YouTube says most disputed copyright claims are resolved in the uploader's favor

The service published its first biannual copyright transparency report.

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YouTube signage is seen at their offices in King's Cross, London, Britain, September 11, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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YouTube is shedding more light on the tidal wave of copyright claims it receives in its first copyright transparency report. It notes that more than 2.2 million (around 60 percent) of disputed claims were resolved in favor of the uploader, versus just under 1.5 million in the claimant's favor.

Over 99 percent (722.7 million) of all copyright claims between January and June emerged through Content ID, which automatically monitors YouTube for potential copyright issues. Only 0.5 percent of these were disputed.

Other copyright claims were submitted via webforms and the Copyright Match tool. YouTube says claims that are filed manually are twice as likely to be disputed than automated ones. That indicates creators are perhaps more reluctant to appeal against Content ID claims, even though most disputes are resolved in their favor.

Copyright owners can opt to have a video that's deemed to violate their rights deleted, track viewership stats and/or receive revenue it generates. Earlier this year, YouTube started offering creators a way to check for potential copyright violations when they upload a video. The platform offers creators a way to remove sections of a video that cause issues.

YouTubers have long criticized how the platform handles copyright claims, as The Verge notes. They can lose money or even face having their channel banned as a result of claims, many of which are evidently incorrect. While the report provides more insight into how big an issue copyright claims are, YouTube acknowledges "no system is perfect" and that it's "impossible for matching technology to take into account complex legal considerations like fair use or fair dealing."

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