How To Upload Gameplay On YouTube Without Getting Copyright?

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Getting copyright claims and sometimes strikes on YouTube videos is the worst nightmare of YouTubers. No matter what type of content you create on YouTube, you have to be cautious about copyright infringement.

In this article, we will talk about how to avoid getting copyright claims or strikes on your gameplay videos (or any video for that matter) and keep your channel monetized and safe. We will also talk about fake copyright claims & strikes and how to get rid of them for good.

Jump to >> how to avoid getting copyright claims & strikes OR what to do if you already got a claim or strike? if you don’t want to read all the information.

Let’s dive in!


Getting a copyright claim means someone else is claiming a portion in your video to be their own, it can be a video or audio clip. As a result, your video might get blocked, or even get demonetized.

Sometimes, you might get copyright strikes, and if you get 3 strikes back-to-back, your channel gets deleted without any notice by YouTube.

For the gamers out there on YouTube, this is a very common issue. Most video games, no matter new or old, have commercial music in some if not all parts of the game.

In GTA V, it’s the radio, in Rocket League, the continuous playing songs in the lobby as well in matches, and the player anthem. And many more games have such commercial songs in one way or another.

In addition to audio claims, you may also receive an audio-visual or a visual claim on your videos.

Apart from that, sometimes, 3rd party CMS owners try to play smart and put fake claims or even strikes on your videos. This is a really frustrating problem for the creators in the YouTube community.

NOTE: Before we start with the copyright stuff, I would like to state that I am not a lawyer and any part of the information mentioned in this article is not legal advice. This is just for informational and educational purposes.

Copyright claims VS copyright strikes?

A copyright claim is basically someone else claiming the ownership of a part in your video or the whole video. It can be in the form of a video, audio, audio-visual, and image claim.

A copyright strike, on the other hand, is similar to a copyright claim but your video is taken down from YouTube, and you are hit with a strike on your channel. If you get three strikes on your channel within a particular timeframe, your whole channel will get deleted, without any notice.

Content ID claims vs manual claims

Content ID is a system developed and set in place by YouTube to automatically look for copyrighted content all over the platform.

Who gets to use the “Content ID” system?—As stated by YouTube Help—”Content ID is available to copyright owners with the most complex copyright management needs, such as record labels or movie studios. To qualify for Content ID, copyright owners must have previously submitted many valid takedown requests and have the resources to manage Content ID, among other criteria.” [source]

Now let’s talk about manual claims. Manual claims are sent to you when a copyright owner manually finds copyright content in your videos. It is different from a Content ID claim.

Types of copyright claims

There are certain types of copyright claims you can encounter for your videos, here they are:

Audio claim

It is a type of claim in which the copyright owner, with the help of Content ID, or manually, claims any music, song, or any other type of audio file.

For instance, musicians use Content ID to upload their music to the database. When you use their music in your videos, YouTube searches the Content ID database looking for a match. If it gets a hit, you get a copyright claim.

Audio claim, as the name suggests, only works with audio clips, i.e., no video clip is attached to it.

Here’s an example of an audio claim:

YouTube Audio Claim Example

In the example above, only the audio is claimed by Sony Music Entertainment and not the visual part.

Visual claim

In this, the copyright owner claims a video clip that may be present in your video.

For instance, TV show companies can upload all the episodes of their show into the Content ID database. And when someone uploads a particular episode or a part of it, YouTube searches the Content ID database for a match. If the clip matches with the episode uploaded in the database, the uploader gets a copyright claim.

Visual claim, as the name suggests, only works with video clips, i.e., no audio is attached with it.

Audio-visual claim

In this, the copyright owner claims a video clip in which audio is present as well. Meaning a proper video file with audio.

These types of claims are mostly put by record labels and music companies because they usually have rights to both the song and the music video.

Image claim

Image claim is not as common as the previous ones. But you should be cautious while using images in your videos and thumbnails. You might get a claim if you don’t have permission to use the particular image.

I researched on the internet about getting a copyright claim for using a copyrighted image, but I didn’t get anyone saying they did.

However, I have seen YouTube creators getting community guideline strikes on thumbnails due to the use of copyrighted or pornographic, violent images. So I recommend using public domain images or using images that have a creative commons license (CC).

Fake claims & strikes

Sometimes 3rd party companies try to play smart and put fake copyright claims or strikes on YouTube creators’ videos. The idea is simple, they cut a clip from the creator’s video and upload it on their Content ID database. YouTube gets tricked and searches for the same clip throughout the whole platform and finds the creator’s video.

Many times it is done to get some monetary benefit out of the creators. For instance, they could put 2 back to back strikes on your channel and then contact you by email asking Ransome for removing the 2 strikes. They could also threaten you to put the 3rd strike on your channel if you don’t agree to send them the money.

As you may know, getting 3 strikes on your channel permanently deletes it, without any warnings.

This is a really big problem for the creators worldwide and needs to be fixed by YouTube. Meanwhile, we, creators should be cautious and be ready to take the steps to counter such bogus claims & strikes.

Let’s learn about how you can avoid getting copyright claims & strikes.

Now that we have learned about the menace of the copyright game, let’s look at some tips & best practices to keep your channel safe from copyright claims & strikes.

Read YouTube’s copyright policies and guidelines

The first thing you should do is get familiar with YouTube policies and guidelines. Here’s the link:

The link above redirects you to a section in Creator Academy Course in which you can learn all about YouTube’s policies and guidelines. Make sure you comply will all the rules stated there.

Commentary during gameplay recording/streaming

Make sure to do proper commentary while recording or streaming your favorite games on YouTube. It will not only make your videos/streams more interesting to watch but also help you avoid copyright claims & strikes from the game developers.

For example, while playing GTA V, talk about what you are doing in the game and try to crack some jokes here and there to make it more fun for your viewers to watch. You might already have noticed many YouTubers do commentary while playing.

Avoid using cutscenes in your videos

A cutscene is a non-interactive footage or scene in a video game that helps with the story of the game but is not a part of the actual interactive gameplay. You should preferably cut out any cutscenes that may be part of your gameplay.

Remember what we talked about Content ID? It is a tool provided to copyright owners by YouTube to help identify copyrighted material used on the entire YouTube platform.

Now, many game developers submit the cutscenes from the games to Content ID, and if you do not do proper commentary over it, or simply do not cut it off from your video, you’ll get a copyright claim.

Fair Use

Under the Fair Use doctrine, you, as a creator can use short clips of copyrighted material in your videos only if you can “transform”, comment about it, criticize it or make a parody of it.

Including short clips of 1-5 seconds is a good duration to consider, and can be categorised under fair use. However, if you want to use longer-duration clips, make sure to transform them in a way that communicates criticism, commentary, or parody to the audience.

Creative Commons & Public Domain

You can avoid copyright in your videos by making use of clips & images that have a Creative Commons license or are from a Public Domain library.

Here are some links to find such images & videos:

What to do if you already got a claim or strike?

If you’ve already gotten a claim or a strike on your video, here are some steps you can take to get rid of them:

Trim out the part that has been claimed, replace song, or mute song

In YouTube Studio, you can trim out the segment that has been claimed for a specific video. Similarly, you can replace a claimed song with one from YouTube audio library, or mute the song entirely from your video. This is a handy feature provided by YouTube for creators.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Go to your YouTube Studio dashboard.

Step 2: On the left hand side, click on the “Content” tab.

Step 3: Find the video that has a claim on it

Step 4: Hover over “Copyright claim” option under “Restrictions” section

Step 5: Click on “SEE DETAILS” link as shown in the screenshot below

Step 6: Expand the strip showing the claim and click on “Trim out segment”, “Replace song”, or “Mute song” according to what you want to do.

You’ll be prompted to an editor window where you can edit out the part that has been claimed.

For more details, visit YouTube help:

Here’s all about disputes and how to do it:

Dispute the claim

If you get a false claim on your video, or you know you have all the rights to the video/audio clip that you have used in your video, you can dispute the claim. You should only dispute a claim when the claimant has done a mistake or you own all the rights to the video/audio.

Take the dispute option seriously. You could get into legal troubles if you try to dispute a claim falsely.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Go to your YouTube Studio dashboard.

Step 2: On the left hand side, click on the “Content” tab.

Step 3: Find the video that has a claim on it

Step 4: Hover over “Copyright claim” option under “Restrictions” section

Step 5: Click on “SEE DETAILS” link as shown in the screenshot below

Step 6: Expand the strip showing the claim and click on “Dispute”

Step 7: Follow the instructions and move with the process

Final thoughts

To sum up, copyright is a nightmare for YouTubers and they should, at all cost, avoid getting a claim or a strike. If you missed anything, please go back and read the methods and tips to make sure you stay safe from this nightmare.

I hope you liked the article and leaned something from it. Please share it with friends and family who could use the information. If you have any thoughts or queries, please leave them in the comment section below. See you in the next one! 👋

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