YouTube Introduces the Copyright Match Tool



YouTube has introduced a new way for copyright owners to protect their work. It is called the Copyright Match Tool. It is designed to find re-uploads of your content on other channels.

Here’s how it works: after you upload a video, YouTube will scan other videos uploaded to YouTube to see if any of them are the same or very similar. When there is a match, it will appear in the “matches” tab in the tool and you can decide what to do next.

YouTube says they have been testing the Copyright Match Tool with creators for nearly a year to make it safe and effective for the whole community.

Here is what you need to know about how the Copyright Match Tool:

  • It is important that you’re the first person to upload your video to YouTube. The time of the upload is how YouTube determines who should be shown matches.
  • This tool is intended to find full re-uploads. If you find a clip of your content that you’d like removed, you can always report it via the copyright webform.
  • Once the tool has found a match, you can chose either to do nothing, to get in touch with the other creator, or request that YouTube remove the video. When you request removal you can do so with or without a 7-day delay to allow the uploader to correct the issue themselves. Takedown requests will be reviewed to make sure they comply with YouTube’s copyright policies.
  • Before taking action, YouTube asks that you carefully evaluate each match to confirm that you own the rights to the matched content and ensure that you believe it infringes on your copyright. YouTube says you should not file a copyright takedown request for content that you do not own exclusively, such as public domain content.
  • YouTube also says you should consider whether the matched content could be considered fair use or could be subject to some other exceptions to copyright and hence not require permission for reuse.

According to YouTube, the Copyright Match Tool is not Content ID. It says the Copyright Match Tool “does use similar technology used by Content ID, but the Copyright Match Tool is a unique tool designed especially for YouTube creators who have problems with unauthorized re-uploads.”

YouTube will start rolling out the Copyright Match Tool next week to creators with more than 100k subscribers. They are intending to monitor usage closely. YouTube will expand the Copyright Match Tool “over the next coming months” with the long-term goal of making it available to every creator in the YouTube Partner program.

I can see the potential for the Copyright Match Tool to help creators. But, I can also have some concerns.

If some steals your content from somewhere outside of YouTube, and posts it to YouTube before you can, it appears YouTube will consider the thief to be the rightful owner of the content instead of the actual creator.