Is The YouTube Content ID Matching System Falsely Tagging Your Videos?

youtube content id match

Have you ever used music in your video that was royalty free, but you receive a YouTube Content ID Match warning anyway?

A Content ID match simply means that a sample of the music in your video was recognized in another song that was already published on iTunes.

It can be pretty alarming the first time this happens, but it’s more common than you may think and doesn’t always mean you’ve done anything wrong.  This has happened to me a number of times because I often use Garageband’s royalty free loops for my intros and outros.

Fortunately, I’ve never had any issues getting the Content ID match removed from the system, and I’ve been able to keep my partner revenue on the video in question.

If you use popular royalty free sites or programs that allow you to use their music/loops, this is quite common.   If the content is truly royalty free, you don’t have to remove the song from your video or lose partner revenue.

YouTube’s Content ID match has flaws, and I’ll show you how to address the warning if it happens.

Why This Occurs

Let’s say Johnny creates his own song and uses a Garageband loop, and then you come along and make a video intro that uses the same loop Johnny used for his song.

YouTube has a system that automatically scans videos for copyrighted content.  So if a loop you used is recognized from another song, YouTube will automatically tag your video.

You have the same rights to use the royalty free music as Johnny does.  It’s just that he published his content before you.

How to Get Rid of The Warning

1) Go to the Video Manager and click on Copyright Notices

2) Click on the warning that says “Matched third party content.”

3) Now click “file a dispute.”

You’ll see several different options…

YouTube Content ID Match

4) Choose the appropriate option.  More than likely it would be the last option that reads, “The content is in the public domain or is not eligible for copyright protection.”

5) On the next page type a brief explanation that explains more about your rights, and any information regarding the license agreement. You can even provide links to any sites that prove you have rights to use the music.  For example, I often link to the Garageband’s license agreement page here in reference to the loops I use.

6) For the final step, type your full name and check the box that says you have a “good faith belief” that the tag was a mistake.  That should take care of it!  In a few days you should receive a notice that the claim has been removed.

Just remember, not all YouTube Content ID match warnings are manually sent from the owners of the music.  YouTube’s auto detect system is often responsible for tagging your videos.

I want to emphasize that this is ONLY for music that you are certain you have rights to use. If you are not sure about the rights, then it’s best to remove the music, which is an option as well.

Fortunately YouTube has improved the system a lot in the last two years so this doesn’t happen as often.

But if you get a warning, now you know what to do!


John Paul Aguiar

Blogging Entrepreneur that Helps Bloggers and Small Business Owners with Blog Marketing, Twitter Marketing and Social Media. I'm also a Kidney Transplant Recipient 2002

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  1. Luke Ciciliano December 10, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for sharing this. We’re about to start making a much larger use of video in our business. This is helpful because, in addition to the info on dealing with the notice, you gave me some ideas on where to get music. Thanks as always for the kick ass tips!

  2. Leon McGann June 12, 2015 Reply

    OMG I hate my luck. I read this just incase, expecting to need it some point in the future, but instead the next video I uploaded (an hour later!) got flagged for copyright after using apple loops!

    • Leon, not sure I understand your comment. Are you saying you WISHED you had read this article first? If so, then I’m glad it did help you , even if it was not in time to save your video.

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