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[Solved] Is It Legal or Illegal to Download YouTube Videos?

"I want to download a few videos and put them on my tablet. So, I can watch them anywhere. I have no intention of distributing them, or sharing them with others. It's just for my own, personal use. Anyway, is it legal to download YouTube videos?" - From Yahoo Answers

It's explicitly permitted to share or embed YouTube videos on internet but the question "Is it legal to download YouTube videos?" always makes people confused. Some of you know precisely the illegality to download YouTube videos to MP4/MP3 for copying, reproducing, selling or other commercial uses, while no one is sure if it violates laws to download videos from YouTube for personal use and educational use. And in this article, the confusing question "Is downloading YouTube videos legal?" will be settled.

Is it legal to download video from YouTube
Is it legal to download video from YouTube

How Can You Legally Download YouTube Videos for Free?

You can free download WinX YouTube Downloader (100% free, clean and safe) to download YouTube videos in 3 simple steps.

This tool is specially designed for downloading MP4 videos in 720P/1080P HD, 4K, 8K and 3D from YouTube, Dailymotion, Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, Metacafe and alike sites (300+) in a flash.

Support batch download. Support downloading YouTube channel.

Part 1 Is It Legal to Download YouTube Videos in US/UK/Canada/Australia/Germany?

The words from YouTube "Terms of Service" tell: "You should not download any Content unless you see a 'download' or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content."

The content here refers to videos which are subject to copyright and other intellectual property rights under the law. In other words, it breaks YouTube rules when downloading copy-protected videos such as movies, TV shows, and music videos. YouTube once sued YouTube-MP3.org and sent a threatening message to TubeNinja for they violate ToS of both the site and API.

Now, you almost deem that it is illegal to download YouTube videos because you can hardly find out a video with a download button or link. Don't just jump to conclusion. YouTube grants something called "Fair Use" leading you to download and use copy-righted videos without getting permission from copyright owners in some cases. Also, you're quite safe to take advantage of a download service without adopting YouTube API.

  1. If you download and reuse YouTube videos as material for research, criticism, commentary, teaching or news reporting, your use is fair use.
  2. Give credit to copyright owners to transfer the protected YouTube video into fair use.
  3. Some creative video makers need to download YouTube videos and add original materials to form a new video, for example parody of hit songs, films for entertainment or non-profit only. It can be taken as fair use.
  4. In addition, you'd better post the statement "no copyright infringement intended" when you use YouTube videos.
  5. Certainly, it is legal to download YouTube videos which belong to you, for example the show recorded from a TV, music video purchased from iTunes, or movie video ripped from DVD.

Even though YouTube cannot track and ban you if you download any videos from YouTube using a third-party video download program without signing in your account, it's better get YouTube videos under Fair Use circumstances.

Actually, there're some types of YouTube videos you can legally download.

  • Public Domain: When specific copyright has been forfeited, been waived, or has expired, no one technically "owns" the right to that content. They are public domain works that can be reproduced and distributed freely.
  • Creative Commons: Although some artists claim ownership of their works via copyright but will grants users the right to copy and distribute their works legally.
  • Copyleft: Some works are protected by a copyleft license. Copyleft grants users the right to distribute or share the content however they want, with the requirement that the same rights be preserved in derivative works.
  • YouTube Premium: besides ad-free experience and other benifits, YouTube Premium subscription can give you the right to download any content of your choice legally.

Part 2 How to Legally Download YouTube Videos for Free?

If you want to download and reuse YouTube videos legally, YouTube video downloader is in need.

WinX YouTube Downloader, independent from YouTube API, is armed with multimedia sniffer technology based on player with no infringement of YouTube ToS. It is perfectly clean and safe freeware capable of downloading desired videos, like music, movie trailers, sports and more, in SD/HD/4K/8K/3D from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Metacafe, Instagram, Facebook etc, with original video/audio quality in a flash (5-8x real time download speed thanks to Multi-thread and Multicast Tech).

Download and install WinX YouTube Downloader on your computer. This best online video downloader fully supports Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP (32 & 64 bit). Next, follow the tutorial to download YouTube video legally for fair use.

Step 1. Launch WinX YouTube Downloader and click + link-shaped button on navigation bar.

Free Download YouTube Videos

Step 2. Search the video you want to download from YouTube, copy and paste its URL to address bar of pop-up windows. Click Analzye button. After the video versions vary from resolution, format, size and code are listed, select one version and click OK.

Step 3. Click Browse button to set target folder and hit Download button to start downloading YouTube video legally for fair use.

Warning: The software developer does not advocate downloading copyrighted content from YouTube for unfair and commercial use.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author - Kistent Waung

Kistent Waung twitter icon

Graduated from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, she employs herself in IT related content creation (since 2013) and happens to perfectly combine her major (computer & science) and her gusto (writing). She's seasoned at offering video audio conversion workarounds and always passionate about new trends, from hot HEVC, 4K to the new AV1 codec.

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