A complicated case of Copyright strikes on YouTube

Today I have been contacted by a YouTuber who goes with the first name David and has been YouTubing for the last four years. He contacted me because he found himself helpless in a complicated situation of copyright strikes and deceptions.

As he confessed he’s not totally innocent. Previously he was illegally uploading contents of a certain radio program which is why he received two copyright strikes during that time. Then he contacted the host of the program and took ‘oral’ permission from him to upload further content. So he continued to do that until at some point he received a third strike from the same party. This time it was supposedly due to using a ‘copyrighted’ image of the mentioned host.


The mistakes David did to end up on copyright strikes

The first mistake he did was to take oral permissions only. For his as well as everybody’s information, oral permissions are not enough to use someone else’s content on YouTube, you got to have written permission as well. And this written permission had better be in legal format/document like stamp papers.

Secondly, David thought just because the host’s image is found everywhere on the internet, it is okay to use it. Well, guess what; wrong again. No matter wherever an image is available, it might be copyrighted anyway. So David should have checked first whether or not the image is in the public domain (labeled for reuse). In order to properly understand our point here, you can go ahead and read the following article:

Slideshow videos lead to account termination?

What David can do now to resolve his issues due to copyright strikes

Now that he has received three copyright strikes, his channel has been terminated. So he can’t directly send a counter notification to the copyright claimant. Well, before attempting to do that it is always a good policy to contact the claimant first and request them to withdraw the copyright claims. But David’s case is different; from the conversation I had with him, it’s clear that the claimant is playing ‘mind game’ with him.

Well, they are claiming that they don’t find the third video’s link in the retraction page, that’s why they can’t retract it. This is totally an insincere response to a victim of copyright strikes that David is. The reason I’m saying this is that they could retract any copyright claim just by emailing to copyright@youtube.com.

So David is left with only one option: to send a counter notification to the copyright claimant (the radio program host, according to him). The text/reason of this counter notification should be as follows:

“Dear YouTube,

My video with link (link of the third/removed video) has been removed inappropriately. This is because the claimant gave me permission to use their content. I hereby attach the proof on that. Also his image is available everywhere on the internet publicly. Surely this is not a copyrighted material either. So this copyright claim is pointless. And hence my YouTube video should be reinstated.”

The subject of this email to copyright@youtube.com should be ‘Counter notification to the copyright claimant’ and David needs to upload the image of an email or other thing through which he says he received the permission to use the radio host’s content. Without the proof, this counter notification may be rendered useless. Also I hope that the radio host’s image is really copyright free.

YouTube’s system regarding counter notification is flawed

Here I like to present an example to prove that YouTube’s system regarding counter notification was flawed until a certain point, if not now. I’m talking about the time of July 2016, a certain YouTuber from my country copied my video. I sent copyright claim against him and took the video down (removed). Then he sent a counter notification to me claiming that he had found the video as creative commons. Well, it’s not my fault that someone just reuploaded my copyrighted video as creative commons. Whoever does upload my video, still has to suffer the consequences; because I never made my videos available as creative commons.

But that counter notifier used a fake address and even claimed to be from China whereas I knew for sure he was from my country and city. Well, due to the wrong address he had provided, I wasn’t able to get a restraining order from court against him. As a result of this, his video was reinstated within one month counting from the day it was removed from YouTube. You can read the following article to know more about my bitter experiences on YouTube regarding copyright issues.

Copyright infringement claim system on YouTube: NOT perfect

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Did you know about ‘free form’ counter notification?

If your channel is suspended due to multiple copyright strikes, then you can’t visit your channel’s ‘copyright notices’ page and follow a link to use the particular web form in order to send a counter notification. In that case, you can directly write to copyright@youtube.com regarding your issue. This is basically an email to the copyright team of YouTube. Make sure that you use the same gmail here that you used to login your channel.

In the mail, you have to provide the link of the video(s) that have been removed due to copyright misunderstanding and also your contact details as your full legal name, physical address, email and phone number. In addition, you need to state a reason as to why you think your video was removed in error. And finally don’t forget to write your full official name in block letters under the ‘Sincerely Yours’ thing. This will be considered as your digital signature.


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