Published on July 29th, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan


Is It Legal To Download YouTube Videos

YouTube has different types of resources. For example, millions of people visit the video-sharing platform daily to download various videos. In addition, it earns artists and creators millions of dollars in revenue through advertising that can be affected by practices like downloading videos using online tools instead of paying a subscription for YouTube Music or YouTube Go.

We’re unveiling the mystery behind the legal dilemma of this practice, and our findings are quite surprising.

Am I Committing a Crime When Downloading YouTube Videos?

Consider your country’s laws and YouTube’s views before downloading any YouTube video. The company has particular terms that you should abide by to watch its videos. For instance, YouTube doesn’t allow web users to access, broadcast, distribute, download, sell or transmit any content unless it issues them written permission.

There are different legal options if you contravene YouTube’s Terms of Service, including a lawsuit and a ban. Even so, the American social media platform has never prosecuted any person or organization for downloading its content.

A few years ago, YouTube hinted at suing, a renowned downloader of its videos, for breaching its Terms of Service. But, didn’t budge, and YouTube backed down. Then, surprisingly, closed down in 2017. This was after Warner Bros and Sony Music sued it for copyright infringement.

YouTube might appear to turn a blind eye to video downloaders, but it doesn’t like them as they are breaching its terms. Besides, it is illegal to download copyrighted content. Furthermore, copyright laws in the United States don’t apply to third-party video downloaders. Thus, you can use them to download different YouTube videos, including:

  • Creative Commons: they include works whose artists own copyright and have allowed the public to distribute and reproduce them.
  • Public Domain: these are videos with expired copyright or one that isn’t applicable, has been forfeited, or waived. Thus, the public can reproduce them as they lack a specific owner.
  • Copyleft: anyone can change, reproduce and distribute these videos if the same rights bind derivative content.

What Type of Videos Are Illegal to Download?

YouTube bans viewers from downloading the following videos:

  • Hateful videos: you cannot download any QAnon and Pizzagate videos from YouTube. The platform is keen on curbing harassment and hate. It added new rules that threaten any person or organization. QAnon claims that some Hollywood celebrities and Democrats sacrifice children in rituals.
  • Anti-Semitic videos: YouTube doesn’t display ads that humiliate or discriminate individuals or specific communities, including family entertainment characters with inappropriate behavior.
  • Incendiary videos: it is illegal to download incendiary and inflammatory videos with insults or shame an individual or particular group.

Is It Legal to Convert YouTube Videos to MP3?

YouTube has over 300 hours of uploaded footage per minute, and web users watch five billion videos daily. Most of them are between 18 and 50 years. Also, a large percentage of videos that viewers upload on the platform are music videos. As a result, many famous artists promote news songs on YouTube rather than payable services such as iTunes and Spotify.

The US copyright law bans web users from downloading personal copies of any YouTube video using a converter. It protects the robust music industry and discourages web users from downloading free music, especially if an artist has copyrighted their work.

Copyright and Piracy Protection

You are likely to contravene an artist’s copyright when you download a YouTube video and use it for personal gain. Piracy is a major challenge in the music industry as artists earn less money when many people illegally modify and distribute their copyrighted videos.

Google urges users to report videos that violate any copyright, such as using an element that another person owns. However, it gives original content creators credit. So, it is advisable to download YouTube videos for personal use rather than commercial gain.

Can YouTube Know When I Download a Video?

YouTube lacks a particular way of determining that a user has downloaded its videos. But, it easily identifies video download services that many viewers use. Sometimes, YouTube changes its platform to limit these services’ access to its resources. As a result, it is tricky for YouTube to distinguish duplicate uploads that someone creates using its footage.

The platform might infer that you have downloaded its content. Still, some people download unique YouTube videos and re-upload them on their websites. In such a scenario, YouTube can remove a video and ban a user.

How Can I Legally Download YouTube Videos?

Enter “YouTube to MP3” or “YouTube video downloader” on any search engine, and you will see a list of different YouTube to MP3 downloader tools like You can enter a video’s URL to download it. The video service will review the link and offer different quality and format options if the video is downloadable. Some video download services provide editing tools like cropping and trimming.

You can opt to download a YouTube video’s audio-only if you are interested in music and sound effects. You can use the following apps to download YouTube videos:

  • YouTube Go App

Google provides this easy-to-use Android application that is appropriate for low-performing phones. It helps you download free YouTube videos. The Go version requires you to download the app on your phone, choose a particular video and select the quality you want on the menu. Press “Download” to start the process.

  • YouTube App

Install the YouTube mobile application on your Android or iOS device, choose your favorite video; click the Download button beneath the video thumbnail. Next, select the quality you need and press OK. The YouTube app will store the video in downloads, and you can listen or watch it offline.


Different search engines show a wide array of apps and sites that you can use to download YouTube videos. The truth is, there’s no direct repercussion to the end-user who downloads and converts the videos; all the attention goes to the tools that allow it. However, to date, there haven’t been any registered actions from YouTube towards them.

Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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