You love making videos. You have a solid subscriber base who fill your comments section with sass and demands, yet you like to make them laugh so you continuously try to top yourself.

One time, you release a video which has a clip from a movie in it – that would make a hilarious reference, right? Your subscribers would love that!

Boom – the video is flagged for copyright infringement.

But how is that possible when people upload entire movies, and all you want to do is tell your pet cat that ‘nobody puts baby in a corner’.

So, what is the best way to avoid copyright strikes on YouTube?

The obvious answer is avoid using copyrighted content, aka content other people have made, in your videos.

Sometimes this isn’t always possible. Unbelievably, YouTube channels have received strikes for recording vlogs in supermarkets and having a Beyonce song on in the background, whilst others have been pulled for having a TV show on behind their kid who is sitting in the living room colouring in.

Copyright violation is a grey area, with many people claiming ‘fair use’ as an excuse to get away with metaphorical murder.

If you simply must include content in your video which you know belongs to somebody else, then be smart. Make sure it does fall under fair use, such as parody or comment and review. You can’t show a 30 second clip of a movie just because it works as a punchline to something you said in your vlog.

When uploading your video, set it to unlisted. That way, if those overly strict bots get their greasy paws on your video, you don’t need to face the shame when pulling your video from your channel. If a bot is going to flag it, then it will generally be within 30 minutes of it being uploaded. Keep your eye on your email just in case you receive that dreaded copyright flag.

Keep clips short and to the point. YouTube has a very complex, and some would say flawed, automated system which scans each and every video uploaded to the website. If it recognises a visual or audio cue which someone has claimed as their own, it will hit you with the ban hammer quicker than the Fine Bros lose subscribers.

Some say using a box or border around the content helps. Some say it doesn’t. The official word from YouTube is it doesn’t, but the hordes of video reviews out there who use this technique would argue otherwise.

Unless you are providing a well-researched critical review on a piece of copyrighted material, then it may be best to avoid using it. Is it worth all that stress just for a cheap punchline?

But how is that possible when people upload entire movies, and all you want to do is tell your pet cat that ‘nobody puts baby in a corner’.

So, what is the best way to avoid copyright strikes on YouTube?

The real trouble arises when your content is flagged manually by a person or organisation. These people mean business, and chances are they will not stop until their goal has been reached – their content has gone from your channel.

Yes, you can fight copyright claims, but that’s another blog post for another time.

With copyrighted music – there really is no excuse. There are library’s full of royalty free music online, with YouTube even offering producers its own catalogue of tracks. Yes, you may hear the same song on a number of your favourite channels, but surely that is better than Universal Records hitting your video with a big fat copyright strike.

It’s simple really, just use your common sense. If you’re not sure you could get away with it, then chances are you probably won’t.

Signing up to a Multi Channel Network, such as Maker or Fullscreen, can help with slightly pulling the wool over the copyright bots eyes, but there is no way to guarantee that your videos will remain strike free.

So, what is the best way to avoid copyright strikes on your YouTube channel?

Well… avoid using copyrighted material.

For more information on how to grow your YouTube channel and promote your videos to your target audience, contact Viral Seeding.

About Viral Seeding

Viral Seeding is a specialist content seeding and influencer marketing agency.

We offer a personal service, taking the time to understand your campaign requirements to execute a strategy that ensures that we deliver views, engagement, endorsement and sharing via social media.

Viral Seeding has worked on a variety of campaigns such as Greenpeace, Testicular Cancer NZ, BT and PGTips. If you think your organisation could benefit from working with us in the future please get in touch.