How To Monetize YouTube Videos Legally 2017

How To Monetize YouTube Videos Legally 2017
You put your YouTube channel at risk every time you upload a video with media you don’t own the copyrights to. But, here is your guide for how to minimize that risk in 2017.

Using copyrighted music, movies and video games on YouTube has always created challenges for creators facing potential content id claims and copyright strikes.

See how we are helping YouTubers grow their channels –

Can you be sued for using copyrighted material? Yes, but it’s not very likely as long as you follow YouTube policies and laws governing its use.

What’s the first thing I should do when starting my channel?

Answer: Instead of asking “what?’ Ask “why?” Why do you want to start a YouTube Gaming Channel?

Next, I recommend you do some heavy research to ensure you are making content that people want to see. You can have the greatest value proposition in the world along with the most professionally produced content and still not get many viewers or subscribers if you are making content that nobody wants.


Does allow gameplay uploads and monetization?

Answer: Everything I know on this subject can be found at

What do I need to send to YouTube when I get a Content ID Claim or if they ask me to prove that I have permission from the copyright owner to upload copyrighted gameplay material?

Answer: The best information you can send YouTube is the actual permission language written by a copyright owner’s legal team. Some developers and publishers are awesome enough to publish this on their website (Activision-Blizzard, Microsoft, etc.). When they do, copy and paste the pertinent language as well as the link to the page where it’s published into YouTube’s form. When copyright owners don’t publish it, you can do one of four things:

1. Ask the copyright owner to send it to you in writing on their letterhead (email won’t suffice)

2. Ask the copyright owner to publish permissions on their website

3. Dispute the claim stating that you have permission and the name of the person that sent it to you

4. Do not dispute and leave your video un-monetized.

How do other channels seem to get away with monetizing videos that YouTube won’t let me monetize?

Answer: There are many reasons why this may be the case. They may have contact with the copyright owner that you do not have. They may be a managed partner at an MCN and thus not scrutinized as severely when it comes to monetizing their work. It may not be THEM that’s monetized the video as the copyright owner could have claimed it and monetized it themselves.

Do my gaming videos have to include commentary for me to upload and monetize them?

Answer: This varies from copyright owner to copyright owner. Mojang (Minecraft), for example, require that you add something to your videos to make them your own. Other copyright owners do not enforce similar standards. Just be careful if you choose to go the “no commentary” route as YouTube may consider the video to be in breach of Fair Use and YouTube standards.

Can I upload and monetize game footage from really old games?

Answer: I think what you all really meant to ask here was, “do I still have to get permission to upload video game footage from really old games?” The answer is, “maybe.” If your video adhere’s to YouTube’s policy outlined here, then you probably don’t need to get explicit permission. But, having permission is always a plus if you are a new channel and YouTube’s “trust” algorithm is still feeling out your content.

Can I upload gameplay videos if I don’t monetize them?

Answer: Maybe. In short, monetizing and uploading are two separate issues. Your videos have to meet certain requirements whether you monetize them or not. YouTube’s policy for uploading and monetizing without explicit permission is found here. You can also check out my Can You Upload Videos Using Copyrighted Material if I Don’t Monetize them video below.

Clients Incoming is a Loudoun County digital marketing agency, located in Ashburn, VA and focused on helping contractors attract more clients and build lasting trust with their existing customers.


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37 thoughts on “How To Monetize YouTube Videos Legally 2017”

  1. I found myself in a kind of reversed situation of the topic recently. I came across another channel that had one of my original videos uploaded to it, and they were monetizing it for about 3 months before I’d discovered it. So I posted on their channel that i’d give them a chance to remove my content from their channel before I filed a complaint. No response. So, I filed the complaint to youtube. I was surprised how quickly YouTube not only took down my content from their channel… They took down the entire channel! Turned out everything on that channel was content they took from other creators channels. It surprised me because I’m still a pretty small channel…(but my videos do get a lot of views…) It was really the principle of the thing for me though. So yea… Like B.C said… Don’t take the chance on losing your channel. Keep it 100% original!

  2. People seem to forget that law is manipulated by big corporations to get what they want and stay at the top whilst scaring off their competition. There is always a loophole to this though. Laws do not apply to individuals, they apply to everyone, as such there is always a way through a situation.

    Thing is as people we lack the power to influence laws… however that does not mean that we can’t take advantage of certain laws and use them in our favor even if it wasn’t meant for us little people.

    Fair use is one of those laws. The goal is to find the loophole and stick to it. Essentially if you’re a Youtube gaming channel you are always looking to find that loophole in whatever it is you do. What applies to you applies to IGN and Gamespot too. Thing is, publishers want IGN and Gamespot to publicize their stuff, IGN aren’t going to buy a licence from a publisher to use their content for the same of marketing in the publisher’s favor.

    Instead, IGN follow fair use laws which was established FOR the publishers to make it easier for other companies to market their games. Remember, Law values money above all else. Only the big people matter to the law, never the little people. So if you are one of those little people, you need to know exactly what the big people do to make it legit. Thing is, the big people keep those secrets from us. However if you pay attention to the laws themselves, it’s not that hard to figure out a way around, there’s a loophole to everything, it all depends on how well structured your defence is against copyright claims, not avoiding copyright claims. Always be ready for a claim and fight it, don’t just cower away just because someone might claim your content, if you do then you’re playing into the hands of these big corporations.

    These big companies will do anything to stay at the top, even if it means influencing the laws in their favor. it’s a dirty trick but it’s a trick that works.

    Plus I’m willing to bet that half of the big corporations in the world are tax evaders and fail to adhere to many other laws that we have to. World isn’t a fair place, controlled by those with big money and their money is like a shield they can use to protect themselves from potentially falling under.

    The little people have little protection but that doesn’t mean that we should just sit there and let those companies get to the top, find a loophole in the law’s system that can allow you to legally do what you need to do by beating the system. Though you will never be in the same league as these big corporations (all of which are most likely criminal anyways, just not proven to be) unless you take the risks of breaking the law and I’m not going to recommend that because success can be acquired by following the law, you just have to actually think your way around it.

  3. well when you change your channel name? man within few months lot of things changing anyways……..RIP Alloy 7 🙁

  4. That was my concern about so-called “copyright free music”, but what if it’s licensed under “Creative Commons”? Can that still screw me over if they decide to copyright it sometime in the future? I was also wondering about using loops from a free site like Looperman. (I know you said there’s not a black and white answer and also said not ask you these questions, but I thought maybe this was different.)

  5. It still amazes me how many people just don’t understand No Risk = No Reward; especially gamers. Risk/Reward, Cost/Benefit, that’s gaming … also that’s Life. We take a risk every day we drive to work to make money.

  6. good channel! i monetize my channel and made so far 3,19$. and today i look i see 1,80$

  7. Hello,
    Thanks for the information, and was a great help!
    I understand the grey spots of monetization of gaming videos (Let’s Plays and such) but one question I have and cannot find a decent answer is…
    I am trying to do it right, but some games, legit, have no foreseeable way for me to contact anyone about permissions.
    Knowing it is a grey area, is it a a weirdly safe guess, if a lot of other gamers have done videos, and put NO credits anywhere in the video information (description and such) about dev or publisher, no links to permissions and such and monetizing it, that I could do a video of that game?
    I understand, in your example Konami gave you special permission by email and I have done the same, but if many, many others are doing a game… safe to assume I can?
    Whats everyone’s opinion on this matter (Maybe I am overthinking it?), and thanks for you time

  8. thank you for the information.. Thinking about monetizing my videos & trying to get all the info before leaping..Have a great day..

  9. Heart’s in the right place bro, but to simply say, “I ain’t no attorney; hey, do I look like one?” might do just fine.
    Very helpful.

  10. Basically, always make sure you have no copyright strikes, or community guide line strikes and you’ll be fine. Also, if a video has a copyright claim, and it’s under the copyright section delete it before you monetize your channel. Also, comment on one of my videos if you want to have a chance to be in my shout-out series, and like it. All you have to do is say “Great video,” or I liked it.” Something like those two. Also, monetize your videos at 100 subs at the least.
    Thanks for the heads up to the gamers Clients Incoming – Digital Marketing Strategy it really helped me out!
    Clients Incoming – Digital Marketing Strategy’s Channel:

  11. What would happen if you would upload a video, someone else downloaded it and made a copy of it, then YOU remove your video, and he uploads the copy of YOUR video, and then you upload the original

    would then the original be copyright claimed by the copy?

  12. I’ve been trying to find answers online, and I seem to be coming up short. This video, however, seems to be in the direction of what I’d like to find out. That said, I have a question:

    In regards to gameplay videos, how would I find out where the copyrights are for the games? Are they typically in the EULA or are they elsewhere? Are the EULA and Terms of Service the same?

    So here’s a hypothetical situation: let’s say I wanted to create a monetized Let’s Play series for Rise of the Tomb Raider with some reactionary commentary. (I’m using this game as an example A) because I recently bought the game and love it and B) because games like Minecraft and others that are popularly seen around Youtube are likely not under too much duress from copyright issues).

    How would I figure out where their usage laws are located? Especially since it appears that multiple people were involved with this game, such as Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics. Additionally, Square Enix and Steam both appear to have their terms for the game, which may be conflicting.

    These are the links to both of what I have found in my attempt to better understand the copyright and my ability to use their products:

    – Square Enix:
    – Steam EULA:

    Now, if these ARE what I’m supposed to be looking at with regards to what I am and am not allowed to do regarding this game, then how would I handle if the terms said completely different things? At that point, is it that both are owners of the copyright who get to determine how their game is used and I have to adhere to both or is it that there is one owner overall that I’m missing?

    Rise of the Tomb Raider seems, in particular, to be an issue because I wouldn’t know where to go to find out who truly owns it (what with Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics being the two big names along with two others I haven’t heard of appearing to claim ownership of the game as well). As with Minecraft and Microsoft recently becoming merged, when things become a joint effort, how do I know where to go?

    I know this comment is long, but I do want to understand copyright and WHERE I can go to find out what I am legally allowed to do and make money from.

  13. thank you so much for the update. you’re a good person, doing the right thing is always the right thing

  14. Anyone know why i cant monetize a short video, is there a time after which you can made Monetization i have one less then ten mins and it say you cant monetize ??? any help please !!! and if you want to help a small and you wana find out about a little island in Europe…watch my channel…many thanks

  15. please help!
    im elligible for monetization!..
    (screen says)
    Monetization You disabled monetization on your account in your monetization settings. Re-enable monetization

    so i clink on Re-enable monetization
    then it says…

    Account Status

    To earn money from your videos, you need an AdSense account.
    Set up AdSense

    i click on the blue button…

    next screen reads…

    You will be redirected to AdSense to link your existing AdSense account or create a new one if you do not have one yet. Once you have completed this process, you will be redirected back to YouTube.

    i click next…
    next screen says…

    You are currently signed in as Would you like to use this account to sign up for AdSense? Whichever account you choose will be used to log in to your new AdSense account.
    If you’re already an AdSense publisher, you must sign in with the Google Account that you use to access your AdSense account.

    so my gmail i assume is same as my youtube channel name…( i would not have made it any differnt)

    so i click on the blue button that says YES…
    i go ahead and log in…

    it says..

    You are currently signed into the Google Account, which is either not an active AdSense account, or still pending an approval. This account cannot be used to monetize your content.
    To sign in to your existing AdSense account, visit
    i come to a screen that reads…

    Thank you for your continued interest in AdSense. Unfortunately, we were unable to approve your initial application. To resubmit your application, complete the fields below.

    For your application to be successful, make sure you’ve resolved the issues described in the disapproval email we sent you:
    (i dont rember getting a emial)

    If your application was disapproved because it matches a currently approved AdSense account, then you must close your other account before you reapply.(what does that mean?)
    If your application was disapproved because your site doesn’t follow the AdSense program policies, then you must fix the issues with your site before you reapply.(how would i fix it)

    it shows my “website” as

    i set up add seance over 6 moths ago…how long does it take for approval?

  16. Question I’ve signed up for adsense a few weeks ago, and waiting to be monetized, I’m at 4k views and need at leaf 6k more, 2 weeks ago I was at 114 views. But some of my videos have had copyright claims, can my videos still be monetized or do I have to delete those videos with copyright claims. Because it says my channel is free from copyright strikes and community strikes so idk if its okay and if I’ll still be able to be monetized I’m so close as well.

  17. Hello I started My Gaming Channel a few days Ago I have Question When uploading a Video Game Video How do I put the Video Game in the Description Box but when I Uploads it dose not show The Game Please Help?

  18. Can you do a video on doing a movie review channels or a reactor channels ? and the copyright issues involved with that my friend. Thank you and love your vids they’re very informative.

  19. Hi I uploaded a video on fb 1 week ago and it has 8M views. People have uploaded it on YouTube and are now reacting to it. What can I do to capitalize on my video?

  20. Excellent information thanks.. As a videographer I’m driving NUTS by people trying to ask me to use music!

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