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YouTube finally admits it: millions of videos are slapped with incorrect copyright claims

The platform received 729 million total copyright claims in the first half of 2021.

Youtube logo with blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

YouTube has joined the group of major tech companies in a quest to create more transparency between platforms and their users. The platform has released its first Copyright Transparency Report where it revealed that more than 2 million videos were hit with false copyright claims in the first half of this year alone.

In a release on YouTube’s blog page earlier this week, the company shared its first report, which it says it will update twice a year going forward. The report shows that there were a whopping 729 million copyright claims from January to June of this year.

Most rightsholders used YouTube’s Content ID tool to make the majority of those requests (around 722 million). Major rightsholders use this tool for things like music and media, so it makes sense that this is where most claims are coming from.

YouTube shows that “fewer than 1% of all Content ID claims were disputed.” Even so, that still equals out to about 3.5 million disputed claims during the first half of 2021.

Youtube copyright claims
Image: KnowTechie

Now, YouTube only resolved about 60% of the disputed claims in favor of the uploader of the video. But that means that wrongful copyright claims plagued more than 2.2 million videos. For people who make their living from YouTube videos, these claims can lead to a major loss of income, even if the dispute eventually works out in their favor.

YouTube is at least aware that its Content ID system is not perfect. To be completely honest, I find it pretty impressive that the numbers are actually this low. YouTube has a massive job on its hands when it comes to copyright moderation on the platform.

I’m honestly surprised it isn’t a lot higher than 2.2 million false claims. With 729 million overall claims in a six-month period, this number definitely could have been a lot worse.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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