SME Copyright Youtube? Here’s The Fix

sme copyright youtube

Many content creators have been left furious after SME have been making Content ID copyright claims on videos they claim to have copyright-free music on them.

In most cases, a copyright claim is made when a creator uses copyrighted material that is included in a video. However, for most users who have received a claim by SME it has been for no apparent reason.

The main reason they may be doing this could be that you have genuinely used copyrighted sound in your video and you haven’t realized it. Even if it’s a sample. Or they are just making content ID claims for no reason?

In this article, I’ll be going through the main reasons why SME may have copyrighted you and what to do if this copyright is incorrect. I’ll also be showing you how to avoid the problem in the future.

What is SME Copyright Youtube

SME stands for Sony Music Entertainment. They are a huge music company that owns a lot of the rights to a lot of the music you listen to.

If you use a sound or song they own then they will be inclined to come after you which is their right. This is usually the music label side.

Why Did SME Copyright Me on Youtube?

There are a few reasons why a company like SME may make a Content ID claim on one of your YouTube videos. One of the main reasons obviously is that you have used music owned by them in one of your videos.

Another reason Sony Music Entertainment may copyright claim your video could be that you used content that is owned by them so you will need to check if you have used any visual material owned by them.

In most cases, these aren’t usually the reasons that SME may claim a video from what Youtubers are telling me.

In most cases, this claim is usually false. No one knows why Sony may be doing this but a good reason would just be that they want more revenue and are likely to get it since they are a huge company.

Dispute it

If you see that you have been copyrighted by SME but you have verified using the methods below that it is a false Content ID claim then I would advise you to dispute it.

If you choose not to dispute it then this could result in a few things. One of them is SME deciding to take the video down if YouTube does accept the claim.

Another is that SME take past and future revenue made from the video. (Worst case scenario). Final outcome could be that they decide to split future revenue with you if Youtube does decide that you have made a copyright infringement.

In the case of you winning the dispute, you will be able to keep that video on your channel and you won’t have to share any revenue from it.

There is a chance that you can lose a Content ID dispute even if this music isn’t owned by Sony Music Entertainment. You will have to go down a tedious road if this happens.

How to Make a Dispute

To perform a dispute, just go into YouTube Studios then click on content in the left-hand panel > Select the video that has the claim > click on review issue. Tap relevant claim > select dispute.

This dispute does take up to 30 days to settle so keep this in mind.

Check if the Music in Your Video is Copyrighted

Now if this is the first time a video of yours has been copyright claimed and you don’t know why then you may want to check the music in the video that is being claimed.

Usually when a company like SME is claiming a video, it means that you are using music owned by them. However since many users with no music are receiving these claims, a lot of them may be fraudulent.

To check if the music you’re using music that is copyrighted you can use this copyright checker called Eproves. It will tell you if music is owned by someone else and the chances of you finding a copyright-free version.

Since I post on YouTube myself, a good rule of thumb would be that if the song is mainstream, then there is a high chance that it will be owned.

However, if it is an unknown instrument, then there is a low chance that someone will copyright claim it.

There are libraries on the internet that will provide you with copyright-free music so you don’t have to worry about labels like SME copyright claiming your video.

Youtube itself provides you with this so you won’t have to look very hard.

Remove the Video That is Being Copyright Claimed

If you do end up finding that the music you have included in your video is owned by Sony then you will need to remove that video if possible. This is so things don’t end up escalating.

Remember that this won’t remove the claim at hand as the company making the claim can still take legal action. However, what it does do is stop things from getting worse.

Just in case that company wants you to take the video down as soon as possible. If the video is bringing in revenue for you however then I would wait to see where the claim goes.

It could be that it doesn’t escalate at all and you win a dispute. So it’s not worth removing the video in a hurry if it has a lot of views or if it brings in decent revenue.

To remove a flagged video, just go into the YouTube studio by clicking on your profile picture in the top right.

Now click on the content panel on the left. Click in the three dots next to the video you want to remove and click delete.

Contact Youtube Support

If you’re in the middle of disputing a claim or SME keep copyrighting your videos then I would definitely try and get in contact with Youtube support.

This is the only place where they can give you an accurate reason as to why this claim is being made.

It may take a bit of time for the support team to get back to you see I would definitely have a look at YouTube support forums as well.

To contact Youtube support:

1. Head over to

2. Select your profile picture

3. Click on Help & Feedback

4. Under ‘Need More Help?’ Select Contact Us.

Now you’ll need to follow the prompts to talk with their creator support team. You will need to be part of the YouTube Partner Program to be able to do this.

If you aren’t then you can just send them feedback by:

1. Clicking on your profile picture

2. Select the Send Feedback option.

3. Now describe in detail the problem you’re having by submitting a report.

Make sure to mention that Sony Entertainment Enterprise is making the claim.


For the most part, there isn’t that much you can do apart from disputing the claim if it is truly false. Whether Sony will still try to fight it after the dispute is unknown but from what I’ve seen amongst users, they will.

Before doing any of this first make sure that you are not actually copyrighting SME as a dispute will be pointless in this case.

You can do this by checking who owns the music rights for the music you’re using by using an online copyright checker.

Although it seems like they are doing this to a lot of people unnecessarily, it is still worth bringing to YouTube’s attention as it’s still an unfair situation. The best-case scenario is that YouTube rejects the claim made by SME.

If you’re truly worried then I would just remove the sound in the videos that SME are trying to claim. However, even this may not work as they’re doing it to videos with no sound. So it may be something in the video.

Dozie Ejizu
Dozie is the founder of, with 10+ years of experience in Social Media and consumer tech devices. Dozie has written hundreds of articles with tried and tested methods to provide you with up-to-date information.