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Is it legal to download videos and music from YouTube?

Every time we talk about Spotify, Google Play Music, YouTube Premium, Apple Music or Deezer, there are always one or…

Is it legal to download videos and music from YouTube?

Every time we talk about Spotify, Google Play Music, YouTube Premium, Apple Music or Deezer, there are always one or more people who say that they save paying the monthly fee because they download free music from YouTube on MP3 that, later, they keep in the internal memory of their devices. The procedure is easy, simple and free, and applications and websites to do it are not lacking . The million dollar question is, therefore, Is it legal to download videos and music from YouTube? Today we are going to shed some light on the matter.

Stay with the following premise: that you can get something for free does not mean you should do it. Piracy is one of the great evils of the Internet, and although there are services such as Netflix or Spotify, which offer a huge catalog of content for a ridiculous price, there are people who are not willing to pay 10 miserable euros for reward artists for their work , in a few words. It’s much easier to go to YouTube, find the fashion topic, copy the URL and download it -in a questionable quality- through online services or apps.

As you may have guessed by the tone of this article, downloading music from YouTube is not legal and goes against the Terms and Conditions of Use of the platform . In that aspect, YouTube is clearly clear in point 9.2 of your, where he deals with “YouTube Content on the Website” . I quote verbatim:

Such Content [referring to content that you have not uploaded] may not be downloaded, copied, reproduced, distributed, transmitted, disseminated, displayed, sold, licensed or used for any other purpose without the prior written consent of YouTube, or YouTube licensors, if applicable. YouTube and its licensors reserve all rights that have not been expressly granted with respect to their Content.

In other words, except for the content that you have published, you can not download any YouTube file without the consent of the platform or the content creators themselves . With “you can not download” we mean “you can not download”. There are no excuses like “It’s for personal use”, “I’m not going to share it with anyone” or “it’s just a song” . No means no.

The only cases in which these conditions do not apply: legitimate use

In this clip, several videos of different protected works are used to create a new message for educational and critical purposes .

Fromto YouTube, “Legitimate use is a legal doctrine that allows you to reuse copyrighted material in certain circumstances without the permission of the owner of those rights. ” This means that there are cases -very specific and determined- in which yes you could download a YouTube video to reuse it . Mind you, that does not mean you can download a video and extract the audio to listen on your mobile. They are very different things.

Each country has its own intellectual property laws, so each country is responsible for deciding whether the use of a material used without the owner’s permission is governed by the principles of legitimate use.

On YouTube they expose the case of the United States, where the courts are ruled based on four parameters to decide whether the use is legitimate or not . These are the following:

  • The purpose and character of the use (even if said use is of a commercial nature or for non-profit educational purposes) : if you use a video to give another meaning to the original, you can go through legitimate use. An example would be the video above.
  • The nature of the work protected by copyright : It is not the same to use a fragment of a newscast to talk about the newsworthy fact that to download a video of Rihanna to use her music in a Fortnite video for your channel.
  • The quantity and nature of the part used in relation to the total of the work protected by copyright : it is not the same to use small fragments of the video as the complete piece, although the use of a small fragment can be considered illegitimate in cases in which it is the central part of your new work.
  • The effect of such use on the value or potential market of the work protected by copyright : if you take fragments of a film to make a montage full of spoilers you will be affecting the producer of the film, which will stop making money because you have exposed the plot of his work, for example.

In this video, the presenter uses fragments of a newscast to talk about their headlines. It is an example of legitimate use .

As you can see, the cases in which copyright can be ‘violated’ They are very particular and are not universal. In fact, from YouTube recommend asking for legal advice before doing so to save you a dislike. Be that as it may, in none, absolutely none of the cases, it is said that you can download a song to listen to it on your mobile . Also, citing the creator of the original video, writing a disclaimer or making non-profit content does not make your use legitimate. In fact, these assumptions are described as “myths” by YouTube .

You will see that all the pages of software companies to download YouTube videos refer to these myths to argue their legality when, in reality, they are that, myths.

A very different topic is that someone upload a song or video of their own to YouTube and offer, completely disinterested, a download link for said file . In that case, you can download the song from the link, but not from YouTube. And no, it’s not worth posting an Eminem song with a download link to MEGA because that and hacking a song is exactly the same.

Remember: every time you download a copyrighted work for free, every time you download a movie, download a YouTube song, pirate a video game or download a free paid APK you are stealing the author of said content . Would you like them to do it to you? Would you like your boss to stop paying you for your work? Possibly not. why do you do It?


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