I never realized this was a thing, but a friend told me that there are people who steal your YouTube videos and re-upload them as their own? Apparently it’s for affiliate links, etc? How can I find if anyone’s done this with mine and remove their videos?
It’s true. Every time there’s a way for people to produce content or other intellectual property, a way to steal their content and profit from it shows up too. People go through a lot to produce YouTube videos so it’s no surprise that others try to cheat by downloading a copy, then uploading it to their own YouTube account with affiliate links or other ways to monetize it. I see this all the time with my YouTube channel AskDaveTaylor.
Fortunately YouTube has some excellent tools available in Creator Studio and already scans and analyzes videos to see if there’s a percentage of duplication or a full 100% copy. If you think about it, that’s quite a task with the hundreds of millions of videos that YouTube has on its platform (and thousands added each hour). Fortunately, we can just utilize the tools without having to understand how they work 🙂
To get started and check to see if you have any stolen video content, go into Creator Studio. Then look on the left side for the main categories:
As highlight, you want to choose “Copyright“. You’ll then immediately be able to see whether there are no problems (hopefully) or whether people are indeed ripping off your content:
Since I have a busy product review channel, it’s a natural for people to rip off my content and republish it as their own. How does that work? A quick peek at the first match, my review of the Oral B Pro 5000 Electric Toothbrush, is illustrative:
See the “look at comment buy best price”? That’s something that they’ve added to my video. Now, to be fair the video has garnered zero views to date, but that’s not the point. The point is that it’s my copyrighted content and they stole it without permission. (it’s a reasonable guess that “Sanford Hurley” is a fake name in this context).
Fortunately it’s easy to analyze each match and then click on the “!” icon on the right to add to your video removal request. You can see I’ve done it for 8 matching videos on this particular report page:
Notice the third entry, above: YouTube reports that only 90% of the video is my content. That’s because they’ve also grabbed some product footage from the vendor itself to avoid that 100% match. Still, not okay with me, no permission granted, so I’m adding them to the take-down requests.
Select the videos that you think are in violation, then click the blue “Request Video Removal” button. You’re not done yet, however, because you have to actually fill out some paperwork (well, a digital form) to justify your claim:
Click on “Submit” to proceed.
By the way, if you do have content, you don’t want to make it trivially easy for people to pull down your videos, so I appreciate that they make me jump through some digital hoops in this process…
Don’t panic about the “requested as part of a lawsuit” part here. If you have a legitimate copyright complaint, you’re fine to proceed. Fill in the information above as shown, then move down to section II:
No surprise, the matching content is from 5 seconds through 4:19. Let’s proceed by going down to section III:
If you’re kind you can send a 7-day takedown notice, but as you can see by the use of the word “standard”, the typical response is to request immediate removal. Confirm all three of the statements with the checkboxes and click “Submit”.
Now in your email inbox you’ll see:
Then, anywhere between a few minutes and a few days later, you’ll get this notification:
And that’s how it’s done. Now you can properly protect your video content on YouTube!