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Copyright holders can no longer monetize manually claimed videos with unintentional use of music

YouTube announced an update to to make the copyright claiming system a bit fairer: YouTube's new policy forbids copyright owners from "using the Manual Claiming tool to monetize creator videos with very short or unintentional uses of music."

Note that this does NOT mean you can use copyrighted music without permission:
  • This change only applies to manual claiming, not YouTube's automated Content ID system.
  • Copyright holders can still prevent the creator from monetizing
  • Copyright holders can still block the video from being viewed
  • An exception to this policy is "a compilation of short clips primarily containing audio content" such as "Top 10" lists of music or audio content or "Compilations of short clips from music-focused social media apps"
The policy change goes into effect in mid-September. And YouTube says there will be penalties for violating the Manual Claiming policy:
Once we start enforcement, copyright owners who repeatedly fail to adhere to these policies will have their access to Manual Claiming suspended.
If you are a creator, you still need pay attention to any music playing in the background while you record, as copyright holders can choose to block your video. You might be able to edit out a snippet of a song playing on the radio, but it's better if the music isn't audible in the first place.

And if you want to add music, make sure it's licensed for use on YouTube (for example, free songs from YouTube's music library). 

If you believe a claim on your video is wrong, you can dispute it.

It remains to be seen whether this is a boon or bane for creators. On the one hand, some copyright holders may choose not to claim videos with music unintentionally playing in the background. But it could result in more videos that are blocked, rather than monetized. Time will tell.

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