YouTube Makes Copyright Clearer

Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Charlie XCX attends the MTV EMA's 2014 at The Hydro on November 9, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

YouTube users have long been able to incorporate copyrighted music in the videos. But what will happen to the video once uploaded couldn't be known in advance. Whether a song will be blocked or monetized couldn't be known until the video is uploaded.

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Now YouTube users get some transparency. Starting Monday, YouTube users can search the Audio Library to view usage restrictions, such as placement of advertisements and geographic limitations, of claimed songs in its catalog. This feature is enabled by YouTube's Copyright ID system that allows copyright owners to block the video, mute the audio or monetize the video that uses their song.

Say, for example, a person wants to upload a user-generated video that incorporates "Boom Clap" by Charli XCX. A search in YouTube's audio library will reveal "Boom Clap" is an ad-supported song -- noted with the disclaimer "ads may appear" -- that is viewable worldwide. There's also a note explaining the content owner may choose to change its policies. 

Creators previously had access to a catalog of royalty-free, 320kbps tracks and sound effects for usage in their videos. To facilitate the process of finding the right song, YouTube allows the catalog to be searched by genre, mood, instrument and duration.

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