How to Protect Your YouTube Videos from being Stolen & Used without Permission

YouTube is the largest video-hosting platform which can provide your videos maximum exposure among all other video hosting sites. It doesn’t only provides exposure but the also allows you to make money out of your good work and hardship you’ve put for creating the video. So, if your video gains popularity, you will receiving the deserving prize both in audience exposure and earning.

But not everyone in YouTube uploads their own videos. Lots of channels/users publish other’s videos (either full or a fraction of it), under their own name. You might have seen movie clips, compilation videos, etc. on such YouTube channels which obviously are not the original owners of those clips.

Some of these users might have asked for permission to use the video clip from the original owners to use in their own channel BUT MOST OF THEM, they don’t ask for permission and use videos illegally.

If you are the rightful owner of your YouTube videos then you obviously don’t want anyone to use your YouTube videos or its audio like that, publish it under their own name, gain video views, popularity, make money, etc. out of that video until or unless you have permitted him. Right?

So, here I am telling you quick and easy ways to copyright your YouTube videos, prevent YouTube videos from getting stolen and also the methods to trace anyone who is using your YouTube video without asking for permission on his own channel. Read ahead to know all these methods.

1. How to Copyright your YouTube Videos

The easiest way to copyright your YouTube video is to add watermark to it. YouTube offers its branding feature to add watermark overlay at the start, end of specific location of the video. It uses your YouTube channel’s logo as watermark.

But, if you want your watermark to keeps appearing all the time, you can either edit the video in your video editor or use where by uploading your video and watermark logo, you can choose its location and duration for your video.

It is recommended to put your watermark at such locations in the video where it will be at the main part of the video but doesn’t hinder the video appearance so that it will be difficult to crop and remove.

Adding such watermark will not only provide your video a branding but it will also help in filing copyright claim and winning it whenever you find someone else using your video on YouTube without permission.

2. How To Copyright Your YouTube Video’s Audio

YouTube is already very smart and cautious. It takes many preventive measures to protect original creator’s content from illegal use – this includes both video and its audio/music also. So, if you are worried about your YouTube video’s audio, music or background music then have no worries because YouTube automatically removes sound from a user’s uploaded video if the video’s audio same as a copyrighted video using it’s content ID system.

It scans your tracks with YouTube’s magical high-tech machinery and register an exact sonic “fingerprint” for each and every one of your songs in their database. Not only that, you can even make money out of anyone’s video which is using your music through YouTube’s Content ID System.

Even the stealer tries to manipulate audio/music’s pitch, bass, echo, etc., YouTube’s smart audio filter can still identify it and remove the audio from the video. So, you yourself don’t need to do anything to protect your YouTube video music audio from any illlegal use. Know more about YouTube Content ID System here.

3. How to Prevent YouTube Videos from Being Stolen

See, this is SGuru and here we tell only those things which are practical. So, if you want to know “how to prevent your YouTube videos from being downloaded”, the answer is you can’t.

You can’t protect your YouTube videos from being downloaded illegally (at this moment) because there are lots of YouTube video downloader in formats of websites, apps, browser addons, media players features from where viewers who can watch your YouTube video can downloaded it too. At the worst (or best), if they don’t have access to any YouTube video downloader app, website, extension or service, they can record your video while playing it either through a screen recorder app/software or directly from their smartphone’s camera.

If you are very conscious about your videos then the least you can do it to either host your video in some other video-hosting website which probably will have less supported services to downloaded videos from them like Vimeo, Dailymotion etc. You can also use your own website to host the video (but it’s going to take resources) and add even stricter filter by providing it’s access to only desired users.

But yes, you can prevent your YouTube videos being re-published – 

  1. By adding watermark to your YouTube video (as discussed in pt no. 1)
  2. By adding serious warning about copyright infringements.
  3. Keep telling people to not use your videos whenever someone ask or tell about using your YouTube video (and if possible, tell the consequences too).
  4. By actively searching for your video related search terms and check those videos which you think can be using your videos.

YouTube Videos Removed

If you’ve added watermark (either custom or YouTube branding watermark), YouTube will automatically identify and block any user’s uploaded video if it finds the video have your watermark (video gets banned instantly).

And, if someone is being smart and using your video by editing and removing the branding from your YouTube video, when you find it in YouTube, just submit copyright complaint at this following link:

The active YouTube team will reply you in less than a day asking for further information or notifying about the appropriate action they have taken against the stealer’s video or channel (because if a channel receives lots of copyright infringement notices, YouTube bans it without considering its popularity).

4. Make Money Using Stolen Videos

If you think manually searching and catching stolen video in YouTube is a time-consuming task then how about the idea of making money out of those stolen YouTube videos or music? I am sure you’ll like it.

If you are considering this idea to make money out of your stolen YouTube video then Sign up for Free at AdRev which is YouTube certified party that provide you YouTube Content ID Administration service. It keeps track of your videos and allows you to make money out of every upload which is using your videos (by its audio).

AdRev basically allows you to make money on the basis of your audio. It has monetized more than 27 million YouTube videos and it is presently protecting over 3 million copyrights and monetizing over 10 million videos.

So, it is a service you really should look forward to if your videos contain awesome music worth stealing.

At present, we know only these methods to protect your material on YouTube from illegal use. If you know any better method, feel free to put it in the comments section below.

Pursuing MCA from the University of Delhi, Saurabh Saha is an experienced blogger and internet marketer. Through his popular technology blogs: TechGYD.COM &, he is helping several brands to gain exposure in front of high-quality web visitors.