How To Deal with Copyright Strikes, Claims, or Being Muted On YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, and More in 2022.

2022 guide for content creators of navigating through the DMCA enforcement of social platforms.

How To Deal with Copyright Strikes, Claims, or Being Muted  On YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, and  More in 2022.

Major players like Youtube, Facebook, and Twitch have started cracking down on copyright infringement found on their platforms. Policies are getting stricter, and thousands of content creators have either lost advertising money, gotten their channel terminated, or even found themselves in court for copyright violation. While it’s unlikely to get that far, understanding how each platform enforces its policies that can help you protect your work in the long run.

Unfortunately, DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and copyright guidelines can be confusing and vague. There are a lot of grey areas, like live streaming, that leave creators confused and vulnerable to channel suspension. Still, there are precautions you may want to take to avoid sticky situations.

In this article, we’re going to run through copyright guidelines and policies for Youtube, Twitch, TikTok, and Meta (Instagram and Facebook). It’s Slipstream’s goal is to arm you with the knowledge, resources, and — of course — music so you can continue creating inspiring videos worry-free.

YouTube

YouTube’s penalties are comprehensive and strict as they have one of the most advanced algorithms to track copyrighted content. The platform uses a fingerprinting system called Content ID. This algorithm scans videos and streams for images, sounds, and songs that match those in its massive database. If it finds a match, it may take down your VOD(s), file a claim, or issue a strike on your channel.

A claim:

This is essentially just an automated ‘heads up’ that your video was flagged by Content ID. Based on the preference selected by the rightsholder, YouTube will either give the owner the right to track, monetize or block your video, but will not issue a copyright strike.​​ If you think YouTube made a mistake, you can file a dispute.

A strike:

A strike is more severe and comes straight from the rightsholder as a DMCA complaint. And a strike WILL have a negative impact on your channel since your video will be taken down.  Your access to live streaming and monetization can be disabled for up to 90 days. If it's your first strike, these privileges are restored within a week and you'll need to complete YouTube’s “Copyright School”. But if you get a second strike, YouTube is likely to block your access for a longer period.

Aside from waiting it out, you also have the option to request a retraction from the rightsholder or submit a review in case you think your video qualifies for fair use (read more here.) It’s important to note that all strikes explore after 90 days.

If you receive a third copyright strike before the first two have expired, YouTube will terminate your account and delete all of your uploaded videos. You will also be prohibited from creating any new channels. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do in this situation, except submit a counter-notification if you think this is a mistake.

Muting:

Because live streams happen in real-time, you won't get a Content ID claim until after your stream has ended (and if you keep it as a VOD). YouTube does, however, scan live streams for copyrighted content. If copyrighted content is detected, it may replace your stream with a placeholder, and warn you to stop streaming, interrupt, or terminate your stream.

Meta:

Instagram and Facebook

Meta’s equivalent of Content ID is the Rights Manager Tool. This essentially monitors copyrighted video content uploaded to all its social networks. Like Youtube, this system works to block, mute, or take down any videos that are found to match content found in its reference database. This database is part of the platform’s Creator Studio which, like Youtube, gives rightsholders the opportunity to monetize, track, or whitelist various uses of their IP (intellectual property.)

Muting

Meta is vigilant about monitoring live video as well as VODs. Using music without the right permissions often results in your broadcast being muted or even blocked. Remember, this can happen unintentionally if you have background music in your stream. It’s also worth noting that Meta has guidelines that factor into what warrants a muting (i.e how much of the total video has music, how many songs are featured, or feature duration of said song.) The details of this, however, are unclear. Using royalty-free music does guarantee that your stream will never get muted.

Demonetization

When the Rights Manager identifies content that matches the copyrighted content of a rights holder, the video may be demonetized. In this case, your video could also be muted, but even if the mute is lifted, your video will remain demonetized. You can file an appeal if you think this is a mistake. Read more about demonetization here.

Strike System

Meta’s strike system applies to any violations on the platform (copyright-related or not) so it can be a little confusing. But, if a rightsholder files a complaint against your content, Meta states that they will remove it, and apply a strike. But they also say “whether (they) apply a strike depends on the severity of the content, the context in which it was shared, and when it was posted.”


Generally, however, all strikes on your channel expire after a year and Meta’s strike system goes as follows:

One strike: Warning and no further restrictions.
Two strikes: One-day restriction from creating content, such as posting, commenting, using Facebook or IG Live, or creating a Page.
Three strikes: 3-day restriction from creating content.
Four strikes: 7-day restriction from creating content.
Five or more strikes: 30-day restriction from creating content.

If a person repeatedly posts content that violates IP rights (more than five counts), then their channel is being reviewed and is at risk of termination.

Twitch

Following a massive wave of DMCA takedowns in 2020 and 2021 — where thousands of videos with copyright infringement were suddenly deleted — Twitch updated its policies to be stricter in tracking copyright infringement on the platform.

They now rely on the third-party system Audible Magic to proactively detect any copyrighted material flagged in VODs. This software scans VOD and clips for copyright content, and if anything is flagged, that section of infringement is muted. that said, moments do inevitably slip through, which is why streamers continue to receive so many DMCA takedowns.

If Audible Magic detects multiple instances of copyrighted audio in your VOD(s) in 24 hours, you will receive a warning to your channel and email. These notifications aren’t strikes, although accumulating more than three could put your channel at risk.

Twitch’s enforcement of copyright is vague and difficult to navigate; the platform’s DMCA guidelines state that a repeated infringer is someone that’s received more than three copyright strikes, and accruing three strikes results in a termination of a user’s channel. Although the stages between a  warning and a strike are unclear. What is clear is that if a rightsholder submits a DMCA complaint to the platform, Twitch is required to remove the relevant content and “may disable a live stream and/or suspend an account if the claimed infringement is continuing at the time (they) receive the rights holder’s notification.” Like we said, confusing.

When it comes to Twitch — and any platform, really, but especially Twitch — the best option is to air on the side of caution. Relying on Slipstreams’ catalog means you can continue creating without the looming stress that your hard work could be suddenly deleted.

TikTok

Compared to the other platform listed in this article, TikTok is the newest on the scene. Its copyright policies are ever-changing as the app garners more attention. Unlike the other platforms in this article, TikTok was founded with an explicit tie to music (as the second iteration of the dance-app Musical.ly) so it has prioritized deals with distributors and labels to license music on the platform. However, that is not to say that the app is fully licensed, in fact, there are many independent artists that have filed DMCA claims directly to TikTok.

As a TikTok user, you are accountable for the content you post. TikTok has a music library that provides royalty-free music, but anything off-catalog used without the rights holder's permission is at risk.

It’s unclear whether there’s a formal algorithm or process that warns users of any infringement before any takedown. Unfortunately, Tik Tok’s policy is also vague. What’s clear is that TikTok accepts removal complaints for DMCA violations, but only those submitted from copyright holders, their attorneys, or agencies. If a rightsholder files a complaint, TikTok is required to remove any relevant infringing content, if they see multiple violations on your page and deems you a continuous risk, they may terminate your channel with very little warning.

Slip.Stream Can Help

You’ve probably realized by now that copyright law is a dense and confusing topic. The way each platform enforces its policy varies; some are more consistent about warning creators while others have a history of sudden DCMA takedowns. The common denominator, however, is that using music in your videos is a risk no matter the platform.

But we can help. Slipstream’s sustainable model not only protects the rights of artists but also nurtures a system where video creators and musicians can have a mutually-beneficial relationship. A system that doesn’t violate anyone’s IP rights, and nurtures creativity above all.