1 pointMoin. This article is to explain some common reasons behind the messages that YouTube gives you when rejecting your monetization application. See also: A list of YouTube policies and guidelines Note: posting why you got rejected in this thread will only serve as examples for other people as to what gets rejected, I won't be able to help you restore monetization. How to find the reason? You can find a general reason by going to your monetization page. Details on each reason can be found below. Reused content (or Duplication) If your channel is disabled for monetization because of duplication, it means that some of your content is identical with some other content on YouTube. This happens for example if you upload public domain footage royalty-free music videos other people made (reuploads) compilations anything that got claimed by ContentID reading outs of stories posted on other websites recordings of live concerts, DVDs, TV shows, and other copyright infringing activity unedited, uncommentated gameplay videos* While you may have the necessary rights to upload the video, AdSense has an "imperative of originality", making channels largely based around duplicate content ineligible for monetization. For more examples see the Content Quality Guidelines. To clarify, using third party footage in videos is still allowed for monetization (if all the licenses are in place), however, having a channel that has a focus on the third party footage (eg a music promotion channel or a compilation channel) is not. * "Videos simply showing a user playing a video game or the use of software for extended periods of time may not be accepted for monetization." says https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/138161?hl=en. So this content getting rejected from monetization is expected, the category it is listed in may be unexpected though. How to fix this? In order to get your channel eligible for monetization again, you need to remove all duplicate content. If all your content is duplicate content, you may want to look at alternative monetization models such as Patreon or merchandise instead as deleting all your videos probably isn't going to be worth it (especially considering that you'd drop to 0 watch hours again without any videos). For uncommentated gameplay content, you may want to do other kinds of gameplay videos, for example heavily edited videos, machinimas, reviews or commentated walkthroughs. You can reapply after 30 days. Impersonation ? If your channel is disabled for monetization because of impersonation, it means that your channel is confusingly similar to another channel, so for example: same avatar same name same channel banner same thumbnails same videos same video titles How to fix this? Change the points mentioned above to something different. You can reapply after 30 days. View count spam ? If your channel is disabled for monetization because of view count spam, it means that you have been using means to illegitimately obtain views. For example: View bots Purchasing views from websites promising "real views" Having your own videos running for extended periods of time in the background Participating in exchanges (sub4sub, view4view) Incentivizing people to watch your videos How to fix this? Stop using the above methods to get views. You can reapply after 30 days. Video spam ? If your channel is disabled for monetization because of video spam, it means that you have uploaded many overly similar videos, for example: "Learn how to count with soccer balls", "Learn how to count with elephants", "... with tires", lipsticks, bees, soda bottles, trains, and so on. In other words, if a viewer could accurately predict how most of your videos will look like after just watching one or two of them, you likely are going to get not approved. It may also mean that you have uploaded other content that typically is classified as spam, ie large amounts of untargeted, repetitive and otherwise unwanted videos. How to fix this? Instead of uploading videos that are mostly based around the same idea and iterate through details, make unique videos. Misleading Thumbnails ? If your channel is disabled for monetization because of misleading thumbnails, it means that your thumbnails did not represent the contents of your video. How to fix this? Your thumbnail should represent what your video is about. So the easiest way to not go wrong on this is to screenshot a specific frame of your video and use that as thumbnail. You may want to take at the Creator Academy lesson on making good thumbnails: https://creatoracademy.youtube.com/page/lesson/thumbnails You can reapply after 30 days. Other Reasons ? There may be other reasons that I'm not aware of at the time of writing. If you got rejected for a different reason (as in: something that is neither duplicate content, impersonation, view count spam, video spam nor misleading thumbnails), please let me know in the comments! The below happens only if you already have been monetizing already and now monetization disabled Repeated submission of ineligible videos and/or insufficient documentation ? If your channel is disabled for monetization because of repeated submission of ineligible videos and/or insufficient documentation, it means that Videos you submitted for monetization got claimed by a right holder When asked for documentation of commercial use rights, you didn't send sufficient documentation proving you have said rights Videos you submitted for monetization repeatedly were confirmed to be not advertiser-friendly by reviewers How to fix this? There is no fix. You have shown to YouTube repeatedly that you aren't a reliable business partner, and they no longer want to conduct business with you. Invalid Click Activity ? AdSense has a quite extensive help article on this topic themselves: https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/57153?hl=en TL;DR: Invalid click activity happens if people click on your ads with the intention to generate money for you, rather than because they're interested in the ads. It's up to you as an AdSense partner to report any suspicious activity to AdSense, and to try to not direct any bad traffic (like view-/clickbots) to your channel. How to fix this? If you get your monetization disabled for invalid click activity initially, you'll have to wait for 30 days for your AdSense account to come back – sometimes. In other times or severe cases your AdSense account will be disabled permanently. You can appeal (see the help page linked above), but you'll have to come with a good explanation on why the click activity was valid (eg: "this video suddenly got viral in a certain country and got featured all over the news" if that's why your video got a lot of views in a short time). An appeal that is saying basically "I didn't do anything" is unlikely to help you (because you not monitoring your traffic is the very issue here). As a final note, if this happens to you while you're partnered with an MCN, you'll have to work with them to get your AdSense account reinstated.
1 pointMoin. Fair Use is a thing that a lot of people say a lot of stuff about because it, in theory, gives you easy, cheap and uncomplicated access to high-quality content to implement into your video. Instead of trying to find the copyright owner and then trying to get broadcasting rights for it (worldwide? forever? that's gonna cost extra), you just download the thing and claim your use to be fair. The problem is, fair use is fuzzy, only exists in that form in the USA, and informing yourself about what it is and isn't is fairly difficult as everyone on the internet has an opinion on it without having proper qualification. Neither do I for that matter, I'm not a lawyer, but I spent the past half decade dealing with annoying copyright issues. But one thing at a time. 1. Fair Use is fuzzy. The often-quoted four factors of fair use are guidelines for judges and juries, not for creators. There are no hard guidelines that you can follow, and should your case go to court, the verdict can differ greatly from judge to judge and on whether a jury is involved. Case in point: Ray William Johnson v. Jukin Media. Ray William Johnson's equals-three show (=3) was a show in which he would collect a bunch of viral videos from the web and comment on them, parody some of it and generally try to do stuff he thought was entertaining. Jukin Media, which buys exclusive rights of viral videos, didn't like that and sued him in 2014. In 2015 the verdict was in, and the judge ruled that 18/19 videos were fair use. However, the case went on and in the next instance, in 2016, a jury ruled that 40/40 videos were not fair use. It ultimately didn't matter for the case as RWJ and Jukin settled the case before the verdict was spoken, but it does show how quickly things can turn. Even if you're certain that your use is fair and a judge agrees, the next judge (and especially jury) may not agree. 2. Fair use only exists in the US in that form. In other countries, the law simply may be different. For example, in the UK, there is a "fair dealing" law, which doesn't apply to everyone equally but rather has different requirements for private use, use as criticism, use as parody, and so on. As another example, in Germany, the "Freie Benutzung" law asks whether the original "verblasst" (~pales) in the new work. In other words, a video clearly being fair use may not help you if you're getting sued in not-the-USA. This is especially likely to happen if either you or the copyright holder lives outside the US. 3. Informing yourself about fair use is difficult. Not only does the law change every so often, is fuzzy and different from country to country, it also is fairly easy to look for information on the internet and find information that seems to validate an existing belief of yours. If you believe that putting a disclaimer up in your video is going to help with anything, you'll find plenty of places telling you it is, but that won't help you in event of a strike or lawsuit. A slightly more reliable place are the court dockets which show the judge's arguments in a fairly straight-forward language (though you need to be careful as they tend to throw in normal-looking words that mean very specific things in law-speech and not their use in common language), but, as we have seen, the judge's decision seldom is final, and the original documents tend to be rather difficult to find. A better way is to get someone who knows the stuff (ie a copyright lawyer) to look over your video, as well as the footage you're trying to use fairly, and let them make a call on whether that's a stupid idea. Often, a first and rough answer will be delivered free of charge. With that in mind, here a bit of personal preference: What would I do if I wanted to incorporate some fair use footage into my video? Don't. It'll save a lot of headaches by making videos 100% on your own. If it's necessary, try getting permission from the copyright holder. Often, the copyright holder is just happy that someone is paying attention to their content and will give permission for rather small uses. This is especially true for video games; a lot of game publishers have a thing somewhere on their website saying "you can use it in videos". If the copyright holder won't give me a permission, or wants me to pay sums I can't afford, I'll ask myself as well as a lawyer how likely it is that the video is under fair use (or rather Freie Benutzung in my case). If both me and my lawyer find the video to be fair use, I'd think about whether I care enough about the video to potentially fight through several instances of courts until I'd finally reach a conclusion, with these things sometimes taking up to a decade to resolve fully. If the video is more important to me than the potential time I'd spent on 4, I'd upload it. I am aware that the above is a result of a chilling effect: Don't exercise your rights, it's annoying. I am aware that in an ideal world, you'd skip point 1, 2 and 4 and just get someone competent to defend you and fight to the bitter end, accepting no settlement. But the time you'd have to spend on permission-getting, lawyer-asking and court-fighting could be much better spent on just being creative and making a different video that is yours, 100% yours and only yours.