YouTube is the world’s number one video streaming website. Its search engine is 2nd in the list of the greatest number of searches, after Google.com. With its vast popularity and user base, YouTube has become the hotspot for the content creator. With ever-increasing active users, the content creators can achieve success in a short span if they provide trending and engaging content. YouTube has also become the income source for these content creators.
However, many third-party applications and websites are hindering the hard work of the YouTube content creators by providing ways to download YouTube videos and view them offline.
Many faux sites are promoted as the YouTube downloader but, in reality, release malware programs. Even though YouTube has officially provided an option to download certain videos and view them offline on its app, the downloader platforms are on the rise.
So, the question arises, is downloading videos from YouTube by any means is legal?
Let us find out
What does YouTube Policy say?
To know the legality of downloading YouTube videos, we first have to look at YouTube’s terms and conditions.
When you download the YouTube app or watch the YouTube videos on its website, you agree to its terms and conditions, a part of that includes:
“You shall not download any content unless you see a ‘download’ or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that content. You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the content.”
It is clear from the above point that YouTube does not allow to download the content from its platforms.
So, why is there no action being taken by Google or YouTube on such websites and apps?
Why does not YouTube take any legal actions on Downloader Apps and Sites?
When you try to search for a YouTube downloader on Google, just a single search will provide you several platforms to download YouTube videos.
Why is there no action being taken on such sources?
The reason YouTube avoids taking legal action on such sources is that the company thinks it is not worth creating a tight legal against such a massive number of sources. As soon as one site is taken down, ten others are already there to take its place. Creating and maintaining legal cases would cause them more effort than its worth.
Another reason is, many YouTube downloader sites and apps are even running the Google Ads. Thus, Google is also getting benefits from such high traffic sources. Maybe Google is gaining more by allowing instead of restricting such platforms. At the end of the day, Google and YouTube are businesses.
When is Downloading Illegal from YouTube?
If we keep Google or YouTube apart, depending on the region you live, some copyright laws may cause you legal troubles if you infringe them and download YouTube videos.
If we look at the copyright law of the United States, it clearly states that it is illegal to use the copyrighted content without the permission of the owner or the content creator.
You cannot use copyrighted content for your financial gains and even for personal use. In light of that, downloading the music, sports, TV series, or any other copyrighted videos from YouTube is illegal, and you can be under legal troubles if found guilty.
However, it is highly unlikely that a content creator would enforce a lawsuit if you are guilty as an individual; nonetheless, you are doing a crime by illegally downloading YouTube videos.
When is Downloading Legal from YouTube?
It may sound surprising, but you can indeed legally download some videos from YouTube using third-party tools. Here are some situations which allow you to download YouTube videos:
- Videos for which copyright law does not apply or law grants the right to reproduce it, can be downloaded.
- Public domain videos are those whose copyright is expired, fortified, or the video is not applicable for copyright. Such videos have no owner and hence can be used in any way.
- Some videos are creative commons. It means that creators have copyrights but have given permission to distribute and reproduce the content publicly.
- Copyleft videos are also free to download as Copyleft allows to use of videos in any form as long as the same law is applied to the secondary video.
So, now you know about the legalities of the YouTube video downloading. It is true that downloading videos which fall under specific categories is technically legal, but what about the moral grounds? The next time you download the videos from YouTube, just think about the hard work the creator puts in creating that video. Especially for the content creators who are new to the platform. With the increase in competition, they have to face many challenges. By illegally downloading videos and not viewing them on the legal platforms, you are restricting monetary benefits for them. The same thing stands for the people who use Adblockers on YouTube and blog sites.