How To Copyright a Video and Take Down Copies

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Find Out How To Copyright a Video in the U.S.

You pour your soul and hard work into creating and publishing a video. Don’t let someone else take credit for that. Protect your work!

Find out everything there is to know, from how to copyright your work to how long it lasts. Learn about DMCA protection, adding copyright notices to your content, and making copyright claims in case your video becomes a subject of copyright infringement.

Copyright 101—Everything You Need To Know

When you create something, whether it is a document, poem, computer software, song, or video, you likely want credit and rights for that creation. If you want to know how copyright works, you are in the right place.

Copyright represents the right of the owner of intellectual property. Copyright laws allow the rightsholder to use, duplicate, share, and perform the work, and at the same time, prevent others from doing so.

When Does Copyright Protection Start?

Your video is copyrighted the moment you create it. Copyright laws protect any kind of work that is in a material form. While registration for copyright is not necessary, it is useful, especially when you choose to share your work on widely popular online platforms. Here is what you get when you register a copyright:

  • A certificate of registration
  • A public record of ownership
  • An ability to send demand letters to someone for copyright infringement in court
  • Eligibility for statutory damages

What Can Be Copyrighted?

Any intellectual property can be protected by copyright, as long as it is preserved in some way. That includes artistic, dramatic, literary, and musical works. To specify this a little more, here is a list of some of the works from the mentioned categories:

  • Art
  • Songs
  • Poetry
  • Novels
  • Videos
  • Movies
  • Documents
  • Architecture
  • Computer Software

How Long Copyright Lasts

According to the current U.S. copyright law, the general rule is that the copyright will last during the lifetime of the creator of the work, plus the additional 70 years after that. The U.S. Copyright Office started applying this rule as of 1. January 1978.

Before this, copyright protection consisted of two consecutive terms and required a renewal of copyright.

How To Place Copyright on Videos by Registering With the U.S. Copyright Office

When you own a copyright for a video, you have exclusive rights to use it, make copies, publish, and make changes to it. More importantly, only you get the right to make money from it.

If your copyright is infringed, you have the right to take down the stolen content or claim any future monetization.

If you register your copyright, you get to claim damages from the infringement and take the person or business that stole your content to court.

The U.S. Copyright Office can help you register a video online with their Electronic Copyright Office (eCO). Follow the step-by-step instruction to do so:

  1. Sign up to the eCO Registration System
  2. Fill out the provided form
  3. Attach the video
  4. Make a payment for a processing fee of $35

The average length of this process is about four months, but it can last up to seven.

Protect Your Video on YouTube

Aside from the protection of the DMCADigital Millennium Copyright Actand other copyright laws, there are other ways to protect your video if you publish it on YouTube.

YouTube grants automatic copyright protection the moment you upload. You get this protection by giving them the non-exclusive rights to your video, which means that they have other rights as well.

If someone takes advantage of your video, YouTube can deal with this in a couple of ways. You can file a YouTube DMCA takedown notice. They will take down the problematic video and apply a copyright strike to the channel that used your content without permission. If an account gets three strikes, YouTube will terminate it.

Another method is the Content ID claim. Content ID claim is one of the copyright claim options on YouTube. The way it works is that when you discover someone is using your content without permission, you can claim the infringed video. This allows you to collect money from ad revenue.

Did Someone Steal Your Video? Here Is How To Tackle the Issue!

If you decide to take down the video that someone shamelessly posted without your permission, the DMCA provides a great takedown service. You can choose between two service options, the table below can help you make a decision:


Full-Service Takedown

  • $199 per use
  • You get a brief form to fill out
  • Made for content creators
  • It is easy to use
  • You receive full DMCA assistance

Webmasters DIY Service

  • $10 a month/$100 a year
  • You receive a kit for DIY takedowns
  • Suitable for webmasters and internet professionals
  • You can use it indefinitely once you figure out how

Once you decide which option is more suitable, you can start the DMCA takedown process by following these steps:

  1. Open the Takedown tab on the DMCA’s website
  2. Select Start a Takedown
  3. Enter details of the takedown
  4. Provide your account info
  5. Select the chosen takedown service
  6. Proceed to Checkout
  7. Make the payment

After YouTube receives this notice, they will immediately take down the problematic video, as they are required to do so by the DMCA regulations.

File a DMCA Takedown Notice With DoNotPay for the Fastest Removal

You can spend your money on professional advice and various takedown services, or you can solve your problem in a couple of minutes. DoNotPay offers assistance with a DMCA Takedown feature that will help you remove a stolen copy of your hard work with no trouble whatsoever.

Open our app in your preferred , and follow these steps:

  1. Select the DMCA Takedown feature
  2. Provide the title of your work and information about the content
  3. Post the links to the original and the infringed videos
  4. Confirm your contact info
  5. Provide the virtual signature
  6. Tap the Sign and Submit button

We will process the takedown notice and forward it to YouTube or any other platform. You can find the results in the My Disputes tab.

Allow DoNotPay To Resolve All Your Issues!

Copyright is a tricky matter, and you can easily commit infringement or have your copyright infringed by accident. You can learn how to avoid copyright infringement by reading more about some of the cases.

DoNotPay is useful for all creative types as you can use it to find out how to copyright your artwork, poem, or book.

To expand your knowledge of video copyrights, check out how YouTube handles these issues or look into song copyrights.

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