In February, YouTube came under heavy criticism from some of its most popular creators for denying them revenue whenever a copyright claim was made against one of their videos. In many cases those videos were found to have made fair use of copyrighted material, but only after weeks of back-and-forth discussions. As a result, popular creators including Channel Awesome, Eli the Computer Guy, and Alternate History Hub stopped earning money while their videos garnered thousands of views. Today YouTube relented,announcing it would let videos under dispute earn revenue until the conflicts are resolved.
In a blog post, YouTube said that revenue generated by disputed videos would now be held in reserve while it decided the claim. “When both a creator and someone making a claim choose to monetize a video, we will continue to run ads on that video and hold the resulting revenue separately,” the company said. “Once the Content ID claim or dispute is resolved, we’ll pay out that revenue to the appropriate party.” The system will roll out “in the coming months,” YouTube said.