Copyright can seem like it’s meaningless in aworld where sharing is so easy, but it does matter, and you do own the fullrights to your created work. Whilst fair use can protect users from showing andcommenting on your work, it’s a breach of copyright for somebody to re-uploadyour work in full on another platform.

It can be a pain to go through the process ofremoving your work from somebody’s channel, social accounts, or website, but itis possible. There are always ways to make it harder for individuals to useyour content, too, and with watermarks you can at least bring attention back toyou as the original creator.

If you’re on YouTube, specifically, there arealso some tools available to remove videos that YouTube’s algorithm notices ascontaining your content. Let’s take a look at all of the options we have toprotect your copyrighted content on YouTube and other social media.

Take the Right Precautions When Uploading Content Online

Unfortunately, there are platforms online thattake content to use for their own gain. Whilst reposts may not seem harmless,it can feel devastating when you find a large channel on say, YouTube, orInstagram, take content without your approval and earn revenue from it.

To minimize the damage when this happens, youshould learn to watermark your content where possible. If you feel like thereare certain shots in a video that could get taken, simple on-screen text withyour social channel links can work wonders to bring an interested audience toyour content.

The tools you have to protect your contentthis way depends on what type of content you create. Watermarks can be placedon all content, though, and you can even create watermark free versions foryour patrons if you use a platform like Patreon.

Sometimes, including information in your bioor your video description can be enough to deter would-be thieves. You coulduse something like “Protected by copyright. All infringement will be takenseriously.”

How to Remove Videos Stealing Your Content on YouTube

The content ID system on YouTube isn’tperfect, but it can do a good job at noticing when another channel uploadscontent directly from one of your videos. You can then directly contact thatchannel through YouTube or request the video to be removed.

To do this, visit the Creator Studio dashboard on YouTube. Then, click on the ‘Copyright’ option in the left panel.

From here, you can see any content ID matches.YouTube will tell you how much of your video matches theirs and how many viewsthey have. You then have three options to choose from. You can click the ‘file’button to archive the match, the exclamation mark to request removal, and themail button to contact them directly.

You then must fill in a form with yourdetails, then choose whether to get the video removed immediately, or give them7 days to respond and remove it manually. Keep in mind that if you choose theimmediate option, the channel in question could receive a copyright strike,which could end with their channel being terminated. It’s up to you whichoption you pick.

As far as copyright goes, YouTube has theirstuff together when the system isused fairly, so it’s nice to see this functionality is available.

How to Request a Copyright Takedown Notice on Social Media

If your content is posted outside of YouTube, you have a number of options. For example, Facebook has a copyright report form that lets you report content that infringes on your copyright. The system may not be as automated or sophisticated as YouTube’s, but it is there. As Instagram is a Facebook company, you can find a similar form for Instagram content here .

As part of copyright laws in the UnitedStates, Facebook and Instagram must comply to remove copyright infringingcontent, so eventually it should be taken down. The laws surrounding it arequite complex, and DMCA only apply to the United States, however the EuropeanUnion, Australia, and many other countries have similar laws.

If it’s not on Instagram or Facebook, you can file a DMCA takedown notice. This will force the website host to takedown the offending content. You can find out the host of a website by visiting whoishostingthis . You can then reach out to the hosting provider directly to file a takedown notice with them.

Most hosting providers will include contact details in their copyright policy, usually found in their sitemap at the bottom of their website.

A takedown notice doesn’t have to be that complex, it simply needs to include your details, as much details about the infringement as possible, such as proof of your ownership and proof of the infringement, and that you request the content to be taken down. You can use a DMCA generator online to create a proper takedown notice to send to the hosting provider.


Overall, the process to protect your copyright can be long but it is well worth it. Just remember that with fair use, individuals can use your content and comment on it, and have some freedom to recreate your work but they cannot outright take your content and re-upload it.

Hopefully this guide has proven to be useful. If you have any questions about the steps in this guide, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.