What happens if you upload a copyrighted video on YouTube?

YouTube copyright rules are strict if you upload copyrighted music. There are consequences when uploading copyrighted music or videos. The most notable consequence is that YouTube will ask you to remove the copyrighted video from your account.

Permission must be obtained to avoid all legal consequences. Uploading YouTube content without adhering to YouTube copyright rules and proper music licensing may also result in:

  • Your video has been disabled
  • Monetize your video across ads
  • Deleted videos
  • YouTube channel penalty
  • The owner of the copyrighted music receives all advertising revenue
  • Tracking audience statistics is less reliable
  • Multiple violations may result in the permanent suspension of your channel.

How to know if a song is copyrighted on YouTube?

If the audio or song in your video doesn’t state that it’s copyright free, it’s safe to assume the music is copyrighted. Let’s say you don’t know how to know if a song is copyrighted or royalty-free. Follow these two steps below to check the music license.

1. Check the video description on YouTube

The easiest way to see if a song is copyrighted is in the description box of the video. YouTube music downloads usually indicate in the description box whether the audio is free to use or not. Artist details are usually shown, or the description says royalty-free or free copyright-free music.

2. Upload your YouTube video as private or unlisted

If you’re not sure whether the music included in your video follows YouTube’s copyright rules, upload the video as private or unlisted first. YouTube’s Content ID will let you know if there are any music licensing restrictions. If the audio is copyrighted, you will get a warning on the screen.

How do I get permission to use a copyrighted song?

Obtaining a music license can sometimes be a lengthy process for content creators. To save as much time and research as possible, explore how creators can legally use copyrighted music on YouTube below.

Step 1. Find the copyright owner

First, you need to determine who owns the music you used or want to use and contact them directly.

How can I get permission to use a copyrighted song from a famous composer, you might think? Sounds impossible, right? Fortunately, no matter how popular music publishers are, there are a variety of organizations that can help you contact them.

Step 2. Discuss a permission agreement

Once you’ve found and contacted the owner of your audio track, you’ll need to negotiate a licensing agreement with them. A non-copyright licensing agreement includes:

  • Information about yourself and your channel
  • Media usage (TV)
  • Song title
  • Duration of the song
  • How long you would like to keep the music for
  • The approximate number of expected views
  • The purpose of the license (commercial or non-profit)

Step 3. Create a written permission agreement

Once the clearance agreement has been discussed and approved, you must put the clearance agreement in writing. Avoid all verbal agreements with music owners, as they are less effective than written agreements. If the permit agreement is not in paper form, some misunderstandings may lead to future disputes.

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