YouTube Publishes Its First ‘Copyright Transparency Report’

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YouTube has published its first “Copyright Transparency Report,” revealing how it enforces copyright claims on the platform. The company said it would publish similar reports twice per year in the future.

The report reveals that YouTube wrongly took down 2.2 million videos over copyright infringement claims between January and June 2021. The company said that the 2.2 million claims only account for less than 1% of the 729 million+ videos hit with copyright claims. YouTube said that up to 99% of these claims came from its enforcement tool known as Content ID.

The platform said that whenever a copyright claim was disputed by the video uploader, the case favored the uploader in up to 60% of the cases. This comes as YouTube creators have long alleged that the platform’s management of copyright claims is too strict. It can even lead to a loss of revenue for some creators.


When a copyright claim is successful, the video is blocked while the ad revenue is redirected to the rights holder. The new transparency report highlights the loopholes in its current system, mentioning that “no system is perfect,” indicating that the platform could be considering some changes in the future.

YouTube has paid more than $30 billion to artists, creators, and media companies over the last three years

As The Verge notes, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in 2019 that the platform was looking at “improvements in striking the right balance between copyright owners and creators.”

YouTube has reportedly paid over $30 billion to artists, creators, and media companies over the last three years. Moreover, the platform has paid more than $4 billion to the music industry since March 2020. Around 30% of this comes from user-generated content, YouTube claims.


Overall, there were 722 million claims through Content ID in the first six months of 2021, the company said. Additionally, more than 1.6 million removal requests came through the Copyright Match Tool in the same period.

Users can download the YouTube Copyright Transparency Report in its entirety from the link here.

YouTube has grown into the world’s largest video streaming service over the past decade. However, the next decade may not be as smooth for the video streaming service considering the stiff competition in the sector. The company is now playing catch up to the likes of TikTok, which has grown exponentially over the past couple of years.