Warning: Your private YouTube videos aren’t 100% private

Getty Images/Kilito Chan

So, this came as quite the surprise. Even though a video I uploaded was marked as “unlisted,” within minutes of uploading it, I got hit with a copyright warning.

Let’s dive deeper.

I made a video

I have a personal YouTube channel that’s pretty popular. I try to put a new video up every month or so. They’re usually deep-dive how-to videos showing lots of detail about whatever project I’m working on.

Also: How to download YouTube videos three ways

To make viewing some of the more tedious steps less tedious, I very carefully choose accompanying music.

Now, let’s be clear. This isn’t music I randomly pull off a CD or download from a streaming service. The music I use is purchased and licensed specifically for use on my YouTube channel.

I pay for the right to use all the tunes I upload.

There are a number of services that offer licensed music. I used Epidemic Sound for a few years and was quite happy with it. I recently switched to Envato Elements because I could buy a full year of access to both music and video for a fixed fee. There’s also Artlist.io, but I haven’t tried that yet.

When you license music for a video, it can be part of that video in perpetuity, even if you later stop with a given service. You have to publish the

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