I was thinking about making another channel on YouTube for watching movies, for example when I travel and don't have my laptop with me. As far as I know, people can get copyright strike for uploading as public content they don't own.

However, does this apply even when I set this copyrighted content (movies, TV shows, etc.) as private, so nobody except me can watch it?

Reasons why I want to use YT is great buffering speed, no ads and good mobile app.

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can get a strike.

ContentID (an automated copyright detection tool) is scanning all videos, regardless of privacy status, and while it can't strike* you directly, it can block the video and tell the copyright holder "look, here's a private video that you can't see, but I'm 99.9% confident that the part from 0:00:00 to 2:21:13 is your movie. Do you want to strike it?" — and if the copyright holder says yes, you have a big problem.

What you may want to do instead is use a service like Google Play Movies or Netflix – though I don't know how nice either of those are in terms of geo restricting users.

* sidenote: "strikes" are actually legal DMCA takedown notifications (as per 17. U.S. Code §512 (c)(3)(A)), copyright holders generally don't want to send out those automated because they can be held liable for abusing them

  • But does it counts as copyright violation when I don't share this content with others? I mean, when you have bought DVD and ripped MKV file from it, you have violated no laws unless you share this MKV with other people. Does having this movies on YT instead of HDD makes such a difference when conditions in both cases are the same (I am the only person who can watch it)?
    – PKM
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 16:32
  • @PKM I don't know if that's been decided yet in court. I definitely wouldn't want to be the person who's going to test it out though. Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 17:48

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