YouTube will use AI to snip copyrighted music and not silence your whole video

YouTube Song Erase
(Image credit: YouTube)

YouTube is turning to artificial intelligence to try to simultaneously appease copyright holders of songs while making life a little easier for those who upload videos with songs they don't have permission to use. 

Instead of just taking down a video with copyrighted audio the uploader doesn't own, they can use a new AI tool to remove the protected song without erasing the rest of the video's audio track. 

When a video receives a copyright claim for music content, YouTube will now offer several editing options in YouTube Studio to help get the claim released. These options include "Trim," "Mute," "Replace Song," and the newly enhanced "Erase Song."

The AI song erasure enhancement allows for relatively precise identification and removal of copyrighted content from video clips. Previously, creators had limited options, such as muting the entire video or replacing the song, which often disrupted the overall viewing experience. The song erasure tool is the latest in the eternal tug-of-war between creators and copyright holders over dealing with copyright strikes, commonly referred to as copystrikes on YouTube. 

The song-erasing feature has been undergoing beta testing, but this broader rollout adds the option to the "Video Copyright" summary page within YouTube Studio. It provides two primary options for creators dealing with copyright claims: "Erase Song" and "Mute All Sound." 

AI Protection

The feature may not seem like a big deal to casual YouTube creators, but it is particularly significant for those who rely on monetization through the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). By addressing copyright claims more efficiently, creators can ensure their videos remain active and monetizable, thus safeguarding their revenue streams.

As YouTube continues to face challenges with copyright enforcement, exacerbated by AI, these kinds of abilities will be a boon to both copyright holders and video makers. For instance, YouTube will now take down deepfakes of you upon request. 

YouTube has even hinted that there will be more improvements and features that use AI to make and share content without the threat of copyright claims. 

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Eric Hal Schwartz

Eric Hal Schwartz is a freelance writer for TechRadar with more than 15 years of experience covering the intersection of the world and technology. For the last five years, he served as head writer for and was on the leading edge of reporting on generative AI and large language models. He's since become an expert on the products of generative AI models, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Anthropic’s Claude, Google Gemini, and every other synthetic media tool. His experience runs the gamut of media, including print, digital, broadcast, and live events. Now, he's continuing to tell the stories people want and need to hear about the rapidly evolving AI space and its impact on their lives. Eric is based in New York City.