"Is it illegal to download YouTube videos?"
"Is it legal to download YouTube videos and convert to MP3 for personal use?"
Many YouTube users may want to know whether is it legal to download videos from YouTube. In fact, it can be legal or illegal. The decisive factor is that you should get consent from YouTube before downloading their copyrighted content. If not, you will fall short of the requirements of copyright law and it will be very dangerous. Now, let's learn to use the content downloaded from YouTube illegally for personal reasons but not financial.
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Unless you are well informed, you will always fall prey to the copyright law and that comes with heavy legal consequences. Do you think that music companies uploading their videos on YouTube have done it for free? Definitely no and they will expect you to pay for it when downloading. That is the simple logic why copyright law is in place to guard against violation of their rights. If you download YouTube videos to sell and distribute then it amounts to infringement of copyright law which will land you in trouble. For that reason, you need to understand all the basics about downloading YouTube videos before attempting to do that.
Not all times will downloading of YouTube videos be illegal. There are few cases where it's legal provided you have followed the laid down legal procedures for doing that. However, you need to know about a few situations when downloading YouTube videos will be illegal and unacceptable.
One, there is legal liability to come in case you download a YouTube video that was uploaded without the consent of its copyright holder. In most cases, penalties are slapped per every clip downloaded so you have to be extra vigilant when downloading YouTube videos. This is very serious that even watching such videos on YouTube without downloading will attract penalties.
The second instance when downloading YouTube videos turn illegal is when downloaded from a partner who is not designated. YouTube usually designates third-party sites to use its videos and downloading from such a site in accordance with the copyright law will be okay. However, count yourself on the wrong side of law when the partner you are downloading the video from is not a designated YouTube partner. Before downloading videos from another site apart from YouTube, make sure you confirm that it is a designated partner to avoid falling into the legal trap.
Thirdly, piracy law does not apply if you are downloading a YouTube file that you own copyright or have uploaded on your own. You will therefore be doing it illegally if the video you are downloading is not yours and you don't own copyright. You have no permission to download a YouTube video that is not yours otherwise you will find yourself in a very tricky legal situation.
In their updated regulations, YouTube allows for download of videos from their site if they display the "Download" button. Thus, the fourth instance that will land you in trouble is downloading YouTube videos that do not have the "Download" button. The display of this button on any video shows that YouTube has given consent for its download and that is one thing you should be keenly looking for.
Lastly, YouTube reserves the right to determine how their content will be used by its users. As it stands, they prohibit anyone from reproducing, copying, distributing, broadcasting, transmitting or downloading their videos without permission. You will be doing it illegally in case you try out any of the mentioned practices without the consent of YouTube. Apart from these, there are several other instances under which downloading YouTube videos will be illegal. It's upon you to research well and be safe not to fall a victim of copyright law.
Copyright law is very strict but you can find one or two ways out of the imposing dangers of its violation. It’s simple; don’t engage in something that you well know it will cause you problems. First and foremost, you need to get hold of the copyright law for YouTube, read through it and understand all its contents. Through that, you will be able to grasp the basic details of copyright law violation and consequences it comes with. You will be in a position of knowing that downloading YouTube videos under this or that circumstance is illegal. When fully informed on the copyright law contents, you will never find yourself downloading YouTube videos illegally and that is one of the top tricks to use.
There is the term "fair use" for YouTube videos which you need to understand as well as you strive to avoid breaking the law. "Fair use" is simply an exception from restrictions that copyright law comes with. It will always guard your rights when using any copyrighted video from YouTube to ensure you don’t end up using YouTube illegally. It is an essential bargain for YouTube users under the copyright law so you should not fear for anything once you understand its requirements.With "fair use", you will have your own rights to use of copyrighted YouTube videos since copyright holders don't enjoy absolute privileges. You need to ask yourself what you will be using the downloaded video for and it will help you remain within the legal framework. Of course you know if it's for reproduction and commercial purposes you are on the wrong end. In case the purpose is transformative, you will enjoy the privileges of "fair use".
Copyrighted contents are of different forms and you need to determine the one you are about to download. You will find that "fair use" privileges apply for non-fictional and less creative YouTube videos as compared to fictional and creative contents. That understanding will go a long way in ensuring you don't fall victim to illegal downloading. Even when you have downloaded YouTube videos illegally, it might not get worse on you if very limited of the original content is used. Therefore, you should try to restrict the use of original content for downloaded YouTube videos and it will be fine. Finally, you should avoid as much as possible not to have your downloaded YouTube video eclipse the original one in terms of sales and public views. In case it eclipses, "fair use" privileges will not apply and you will land in trouble with law enforcers. To ensure security, don’t allow your downloaded YouTube video to go to the extreme.