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How to Check If Someone Has Downloaded Your YouTube Video?

How to Check If Someone Has Downloaded Your YouTube Video

If you are a YouTube creator, then you probably care about the integrity and preservation of your work on the account that has created it — your own profile. While ensuring that people respect your copyrighted material is quite easy in the “Old Media”, this matter gets a lot trickier when it comes to content hosted on platforms such as YouTube or other popular web-hosting services.

There are various ways in which people can download videos off of YouTube nowadays. You can use Bit Downloader to save videos and songs hosted on video streaming platforms at no additional cost whatsoever. While such software fills up a much-needed gap in the world of Internet entertainment, it does not discriminate between free-to-use content and copyrighted material.

Anyone can use these “copy-link, paste-link” websites to save any video they wish and take advantage of content creators, whether it is by reposting their work onto other platforms for clout or making disingenuous and insulting edits of someone else’s clips. With the advanced technology that is available at our fingertips nowadays, this can get really dangerous — such footage can be used to blackmail creators and extort money from them.

What you can do to check on viewers

So how can you protect yourself against scammers and dishonest netizens? Is there any way you can track down their identities online?

Unfortunately, there is no simple way to track down these people. But it does not mean that you are helpless against the hordes of copycat YouTubers and online cheaters, especially if your channel is quite popular.

YouTube themselves have released a tool that will automatically track down accounts that have reuploaded your content and notify you of them. After that, you will be able to decide their fate — you can choose to do nothing or get YouTube to forcibly remove the content from the perpetrator’s account.

Unfortunately, the Copyright Match tool is only available for creators with more than 100,000 subscribers — if your base is not as large, you’re out of luck.

Narrow your range down with Analytics

Even though YouTube does not provide users with a way to uncover the profiles of those who view and interact with their uploaded videos, it does grant you access to the demographics of your users — data such as age, gender, and even the geographical location of your viewers.

If you do not care about the exact identity of your viewers and people who potentially downloaded your videos, YouTube’s Analytics is a neat little tool to keep tabs on your fanbase and know approximately where to investigate if you find your content reposted without your permission across various platforms on the Internet.

Downloads via third-party sites

Unfortunately, there is no way to track down and figure out exactly who has used a third-party website such as Y2Mate or Bit Downloader. These downloads are virtually untraceable if you are not a skilled programmer. You will need to accept the fact that some people will exploit the aforementioned software to save your content on their hard drives.

There are, however, some measures you can take to decrease the likelihood of something like that happening, as well as reduce the incentive for people to repost your videos for clout on their own accounts.

How to protect your content

In order to keep the number of unwarranted downloads as low as possible, follow the steps below. Most of them are related to the process of content creation itself, and they will most certainly discourage people from trying to exploit your videos for their own personal gain.

Watermark all videos

If you do not practice watermarking, now is a great time to start. This simple practice will ensure that even if your video gets downloaded, there will be a stamp, a fingerprint if you’d like, of your channel inside the clip.

You can make it transparent or very visible, depending on how you want it to look. It’s recommended that you keep it clear enough for people to notice if the file gets posted on an unauthorized channel, but keeping in mind that enormous watermarks might take away some of the viewing pleasure — in case of watermarking, it is important not to overdo it. A small imprint of your channel’s logo or name in the corner of the screen is more than enough to discourage others from stealing your content.

Give shout-outs to yourself

This is one of the reasons you keep hearing YouTubers mention their own channel and series names in their content. That way, even if someone decides to download their videos and post them somewhere else, they cannot do so without advertising original creators in the process, therefore giving themselves away.

This technique is even better than watermarking since many reporters don’t even bother to check the content before publishing it (especially if it’s got a lot of views), providing you with free advertising. People who find your video via a channel other than your own and enjoy it will likely seek out the channel you name drop in the video in search for more similar content!

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