1.31.2017

Copyright Tuesday: How to Deal with Copyright Infringement on YouTube

Did someone post a video on YouTube infringing on your copyright? In other words, did someone use a song, a photograph or a video clip that you have a copyright to, without your permission, and posted it on YouTube? If you believe so, then you can do something about it.

Here are the steps to resolve that problem:

  1. Consider whether the infringing video meets a fair use criteria. You may need to consult an attorney for advice.
  2. Next consider whether the person who made or uploaded the video has some form of permission or authorization from you. If so, was it a verbal or written agreement and what are the terms to that agreement?
  3. If the uploaded video is still infringing on your copyright then your next step is to "Submit a copyright takedown notice" on YouTube. Click here to go that page. Note that these requests should only be submitted by the copyright owner or an agent authorized to act on the owner’s behalf. Furthermore, this request is the first step in a legal process that can result in a lawsuit.
  4. The form will ask a series of questions which you must fill in such as what is the issue, who is the copyright owner, what are the name(s) and URL(s) of the video(s) to be removed, what work of yours is being infringed, information about the copyright owner and your contact information.
  5. Most importantly, you must swear under penalty of perjury that your statements are accurate. If you materially misrepresent any claims, you may be liable for damages and attorney's fees.
  6. Finally you will submit the complaint and wait to hear back from YouTube.
  7. YouTube usually removes the video soon after unless the person who posted the infringing video disputes the notice. When that happens, YouTube will reinstate the video unless you take further action.
  8. In that event, you will decide to either move on or actually file a copyright infringement lawsuit.
These steps are similar to what you would have to do with other content providers except that they may not have a fillable form you can click on. Instead you will have to draft a letter with the appropriate information and send to the content providers legal office. Finally, addressing trademark infringement and trade secret disclosures require similar steps.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.


Jiminian Law PLLC is devoted to helping clients manage, protect, register, license, sell, grant and use their copyright(s) or defend it or themselves in matters of copyright infringement.  Regarding copyright management, it is always best to be pre-emptive with your business and implement a copyright strategy.  That is where I can come in.  Providing knowledgeable and effective representation are the keys to my success.  I am available for a free consultation if you call me at 917.388.3574 or 929.322.3546 or email me at danny@djimlaw.com.

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