challenging, but understanding the rules and how to avoid copyright strikes is essential for maintaining a healthy channel. At ENX2 Legal Marketing, we specialize in helping law firms and businesses enhance their online presence through expert digital marketing services.

Our team is well-versed in the complexities of online content creation and copyright laws. We provide tailored strategies that ensure your content remains compliant while maximizing your reach and engagement. From content marketing and SEO to social media management, our services are designed to elevate your brand and protect your online assets.

Whether you need assistance with video marketing, content creation, or understanding the nuances of copyright on platforms like YouTube, ENX2 Legal Marketing is here to help. Our expertise in digital marketing ensures that your business stands out while adhering to all legal requirements.

Don’t let copyright issues hinder your online success. Contact ENX2 Legal Marketing today to learn how we can support your digital marketing needs and help you achieve a robust and compliant online presence.

For more information, visit our website and explore our wide range of services designed to meet your unique needs. Let’s work together to navigate the digital landscape and keep your content safe and effective.