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YouTube cracks down on ‘duplicative content’

Creators enrolled in YouTube’s Partner Program face new regulations.
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littleny via Getty Images

Members of YouTube's Partner Program (YPP), those creators who monetize their content on the platform, must adhere to new rules regarding "duplicative content." According to a post on the company's Help Forum, YouTube Partners, both new and established, who break the new duplicate content rules will face their channel's removal. YouTube states that these changes are an effort to safeguard creators from abuses such as piracy.

YouTube explains which videos defy their new standards as including the following content:

  • Appears to be automatically generated
  • Pulled from third party sources with no content or narrative added by the creator
  • Uploaded many times by multiple users and you're not the original uploader
  • Uploaded in a way that is trying to get around our copyright tools

Creators may still upload videos that incorporate third party content -- but even if the Partner has a license to use it, or if the content falls under fair use, the video might still break the new duplicative content rules. YouTube says, "In most cases, even if you have licenses to use the content or your videos are protected by copyright laws, such as fair use, if the main purpose of your channel is to monetize other channels' or sources' content, then you won't be eligible for YPP. "

In order to avoid stepping into duplicative content territory when using third party content, Partners must "add value" to their uploads, which could be anything from commentary to critiques to added educational value, according to YouTube. While it appears that this is a step toward increased quality control, sudden changes to YouTube's policies have a history of irking YouTubers whose livelihoods depend on the platform for income. The good news is that creators who are kicked out of the YouTube Partner Program may delete or update their videos in accordance with the new standards and reapply after 30 days.

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