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What Happens If You Get 3 Copyright Claims on YouTube?

One copyright claim on YouTube is scary enough, but if you get three of them, you have a huge problem on your hands! Find out what happens if you get 3 copyright claims on YouTube, and what you can do about it.
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Ah, the dreaded YouTube copyright claim! 

It happens to the best of us. Even though we may do everything in our power to avert a copyright claim, including adhering to fair use, we may still get one. Moreover, if we aren’t able to successfully dispute it, it will inevitably result in a strike against our YouTube account. 

YouTube has a strict “three strikes, you’re out” policy when it comes to copyright claims. So, let’s explore what happens if you get 3 copyright claims on YouTube, and see if there’s anything you can do to prevent the punishment that ensues.

Three Strikes, You’re Out (For Good)

The first two times you get copyright claims, YouTube will take down the video that contains the (allegedly) illegally used material. In addition, for the very first strike, you’ll have to go through YouTube’s virtual Copyright School.

But when we say, “Three strikes, you’re out,” for copyright claims on YouTube, we mean OUT – for good. 

That’s right: if you’ve used copyrighted material illegally for your YouTube content up to three times within the past 90 days, your account and all the channels associated with it will be deleted. Months of hard work and money spent on video creation and social media marketing will be gone in the blink of an eye.

But even just one or two copyright strikes is nothing to celebrate, either. Not only will the offending content get taken down, but also, the more strikes you accumulate, the more you risk losing access to important features like monetization and live streaming. Your entire YouTube career could be on hold, and your account hasn’t even been terminated yet.

But wait! There just might be a small silver lining of hope. It all depends on how quickly you’re able to move after you find out you may have violated a copyright.

What to Do If I Get 3 Copyright Claims?

Your ability to act after you get three copyright claims on YouTube depends on whether or not you’re a member of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).

You see, YPP members get a 7-day courtesy period after their third strike for copyright. That gives you seven days to dispute the most recent claim, which you can accomplish in one of two ways: 

  • Request a retraction from the creator whose work you used without their permission.
  • Submit a counter notification in which you say that the copyright claim was a mistake and that your use of the image or video in question falls under fair use.

Hopefully, one of these methods will work to get the third copyright strike off your record and allow your account to escape termination.

If, however, neither of them succeeds, then you must salvage any videos on YouTube Studio that you may not have saved to your computer. After that, prepare to start your account over from scratch.

How To Avoid Getting 3 Copyright Claims on YouTube?

If possible, you should do everything you can to keep yourself out of the three copyright claims situation. That includes doing your best to ensure that anytime you use audio, footage, or imagery that doesn’t belong to you in your content, you have permission from the original creator to do so, or you’re covered by fair use.

Another strategy you should consider is asking for retractions or submitting counter notifications for any copyright claims you get hit with. It’s just possible that YouTube was wrong in taking down your video. If that’s the case, then the strike will be wiped away from your account.

Read more about how to avoid copyright claims on YouTube here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many copyright claims can you get on youtube?

YouTube creators get maximum three copyright strikes before YouTube deletes their account and all their videos.

Does YouTube Delete My Videos When They Delete My Account?

Yes, all your videos will be removed from the platform, along with all your channels.

Can I Use the Same Email to Create a New YouTube Account?

No. You will need to use an entirely new email address to create a new YouTube account after it’s been deleted for copyright violations.


Getting three copyright claims on YouTube can be the end of your account, your channels, and all your previously posted videos. That’s why it’s important to act fast any time you get a copyright claim. Don’t ignore it and hope that it will go away. You could literally save your YouTube career!

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