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YouTube Updates Copyright-Reporting System to Make It Easier for Creators to Manage Claims

In recent months, YouTube creators say they’ve been swamped with a flood of manual claims from copyright owners — sometimes for just a second or two of a song. Now the video platform has responded, revising its policies to require more specific info from copyright holders about any alleged infringement and rolling out new tools to help creators respond to such claims.

Effective as of July 9, YouTube requires copyright owners to provide timestamps for all new manual Content ID claims. That’s designed to let creators know exactly which part of their video is being claimed. The new policy applies to manually submitted copyright-infringement claims under YouTube’s Content ID system, as opposed to videos that are automatically flagged by content-matching algorithms.

YouTube said in a blog post that it’s going to be vigilant about policing false claims: “We’ll be evaluating the accuracy of these timestamps. Copyright owners who repeatedly fail to provide accurate data will have their access to manual claiming revoked.”

YouTube also introduced new editing tools to remove manually claimed content in videos, which will automatically release the claim. Those are “Mute Song,” which will let a creator simply mute the audio in the time-stamped segment that is being claimed for infringement, and “Replace Song,” which lets creators swap out the music with one of the free-to-use songs from the YouTube Audio Library.

Another feature YouTube is still working on is an improved Trim feature, which will add an option built into YouTube Studio’s Copyright Info page that will let creators snip out claimed content with just one click.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki had said in a blog to creators in April that the video platform was working on making it easier for YouTubers to deal with manual copyright claims. “Today is an important first step: we’re giving creators more info about manual claims and more tools to resolve them,” she wrote in a tweet Tuesday.

Video creators on YouTube who receive a copyright claim have three courses of action: They can do nothing (in which case the video in question is suspended); they can dispute the claim; or they can opt to share ad revenue generated from the disputed material with the music publisher or other copyright owner making the claim.

YouTube made the changes to the copyright reporting system two days before the 10th annual VidCon US creator and fan convention kicks off in Anaheim, Calif. Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, is set to deliver a keynote touting the platform’s initiatives to support creators on July 11.

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