Audio & Video Software forum

General discussion

Youtube downloads illegal or not?

by derf1008 / November 15, 2010 4:30 AM PST

Just wanted to know facts about above statement. Is it ok since youtube video downloaders can be DL'd from the CNET site itself. No offense to CNET, just wanted to know the truth. Thanks!

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Youtube downloads illegal or not?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Youtube downloads illegal or not?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Re: youtube downloads
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 15, 2010 4:36 AM PST

That's an easy to answer question.

Just have a look at Youtube's terms of service in

Article 5B states:
Content is provided to you AS IS. You may access Content for your information and personal use solely as intended through the provided functionality of the Service and as permitted under these Terms of Service. You shall not download any Content unless you see a ?download? or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content.

That's clear enough, isn't it?


Collapse -
by MDFlax / November 15, 2010 4:36 AM PST

Whether 'illegal' or not is one to be tested in the courts, but YouTube's "Terms" certainly says that you cannot copy their videos, and that makes it illegal for me.

5. General restrictions on use, sub-sections C, D, & E. There may be others.


Collapse -
Let me chime in here . . .
by Coryphaeus / November 18, 2010 9:57 PM PST

on what really buggs me.

Any web site that puts pictures, video, music, whatever on a web site accessable by anyone on "The Internet" takes their chances. Sure, they can say "don't download", they have to.

Unless you are stupid enough to save the "content", then redistribute it, advertising it blatantly as your own, then yes, you may get caught and sued. But I'll tell you what. I have my own smallish collection of George Carlin, Johnny Carson, and such saved on my hard drive that is only seen by me. I don't put it on my web site, I don't share it via email or Facebook, it's just mine.

Youtoob puts it out there, if I like it I save it.

Collapse -
The difficulty is
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 19, 2010 4:40 AM PST

Both CNET and YouTube are commercial organisations operating out of America. They are both subject to US law, and probably international law.

What you say may be true, but CNET cannot condone illegal activities, and we cannot discuss them or help with them in these forums. If they allowed such discussion, they might be subject to legal action brought against them by YouTube's, or any other like organisation's legal department for aiding and abetting, or whatever legal angle is the proper one.

If it is ever shown in court that such downloads, even copying for personal use only, is not illegal and such a judgement becomes a precedent, then it is possible that CNET will review it's Forum Policy. But until then we must abide by those policies.


Collapse -
I understand the policy . . .
by Coryphaeus / November 19, 2010 7:16 AM PST
In reply to: The difficulty is

I used to write/make policy with SWBell Corporate. But it's funny that CNet will provide the software to download copyrighted material, then in the same breath write policy against discussing the use of said software.

Something is wrong here. Policy should be all-encompassing within an organization. It's either the rule or not. It's either policy or not. Someone "above" must be laughing in their beer.

Aiding and abetting? Pull the software. But wait, NO! We might loose revenue. There's the crux of the situation. Money.

Humbly submitted.

Collapse -
I understand your point
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 19, 2010 9:20 PM PST

but much of the software that you talk about can be used for legitimate purposes.

I don't know if Limewire is still offered at I haven't checked, but this P2P file sharing utility was offered in the past. My personal view was that neither it nor any other P2P software should ever have touched this site, because I know that the main use for it was illegal file sharing. However, as has been pointed out to me by others regularly, Limewire was also useful for downloading legal files, such as Ubuntu distros.

It has never quite convinced me that this is sufficient reason, but I have to accept that it is not the software itself necessarily that is illegal, but how it is used.


Collapse -
I hear you!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 20, 2010 3:37 AM PST

I think the word illegal is too strong here. I know of no law that enforces these terms of use.

Since this is on shaky ground and it's in these forums hosted by CBS the moderators and forums lean towards or move to the position of "obey your agreements."


Collapse -
(NT) Or, don't rock the boat! LOL
by Coryphaeus / November 20, 2010 7:35 AM PST
In reply to: I hear you!
Collapse -
It depends
by stephentech / November 22, 2010 5:40 PM PST
Collapse -
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 22, 2010 8:12 PM PST
In reply to: It depends

even in that article itself it is recognised that, "Of course, YouTube thinks that it's illegal to download video from itself".

Go figure.


Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

CNET Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for great gifts under $100?

Trendy tech gifts don't require a hefty price tag. Choose from these CNET-recommended useful and high-quality gadgets.