Solving Content ID Claims for Stock Audio

The soundtrack you choose for your video sets the mood and elevates the emotional elements of your piece. At Storyblocks, our goal is to provide an extensive library of stock music and sound effects at a great value to accommodate both personal and professional needs. With your subscription, you secure a license to use our royalty-free audio in our library for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. But what happens when you receive a Content ID claim?

Since our music is 100% royalty free, there is no need for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or other hosting platforms to collect royalties for the copyright holder—we’ve already taken care of that. Our licensing gives us a distinct advantage in quickly removing any claims that might falsely arise. A small segment of our customers does, unfortunately, experience the occasional Content ID claims.

If you’ve ever received a “Matched Third Party Content” message in your video manager, you know how frustrating it can be. Fortunately, we can help you avoid and dispute these claims. In this post, we’ll walk you through what to do in those situations. Most claims occur through YouTube, so we will focus on the YouTube process primarily. We will also touch on resolving claims received through Facebook and Instagram later in the post.

Before we explain the solution, we want to explain what causes the problem in the first place. If you want to skip straight to the solution though, click here.

Why did I receive a Content ID claim?

All songs that aren’t in the public domain have a specific copyright holder: the composer, a record label, or a songwriting organization such as ASCAP. When musicians and composers sell their work to different companies (like Storyblocks), they retain the copyright, and the company gains the licensing rights. In our case, our subscribers obtain the licensing rights as well. If everything goes smoothly, you should never receive the dreaded “Matched Third Party Content” message.

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There are many reasons why you might receive this message. Here are some primary reasons you might be receiving a claim:

  1. The composer is trying to collect royalties from users who did not license their music through Storyblocks. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to separate Storyblocks customers from other people who may be using the music and who may need to pay royalty fees. However, we can help you have the claim released.
  2. Someone is claiming the audio when they should not be. YouTube does not adequately monitor misuse of the Content ID system, and often bad faith claimants are left to run rampant on the platform. If you receive a claim that was placed in bad faith, our customer service team will help you work through next steps.
  3. We don’t have your YouTube ID yet! Some of our content is monitored in Content ID by our partners AdRev and HAAWK. Add your YouTube ID to your Storyblocks account and you will be added to the allowlist for both companies.

Often though, composers will also submit their music to a third party who specializes in obtaining royalties. YouTube then uses an algorithm called Content ID to find videos that use content from these third parties. When YouTube gets a Content ID match, that third party will then monetize the video to ensure that the royalties go to the copyright holder on record.

While copyright holders do not exclusively hold the licensing rights once they sell their music to Storyblocks, they still own the copyrights. YouTube’s Content ID algorithm picks up on copyright violations but does not take into account any licensing rights.

YouTube’s algorithm is a blunt instrument, not a surgical tool. It identifies commonly used files and not the licenses behind them. Because of this, many songwriters have had their original material mistakenly identified by Content ID, and the same goes for public domain content. We’ve even spoken with a customer who received a Content ID flag for music made available by YouTube itself.

Erroneous Content ID claims are a widespread issue in the audio community, and we continue to advocate for better policies by YouTube for both our customers and contributors.

How to solve YouTube Content ID Claims

We are here as a partner to you, and we want you to avoid content claim headaches entirely. In the event that you do receive a claim, we can help resolve it. Here’s how to do both. 

How to avoid a claim 

You can now add your YouTube Channel ID within your Storyblocks account and we should be able to remove most claims automatically in less than 30 minutes. No further action needed on your part! We highly recommend you take this step first for the most seamless experience. 

NEW: YouTube has a new feature called “Checks”. Upload your video a few days before you plan to release it widely and have YouTube scan it for any copyright issues. If your Storyblocks content is flagged, reach out to us and we can help you resolve the issue before your video is released.

How to dispute a claim through Storyblocks Audio

If you have already provided Storyblocks with your YouTube channel ID and your claim was not automatically resolved within 30 minutes, we can still help you dispute the claim.

Although you can dispute the claim directly through YouTube, we provide members a simplified version of YouTube’s form that results in claims typically being lifted much sooner than when they are disputed with YouTube. Additionally, YouTube has a long list of reasons for a dispute, and if you select the wrong one, your claim could be rejected. Follow these easy steps to dispute any claims associated with Storyblocks content.

1) Log in to your Storyblocks account and go to your Member Dashboard in the upper right corner.

2) Within My Account, navigate to YouTube claims in the left hand menu.

3) Under “Dispute a Copyright Claim,” click “Start a New Dispute”

4) Select a claimant from the dropdown. You can find this information on the YouTube claim itself – it should be the top line in the claimant column.

Identifying Claimant in Copyright Dispute - YouTube

5) Include a link to your YouTube video.

6) Include a link to the track from Storyblocks that is in dispute. You can find a list of all of your previous downloads under My Downloads within My Account on the lefthand menu.

Once you submit the claim dispute through Storyblocks, we send an auto-generated email to the claimant with the information necessary to get your claim removed. We are able to remove 95% of copyright claims in less than 72 hours. We provide this form to all Storyblocks members to help you get these claims resolved as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Once submitted, the dispute is fully in the hands of the claimant. This means that we are unable to provide tracking information into the status of the dispute. You will receive an email from YouTube with an update on whether your claim dispute has been resolved or if it has been rejected. If you are having issues or questions while using the Content ID claim form, please reach out to our Customer Support team via email.

If you do decide to go through YouTube

If you do choose to go through YouTube, make sure to select the correct reasoning. There are a lot of options, and your claim could be rejected if you select the wrong reason.  Also be sure to check the box that says “I am sure that I have a license or permission, and I want to dispute this claim.” Your Storyblocks license has you covered, so you can feel confident disputing the claim.

Submitting Copyright Dispute through YouTube

We also recommend providing the reviewers with a link to the track from Storyblocks you used in your video along with a copy of your custom royalty-free license agreement. Your license agreement is available to download on your member dashboard by going to “My Account,” in the top, right-hand corner of your screen, clicking on the “License Agreement” tab, filling out any necessary fields, and then clicking “Generate Personalized License” at the bottom of that page. It will download the agreement as a PDF document that will provide documentation of your license to use our content commercially.

You should also place the following sentence in the notes of the disputes: “I purchased this audio from Storyblocks and received a commercial license to use their content.”

How to solve Facebook and Instagram copyright claims

Facebook does not currently provide the same claim information as YouTube provides. Much like YouTube, there is rampant misuse of the Facebook content claiming tool, and even fewer options for recourse if your materials are erroneously claimed.

Currently, the best course of action is to appeal a removal through Facebook to get your video restored. The Facebook notice you received should contain contact information for the person or company making the copyright claim, according to their Help page for copyright notices. Let them know that you are licensed through Storyblocks to use the content and provide a copy of your personalized license agreement that you can download from your Member Dashboard. If the appeal is rejected, we recommend uploading the video to a host site like YouTube or Vimeo and then sharing the link on Facebook.

Instagram provides an option to file a counter-notice on claims. To bolster your counter-notice, include the link to the track you used from our site and a copy of your personalized license agreement (downloaded from your Member Dashboard.) Instagram should then remove the copyright notice.

How to Avoid Demonetization in the Future

We know these claims come as a surprise and how frustrating it can be to miss out on your earnings. In order to prevent any demonetization, we recommend that everyone first publish videos as “Unlisted” as opposed to “Public.” Doing this ensures that if you are going to receive a claim, you can resolve it before losing out on any monetization opportunities. Being able to monetize your video during the first 48 hours is crucial, so we want to help you avoid losing out during this window when most views occur. Once you have resolved any claims, you’re free to update your video to “Public” with the peace of mind that you will not receive any further claims. Additionally, YouTube’s “Checks” tools will allow you to be notified of a claim and get ahead of it before publishing your video.

Storyblocks Has You Covered

Receiving a claim does not mean your video is demonetized indefinitely. Don’t panic – you will get your monetization revenue once the claim is resolved! Claimants have up to 30 days to respond. During that time, monetized videos will continue to earn revenue, which YouTube will hold until you can resolve the claim. YouTube will pay out the held revenue to either the video creator or the claimant based on the resolution. It is also important to note that Content ID is not a copyright claim. You will not have strikes on your channel or be penalized by YouTube while you dispute the claim.

The important thing to remember is that Storyblocks content is created by artists, for artists. We purchase music for you directly from musicians and composers and eliminate the need for royalties so that you can create more without worrying.

Preventing claims is so important to us. We’re committed to building solutions that allow you to use your royalty-free music as it was intended—without limits—and ensure your experience using Storyblocks is the best it can be.

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