How to resolve YouTube copyright notifications

If you have used royalty free music to create a YouTube video, then at some point you may receive a “Copyright Notice” from YouTube. These notifications are fairly common. I’m here to put your mind at rest, to explain why these copyright notifications appear, and show you how to resolve them quickly.

The claim you received is a mistake! 

These claims are what we call a "False Copyright Claim". If you have purchased royalty free music from us and used it in the background of a YouTube video then you have done absolutely nothing wrong.

The companies that initiate these copyright claims use a computer algorithm to scan YouTube for copyright infringement. A real person does not conduct these scans, so mistakes are often made. 

To properly understand why false copyright claims happen, I HIGHLY recommend reading the following article, 'How to Prevent False Copyright Claims'.

What happens if you ignore copyright claims?

If a copyright notification is applied to one of your videos, any of the following can happen:

1. Advertisements may be run over the video to monetize the content and compensate the third party for the use of their content.
2. Your own ads may be paused, causing you to lose revenue.
3. Your video may be blocked or even removed entirely.

I think you'll agree that it's in your interest to address these notifications promptly. There are two steps to this process. 

Step 1. Dispute the copyright notification

You can usually dismiss these notices from your YouTube account with just a few mouse clicks.  Below is an example of a YouTube copyright notice that was sent to me by a customer who used our royalty free music in one of her videos. Notice the link at the bottom to “file a dispute”.

Youtube copyright notification example

  • Follow the link to dispute the claim.
  • You will then be presented with a number of response options. One of those options will be: "I have a license or written permission from the proper rights holder to use the material." Select this option and then select "Continue".
  • On the next screen you will be asked for additional details or an explanation (a reason for your dispute). For your convenience, here is a recommend reply that you can copy and paste:

    "IMPORTANT PLEASE READ! A license to use this music was purchased from Using this music within YouTube videos is permitted by the license terms which you can view here: Please also remove the claimant's sound recording from your Content ID database. The claimant's sound recording uses ROYALTY FREE BACKGROUND MUSIC therefore IT SHOULD NOT BE SUBJECT TO CONTENT ID MATCHING AND YOUTUBE COPYRIGHT CLAIMS.
  • Finally, submit / confirm your dispute.

This should result in the copyright claim being removed within 1 - 14 days.


Step 2

Step 2 is optional, but I HIGHLY recommend it as you will greatly improve your chances of having the copyright claim removed, and you will also reduce the chance of the copyright notification being reinstated again at a later time.

By the way, if you read the article I mentioned earlier, 'How to Prevent False Copyright Claims', the following step will make more sense.

Here's what to do. If possible, use the information included in the copyright claim to track down the person who created the recording in question. In the example above you can see the name "Alanna Zabel" and the recording name, "I Am Grateful". You can also see the name of the distributor (CD Baby). A little bit of online searching may help you find their website or perhaps their Facebook page. Then send that person an email that sounds like this (you can copy and paste this content if you wish): 

"To whom it may concern,

I have received a copyright infringement notification which claims that my YouTube video is infringing upon your copyrights. Obviously this is a mistake. My video sounds similar to your recording because we have both used the same music from Enlightened Audio to create our recordings. 

The reason this false copyright claim happened is because your audio distributor is using some form of “Sync Licensing” or "Rights Management" on behalf of your recording. This is a common mistake that people make. Sync Licensing should never be used for spoken word recordings that use royalty free background music. Sync Licensing is only for musicians and bands that release original music. 

To rectify this, please contact your audio distributor and deactivate Sync Licensing on your recordings as soon as possible. If you need help doing this, please contact your distributor for  support. 

If you don’t deactivate Sync Licensing, your recording will continue to cause false copyright notifications on countless other YouTube videos (not just my own). Any video that uses the same background music as your recording could be affected. False copyright claims are a huge headache for YouTube video creators, so it’s really important that you turn off Sync Licensing as soon as possible. 

Thank you kindly for your help with this. If you would like more information about false copyright claims and why they happen, the following article will shed some light.

[Your name and contact details]" 

What happens next?

In almost all cases, YouTube will withdraw the copyright claim within 14 days with no further action required on your part. However, sometimes you may find that your dispute is rejected and that the copyright claim is reinstated. If this ever happens to you, be sure to file a dispute again. The claim wil eventually be dropped.

These notifications can be a bit of an irritant, but try to keep a positive, proactive attitude towards them. As I mentioned earlier, you DO have the right to use our music to create YouTube videos and no automated copyright claim can change that.