More about Content ID
What is Content ID?
YouTube's Content ID offers copyright holders to easily identify and manage their content on YouTube. The tool creates ID files which are then run against user uploads and, if a match occurs, the copyright holders policy preferences are then applied to that video. Rights owners can choose to block, track or monetize their content.
What is an ID file?
An ID file is the digital content identification file which corresponds to a reference file (a piece of content like a movie, music, or other audiovisual material). This file is generated using Google software and is also known as a "fingerprint."
Where does the reference library come from?
The reference library is generated from copies of content or from ID files that are submitted by content owners.
How accurate is Content ID?
Content ID is very accurate in finding uploads that look similar to reference files that are of sufficient length and quality to generate an effective ID File. The system is tuned to offer the best possible automated matches while eliminating most false positive matches. We are constantly tuning the system to deal with attempts to circumvent it, therefore exact rates are not available.
Why did YouTube start using Content ID?
Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has been committed to giving copyright owners the ability to maximize their choice in how their content is made available on the site. Content ID is the latest in a series of the tools that YouTube offers content owners to more easily identify and manage the use of their content on the site.
What happens when Content ID identifies a match?
If Content ID identifies a match between a user upload and material in the reference library, it applies the usage policy designated by the content owner. The usage policy tells the system what to do with the video. Matches can be to only the audio portion of an upload, the video portion only, or both.
What kinds of usage policies are there?
There are three usage policies—Block, Track, or Monetize. If a rights owner specifies a Block policy, the video will not be viewable. If the rights owner specifies a Track policy, the video will continue to be made available on YouTube and the rights owner will receive information about the video, such as how many views it receives. For a Monetize policy, the video will continue to be available on YouTube and ads will appear in conjunction with the video. The policies can be region-specific, so a content owner can allow a particular piece of material in one country and block the material in another.
Why is there a logo (badge) and/or advertising from some other company next to this video?
Our Content ID system identified a match between the uploaded video and material in its reference library. The usage policy specified by the rights owner for this material allows it to remain on YouTube with advertising. The Content ID system also enables the content owner to place this badge next to matched video that the system identifies is using their material.
What happens if Content ID identifies multiple matches for an upload?
To the extent possible, Content ID applies all usage policies for all of the matches.
What if a video is blocked in the uploader's region?
The uploader will be unable to view the video. Users in other regions may still be able to view and interact with the video as usual. The uploader will still be able to view, moderate, and respond to comments on the video from the "all comments" page. This page has a URL of the form
//www.youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments&v=QCVxQ_3Ejkg. It is linked from //www.youtube.com/inbox?folder=comments
How do I know if one of my videos has been matched?
The match is wrong!
Please see our Disputes page.