Beginning in mid-September, YouTube will ban copyright owners from using the manual claiming tool to monetize content producer videos through very short or unintended audio, such as music. that appear in the background at concerts or on the radio.
In the post announcing changes to manual claim policies, the platform clarifies that this decision only affects claims made through the "manual claim" tool, where it is the copyright holder to review the video. The claims created by the Content ID matching system, which are the vast majority, are unaffected.
But the rights of copyright holders to prevent unlicensed use of their content continue to be respected, the platform guarantees.
The decision comes after the platform considers manual claims "particularly unfair" in the case of short videos. Still in force, current YouTube policy allows copyright holders to “steal” all revenue from content producers, regardless of the size of the audio.
Justifying this decision, the platform says it strives "to make YouTube a fair ecosystem for everyone, including YouTube composers, artists and content producers." While recognizing that these changes could result in more blocked content in the short term, the platform considers it "an important step towards achieving the right balance in the long run."
To avoid claims issues, YouTube explains that the best option for content producers is not to use unlicensed content on videos, even when playing unintentional music in the background, such as in a store-recorded vlog with music playing in the background. Instead, the platform advises choosing "content from reliable sources, such as the YouTube Audio Library, which adds new tracks every month."
Although it does not specify the actual date on which this ban will take effect, YouTube believes that copyright owners will be given the “appropriate time” to adapt. Those who do not comply with this new policy will have their access to the manual claim suspended.
This decision comes at a time when the platform has already admitted that improving the experience of copyrighted content producers is one of the platform's priorities. So in July YouTube required copyright owners to provide timestamps for all manual claims so that content producers know exactly what part of the video is being claimed.