WHAT ARE INVALID REFERENCES?
Invalid references are sound recordings which YouTube deems inappropriate for Content ID because they are not distinct enough or include 3rd party content which is "rights free". Below is a list of example sound recordings that are invalid references — but please note that this list is not exhaustive.
- Has any samples or 3rd party beats (in other words, it's not 100% original — regardless of whether it has a valid license or not).
- Contains sound effects, soundbeds, or production loops from a software package.
- Includes non-distinct recording such as nature or wildlife sounds, street noise, ambient sounds (fireplace crackle, etc.)
- A remix that isn't significantly different from the original.
- Karaoke versions.
- A variation of a sound recording that has already been distributed to YouTube Content ID or Facebook Rights Manager. For example:
- an instrumental version
- a remaster
- a shorter/longer version (for example a medley or a concert version where the sound recording is not significantly different from the one previously distributed to YouTube Content ID or Facebook Rights Manager)
- Sound-alike or a cover song that sounds too close to the original (you can determine this by Shazaming your track; if Shazam indicates the original version, then your track sounds too much like the original).
- Classical music recording of a composition in the public domain.
- Meditation, yoga, or sleep music.
- DJ set, a continuous mix, or other similar compilations.
- Video gameplay footage.
- Non-music content such as (but not limited to):
- comedy recordings
- film recordings (that are not the musical score to a film)
- prayer recordings
WHAT IS THE CONSEQUENCE OF HAVING ONE OF YOUR SOUND RECORDINGS MARKED AS INVALID?
If one of your sound recordings (or a segment from one of these) is marked as invalid, YouTube will exclude it from Content ID and you will not receive any royalties for the excluded sound recording or segment.
WHAT TO DO IF ONE OF YOUR SOUND RECORDINGS IS MARKED AS INVALID
- Please review the list of invalid criteria above and ensure that your sound recordings does not match any of these.
- If you believe that your reference file is valid, then please email email@example.com with the following:
- The Issue ID from your Content ID Dashboard
- The reason why you believe that YouTube is mistaken in considering your sound recording invalid.