How to manage your copyrights on YouTube

Submit a copyright takedown notice

If you believe your copyright-protected work was posted on YouTube without authorization, you may submit a copyright infringement notification. These requests should only be submitted by the copyright owner or an agent authorized to act on the owner’s behalf.

The fastest and simplest way to notify YouTube of alleged copyright infringement is via our webform. You’ll find this easier to use on a desktop or laptop computer than on a mobile device or tablet.


If you choose to request removal of content by submitting an infringement notification, please remember that you are initiating a legal process.

Do not make false claims. Misuse of this process may result in the suspension of your account or other legal consequences.

If you are a company and own exclusive rights to a large amount of content that requires regular online rights administration, you may want to apply for access to YouTube’s Content ID system or to our Content Verification Program.

We will also accept free-form copyright infringement notifications, submitted by email, fax and mail.

Retract a claim of copyright infringement

After submitting a copyright infringement notification, a copyright owner may realize that they’ve misidentified content or may change their mind about their complaint. When this happens, YouTube is glad to honor retractions of copyright claims from the party that originally submitted them.

If you removed a video:

If you’re a content owner and wish to retract a copyright infringement notification, please follow the instructions for the removal method you used.

If you removed a video for alleged copyright infringement, you can retract your claims on the Retractions page. There are also pages where you may retract claims issued through CVP and CMS. You will need to be signed in to the YouTube account that issued the copyright claim in order to submit a retraction.

If you do not have a YouTube account and would like to retract a claim of copyright infringement, please make sure to send us the following information:

  1. A statement of retraction (such as “I hereby retract my claim of copyright infringement”)
  2. The complete and specific URL of the video in question (like:
  3. An electronic signature (typing your full legal name will do)

Please submit your retraction to from the same email address that was used to submit your original claim of infringement. If the email address is different, we may be unable to process your retraction.

If your video was removed:

If you’re a user affected by a copyright claim, you may reach out to the copyright owner directly in search of a retraction.

If the claimant has a YouTube account, the easiest way to contact them is through YouTube’s private messaging feature.

Please note that we will only process retractions that are sent from the same email address or domain that submitted the original claim of copyright infringement.

How Content ID works

Copyright owners can use a system called Content ID to easily identify and manage their content on YouTube.Videos uploaded to YouTube are scanned against a database of files that have been submitted to us by content owners. Copyright owners get to decide what happens when content in a video on YouTube matches a work they own. When this happens, the video gets a Content ID claim.

What options are available to copyright owners?

Copyright owners can choose different actions to take on material that matches theirs:

  • Mute audio that matches their music
  • Block a whole video from being viewed
  • Monetize the video by running ads against it
  • Track the video’s viewership statistics

Any of these actions can be country-specific. A video may be monetized in one country, and blocked or tracked in another.

Who can use Content ID?

YouTube only grants Content ID to copyright owners who meet specific criteria. To be approved, they must own exclusive rights to a substantial body of original material that is frequently uploaded by the YouTube user community.

YouTube also sets explicit guidelines on how to use Content ID. We monitor Content ID use and disputes on an ongoing basis to ensure these guidelines are followed.

Content owners who repeatedly make erroneous claims can have their Content ID access disabled and their partnership with YouTube terminated.

If you are a content owner and believe your content meets the criteria, you may apply for Content ID.

Related topics

Qualifying for Content ID

Content ID acceptance is based on an evaluation of each applicant’s actual need for the tools. Applicants must be able to provide evidence of the copyrighted content for which they control exclusive rights.

Content ID will match a user’s reference content against every upload to YouTube. Therefore, applicants must have the exclusive rights to the material that is evaluated. Common examples of items that may not be exclusive to individuals include:

  • mashups, “best of”s, compilations, and remixes of other works
  • video gameplay, software visuals, trailers
  • unlicensed music and video
  • music or video that was licensed, but without exclusivity
  • recordings of performances (including concerts, events, speeches, shows)

If accepted to use the Content ID tools, applicants will be required to complete an agreement explicitly stating that only content with exclusive rights can be used as references. Additionally, accepted applicants will need to provide the geographic locations of exclusive ownership, if not worldwide.

Content ID applicants may be rejected if other tools better suit their needs. These other tools include the copyright notification web form and the Content Verification Program (CVP). More information about content management options may be found here.

Content Verification Program

YouTube is committed to helping copyright holders find and remove allegedly infringing content from our platform. The Copyright Verification Program helps copyright owners search for material that they believe to be infringing and provide YouTube with information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate and remove that material.

The Content Verification Program is designed especially for copyright-holding companies to issue multiple removal requests. Individual notifications may be submitted by following these instructions.

If you already have a YouTube account, you can apply for access to this tool by filling out the YouTube Content Verification Program Application. This form identifies your authorized agents and acts as a legal affirmation that you hold copyright to the material about which you will notify YouTube. If you do not currently have an account, please create an account, after which you can access the Content Verification Program Application.

Copyright Contact Information

If you prefer to contact us via email, postal mail, or fax, here is information about how to do so:


Fax: +1 650 872 8513


DMCA Complaints

YouTube (Google, Inc.)

901 Cherry Ave.

San Bruno, CA 94066


Please keep in mind, we can process claims submitted within the body of an email more quickly than those submitted as PDFs.

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