YouTube Are piano covers of modern composers be copyirght striked?


New User
Freedom! Member
Aug 17, 2020
Hello everybody, in my channel I make a series named "Musical A.I." where A.I. generates variations for pieces.
So far I only worked on classical composers (public domain). But a user in the comment requested to consider using a Philip Glass piece. I'm literally concerned about YouTube copyirght claims.

If I make a short (not all the piece) piano cover of the music (it is actually orchestral)- so that I can export a MIDI to be used by the A.I.- will I have some sort of copyright problems?

F! Ian

Global Administrator
Global Administrator
Apr 25, 2018
Whenever you use content that isn't yours, and you don't have the permissions for, you always run the risk of getting a strike or a Content ID claim. The question is how much of a risk is it? Content ID works by matching what's in its database to what's on your video. If it finds a match, it'll apply whatever default rule was set by the rights holder. With musical content, that's generally a claim which results in the revenue generated by the video going to the rights holder of the copyrighted work. (This can also happen manually if a rights holder stumbles upon your video.) However, they can also choose to issue a copyright strike instead, or even change their preference at a later time from claiming to strikes. The only way to be safe from this is to not use unlicensed work at all unless it adheres to Fair Use principles, which is a whole other discussion.

Bottom line, if you want to use unlicensed work you need to weigh what the chances are that the rights holder will be signed up with Content ID, or a service that is. In the case of Philip Glass, he's apparently signed with SME. Here's a video with several Content ID claims on it, which means the channel isn't earning anything from this video despite having 6M views: