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The Ups and Downs of Music Licensing for YouTube

By The YouTube Team

Every day we work with the music community to license your favorite music for you to use on YouTube. But music licensing is very complicated. The right to use a single song often requires permission from multiple owners, particularly when it comes to original fan-made videos that incorporate commercial music.

We work with the music industry worldwide -- with major and independent labels and publishers, rights collecting societies, and with artists and songwriters directly -- to build user-friendly licensing arrangements. With these partners and our cutting-edge Content ID technology, we've created a win-win situation the likes of which never existed before YouTube: a system that gives artists a brand new revenue source and a great way to connect with their fans.

That said, despite our constant efforts, it isn't always possible to maintain these innovative agreements. Sometimes, if we can't reach acceptable business terms, we must part ways with successful partners. For example, you may notice videos that contain music owned by Warner Music Group being blocked from the site. Don't worry - if you receive a takedown notification, you will have a couple of options to choose from in order to keep your original video creations up. Check out Audioswap, a one-of-a-kind library of pre-cleared music ready for you to drop into your videos any time.

We understand this might be frustrating for some of you, and we're sorry about that. Our ultimate goal is to treat everyone fairly: to respect the rights of musicians, songwriters, and their biggest fans, so that everyone can continue enjoying original content on YouTube.