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Studio Productions are the primary source of income for most content creators on sites like YouTube and Twitch. However, there is a problem that affects them all. It's called copyright strikes. Copyright strikes are when someone who holds intellectual property over a specific piece of art claims infringement over your video in an attempt to make it unavailable for others to see, remove monetization from the video, or even take legal action against you. Music video production is only one thing you can do at the production studio. This article will outline the basics of copyright law, how it applies to you and look at some solutions to save the day!

We're not lawyers here at Pixel Judge, so this isn't legal advice - but we can try and help guide you in the right direction. There are many different types of video content studios. Some of our team here make Let's Plays, some review games, others do podcasts and much more creative content under different types of intellectual property legislation. So while you may disagree with how the law interprets your content - it still applies to you.

Rights You Have

The first step is understanding what rights you have as a studio. We will break this down into three subgroups; Recorded Shows, Podcasts, and Livestreams. Each has its own set of laws surrounding the topic so we'll try and give an explanation for each one.

If you are a content creator on YouTube or Twitch

Do you want to know how to protect yourself against copyright strikes? If so, this article is for you! We'll go over the basics of copyright law and what it means for your videos. We'll also look at some solutions that can help save the day if someone claims infringement on your video. Pre-production is an essential step in project development.

You don't have to be afraid anymore! With these tips, tricks, and tools in hand, we'll make sure that no one takes down your work again. So let's get started with a perfect shot!

Read more about protecting yourself from copyright strikes by clicking here now!

Recorded Shows

This is recorded and then published online through a video hosting site. Examples include YouTube, Twitch, Dailymotion, and other similar sites. Copyright does not protect the subject matter itself - but rather its expression of that subject matter. This means it doesn't matter what you say or how you say it regarding your Recorded Show; only the "how" matters. So if someone uses your audio track with their visuals - they may be infringing on your copyright because there was no way for you to convey what they created with their images and sounds unless you could film them all at the same time. Sound production is a service provided by professionals. Television and camera operators take an essential role in your business marketing plan.

Recorded Shows

Copyright strikes can happen on recorded shows, but it is far rarer than other video content types, including live streaming. This is because recorded shows are not live, and copyrighted material is usually edited out. So, it becomes difficult to hit a copyright strike due to the lack of infringing content in your video. Copyright strikes can happen, however, which means that you should still note what you use in your show so you can strip it away if need be.

The reason copyright rarely affects recorded shows is that they tend only to contain original content. You may reference or talk about existing IP, but there is always some interpretation involved when talking about other people's work which removes the element of direct infringement. Because of this, many copyrighted works are protected under Fair Use laws when contained within another piece of art. Now, just because Fair Use covers your back doesn't mean that companies won't still try and hit you with a copyright strike in an attempt to stamp out your show.

However, Fair Use isn't just about talking about copyrighted material - you can also use it within the show itself! For example, let's say that there is a part of your recorded show where you play 30 seconds of music from another game. This, in most cases for Fair Use, is enough to qualify as use under parody or critique. So if someone tried to hit you with a copyright strike, it wouldn't stick! Of course, things aren't always this easy, but we'll cover more on dealing with these issues later in the article.


On the other end of the spectrum lies podcasts that are not covered by Fair Use, and it's down to the owner of the podcast to make sure that they don't infringe on other people's work. This means that you should always get permission from whoever owns the rights to your "intended" copyrighted content before you include it in your podcast. The problem here is that many different shows and games occur in shared universes, so finding out exactly what you can use within your show can be tricky!

Also, if you are using existing content within your show, such as songs, this counts as potential infringement under copyright law. So while you may not be infringing directly by talking about a game or movie, if there are any music tracks included in your show owned by somebody else, this could count as infringement. In the case of music, you would need to get permission from the artist(s) who made it!

In general, if you're not sure about content legality but still want to include it in your show, there are two things you can try; placing a disclaimer at the start of every show which includes an offer to remove infringing content - for free - upon request or don't use copyrighted material within your podcast. Remember that Fair Use does not cover everyone. The only recording shows where you play other people's games counts as Fair Use! This means that Let's Plays will always be under scrutiny for possible infringement.

Livestreams & Gaming

So far we've covered recorded shows but what about live streaming? Unfortunately, everything we've already covered still applies. Content creation on the likes of Twitch (previously Justin. TV) and YouTube Gaming is treated like any other show; you will be hit with copyright strikes if you infringe on other people's work - even if it's for a split second! And like with podcasts, if there are copyrighted tracks used within your Livestream, this counts as potential infringement under copyright law too!

In terms of what types of material can cause problems in your live streams? It tends to vary from streamer to streamer, but due to the nature of video games being created using pre-existing IPs, you could pretty much get a strike every time you play something new so long as that content is owned by somebody else. That being said, most gamers have a lot of content within their libraries they've already used before or that they don't intend to use again, so these strikes are usually just for show.

The best way to deal with this kind of strike is to avoid using games that may infringe on other people's work altogether - it saves you the effort later down the line. However, if you go ahead and play something that could be considered infringing by somebody else, simply posting an apology on social media should be enough to get the copyright strike retracted! If you're not willing to do this, then there isn't much more advice I can give beyond "don't stream videogames!"

We now know why copyright infringement occurs but how does it affect the content creators who are infringing it?

The Effects of Copyright Infringement

Most copyright infringement occurs within live streaming and podcasting - the two areas where Fair Use isn't applicable at all. There is one main reason for this; most people don't know about copyrights or feel that their copyrighted material use falls under Fair Use! In most cases, you can file a counter-notification with YouTube or Twitch to get your strike retracted, but if it doesn't work out in your favour, then you'll have your channel closed down - along with any revenue you might have been getting from adverts on your videos. If you're a small YouTuber, this could be a massive problem. It suddenly costs you a lot of money and forces you to rebuild your viewership from scratch. However, if you're a big-name YouTuber or Livestreamer, then it's simply going to be an inconvenience for you as your fans will still keep the support regardless of the lack of ad revenue!

Regarding written content such as blogs, articles, and forums, copyright infringement is usually limited to direct linking, so shutting down these sites wouldn't be too much of a problem in theory - especially if there aren't very many posts on them. To get around this, most would-be infringers instead upload their infringing work directly onto other people's free hosts such as Imgur or Tumblr, where it can remain freely available after any DMCA claims have been retracted. Once again, if you're a big-name YouTuber or Livestreamer, then this kind of infringement isn't likely to be much of an inconvenience as your fans will keep supporting you regardless. But if it happens to smaller content creators, then these claims can affect their online presence and offline lives!

Copyright Strikes & The Law

As we now know what copyright strikes are and how they work, it's time to go into the legal side of things. First, it is illegal under Section 19(1)(a) of the Copyright Act 1994 to download copyrighted material without permission from the owner. While streaming copyrighted material doesn't count as downloading - given that you aren't saving anything onto your computer - live streaming does fall under this category if you're uploading it to your channel afterward. As for recording airwaves, copyright doesn't apply here, but broadcasters usually have their own rules against it. Hence, it's better to stick with Fair Use or wait until airing is finished (outside of the USA).

Copyright infringement is only punishable by law in certain circumstances, though. For example, if you upload your offending content onto social media where others can see it, then you could face up to six months imprisonment and/or a £50,000 fine - or both! I should note that live streaming doesn't count as publication on social media, but re-uploading recorded footage after the stream has ended certainly does!

Broadcasters also have other means at their disposal to stop your infringing content - even if it doesn't involve the law! For example, if you live to stream anything of theirs (or record it and upload it onto your channel), then they can make a claim against you for breach of copyright. This usually consists of using YouTube's built-in Content ID system or taking down your videos directly on the request, but some might report you directly to the police instead. When this happens, most people will find that their video is taken offline within 48 hours, while some unlucky few will see delays upwards of two weeks before they get their strike resolved using deleting or monetizing it.

Copyright cases are taken very seriously indeed, especially if you're a high-profile target, because one false move could see you going to jail for a considerable length of time. It's also worth pointing out that the United Kingdom is bound by European legislation, so if you live across the pond in America, then copyright infringement probably won't be taken quite as seriously unless you're making an awful lot of money from it. However, even if you are, you could still end up facing some pretty hefty fines!

Places to Find Copyrighted Content

If you think this is all sounding very serious, then that's because it is! Suppose you want to avoid legal problems with your content. In that case, there are several golden rules which you should follow at all times: Don't download copyrighted material (including music) without permission! Don't stream copyrighted material (including TV) live with or without permission! Don't upload recorded content of copyrighted material (TV, streams, etc.) without permission!

We've already looked at how you can share and watch other people's content for free without legal consequences, and we've seen that streaming copyrighted material is potentially dangerous. This leaves downloading; but where do we find these things? Well, it all depends on your interests! If you want mainstream stuff, then the likes of The Pirate Bay should be good enough for you to download whatever you like - although this isn't a safe option whatsoever. On the other hand, several websites offer so-called "Scene Releases "if you're looking for something more niche. These usually come in packs containing multiple releases of varying quality, but they're worth checking out!

Don't get too excited, though; don't go downloading copyrighted material without permission either from the content owner or a trusted Scene group. While it may be legal in some particular circumstances, you could still find yourself being prosecuted for breach of copyright, so stay safe and follow these simple rules at all times.

Persons to Hold Accountable

As mentioned earlier, you're only legally responsible for what you upload onto YouTube, so feel free to download whatever catches your eye and store it on your hard drive. Once you've got these things, then it's up to YOU and YOU ALONE to look after them responsibly. Nobody can take legal action against someone else for something they've uploaded, but anyone who has legitimately downloaded copyrighted files from you could potentially sue if they wanted! If somebody decides to do this, then the person at fault would be YOU rather than the uploader because, of course, You Were The One Who Downloaded It In The First Place.

I should also note that computer forensics could still find your IP address via a file-sharing website such as The Pirate Bay even though you're only watching the content and not uploading anything yourself. This means that it'll be YOU who is targeted by police investigations and not other people over which you have no control whatsoever!

In Case You Downloaded Something

Bearing all this in mind, if you download something, then you are 100% responsible for that file's long-term safety. Of course, if the authorities wanted to, they could take your computer/laptop away with them and retain custody of it until further notice; but don't worry too much about this because there are plenty of ways around it. You can either remove sensitive files from your system before allowing anyone else accesses or encrypt them so heavily that they won't make any sense to anybody else. If you're even more security conscious, then you can use an entirely separate computer for these tasks, but the best method is to encrypt only sensitive files and store them securely.

Places to Store Sensitive Files

If you want to keep things safe, it's always best not to trust anyone with your personal or financial information because there are many ways you could steal this from others! However, if you still think somebody might be able to help, then here are two excellent cloud storage services that are both free and secure:- Dropbox - Google Drive - Both of these require registration before use but will allow you to upload anything straight onto the cloud. If you want to access them from another device, simply download the appropriate app onto your smartphone so that nothing is ever out of your reach!

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