Whenever you try downloading videos from YouTube or any other video sharing portal for that matter, then you experience fear. This fear stems from the fact that downloading videos from YouTube could be illegal and you could land up in loads of trouble. Well, technically speaking, downloading and using videos that you do not own or have the permission to use, is a violation of the intellectual property rights. But there are ways in which you can do this and much more without breaking the law.
It is illegal to download copyrighted videos from YouTube and most other sources. It is a violation of YouTube’s terms of service to download videos that do not have a Download button or link beneath the video in question. Here is how you can work out a way to avoid any legal implications / issues and still get your favourite video.
Get Permission to Download Copyrighted Content
This is the best and safest way to avoid troubles while downloading content that you do not have ownership of. If you like a video that you wish to download, write to the owner specifying your interest to download the content. Make sure you mention the correct usage of the downloaded video and clarify your intentions so that you get permission for using the content. Depending upon the owner’s preference, you could either end up paying some amount for using the content, or you could get permission to use the content without having to pay any amount at all.
Download for Personal Use Only
If you are in urgent need for a video content, then you can download it using any of the free tools such as onlinevideoconverter and get it converted to a preferred format. However, you need to ensure that the end usage of the downloaded content is personal with no indulgence in activities aimed at making profit from the content. Any activity which generates money from the download content (which you do not own personally) is a direct violation of the copyright laws. If commercial usage is required, then get in touch with the owner of the content to seek permission for using it.
Download YouTube Videos for Offline Viewing
Countries like India often face issues with internet speed which causes problems in streaming videos in HD from platforms like YouTube. You might have faced this issue where continuous buffering is required for a video to stream in HD. Not only does this create frustration in the user, but it also reduces the goodwill of the brand owing to poor user experience. In order to cater to the needs of its users, YouTube has come out with a download feature which is meant to enable offline viewing of contents. However, there are certain conditions applicable to the downloaded videos.
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Not all videos can be download with this option due to the prevalence of copyright infringement issues. If YouTube considers any video suitable for downloading, then it will display the “download’ icon beneath the player. Once this icon is clicked, a separate dialogue box will open up indicating different video resolution qualities and you can choose which one to download. Once downloaded, the video would be available for offline viewing for 48 hours, after which it would not be playable. This download facility is currently available for smartphones and iPad devices only where it can be viewed multiple times till the validity of the video expires.
This download facility has been made available for countries like India where public internet is patchy, and overall internet speeds are slow. In developed countries, there is the provision of public Wi-Fi where streaming videos on YouTube should not prove to be a hassle. If you are planning on downloading videos to your computer with this method, then it would be an exercise in futility. The download icon would only be enabled in the app which can be accessed on mobile devices. With this facility, YouTube intends to provide a better user experience without contributing towards copyrighting infringement.
The Technical Implications
It is important for you to understand the difference between infringement of a legal term and the violation of policies of a website like YouTube. Technically speaking, the legality of downloading YouTube videos lies in a grey area where it has become difficult to define the applicable things with clarity.
Go through the guidelines and policies of YouTube and make sure you read the fine print before indulging in any activity that could land you in trouble. Avoid videos such as trailers, music videos, commercial videos, etc. that have copyrights. After all, you would not want to fall in legal trouble for being impatient and not following the law as stated.