There was a time when downloading YouTube videos to a personal computer required a mere click of the mouse. Today, you’ll find it’s not so simple, thanks to Google’s renewed efforts to block downloads in favor of the advertising revenue generated by streaming. Which brings up the question:
Is it legal to download YouTube videos?
Per TechAdvisor, for personal use, no it is not illegal to download YouTube video. But it is immoral. Here’s why: https://www.techadvisor.com/how-to/internet/is-it-legal-download-youtube-videos-3420353/
Personal use of course means that you want to by -pass the ads and be able to watch a video later when not connected to the internet, such as when flying, taking public transport, or traveling by car. You save the videos to your tablet or laptop and watch them during periods of low or no connectivity.
Downloading videos is also great if you have a mobile plan with a limited data allowance. You download videos using your home Wi-Fi, and watch them on the move without risking going over your data allocation.
Even so, this is against YouTube’s term of service. Obviously, they want you to watch their ads as that is how they make money.
But are there any legitimate business reasons for downloading YouTube videos?
1. You or a company your are doing work for have uploaded a video and no longer have a copy.
2. You want to insert a small part of a video into your own video.
This last reason is of course subject to fair use laws. One of the best explanations I’ve seen relating to fair use is at https://stevelaube.com/how-much-can-i-quote-from-another-source-without-permission/. Fair use allows the unlicensed use of copyrighted material – such as text, image, video clips and audio files – without permission from the author or copyright-owner under certain circumstances such as criticism, parody, news reporting, commentary, research and scholarship, and teaching. It does not apply to commercial use. I am not a lawyer, and this isn’t legal advice, but I’ve seen it quoted that Up to 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is shorter is considered fair use for video content. (source: https://lasierra.edu/library/copyright-fair-use-guidelines/). You must of course cite the source and provide copyright information, even if you claim fair use.
Which Site Has Most Video Download Requests?
YouTube owns the largest video download requests. More than 92% video fans download videos from YouTube. (source: KeepVid.com)
Lynda.com is also a popular website which people would like to download videos from, and it owns more than 5% of the total download requests.
Facebook, the largest social network in the world, occupies 1% of the total downloads.
Other sites like Dailymotion, Vimeo and so on, share the extra 2% of total video download requests.
Problems with free YouTube video downloaders online
1. High risk of malware
You can Google “free YouTube video downloader” and be greeted with a number of sites that allow you to download videos. The problem is, almost all of these sites are laced with some form of malware. You should avoid these at all costs.
2. Illegal (or at least immoral)
As we’ve seen, ripping videos off from websites is not just dangerous, but also illegal according to YouTube terms and conditions.
Enter the app from Softorino. Softorino YouTube Converter 2 is entirely safe and legal to use per the information and limitations provided above. There are no viruses or malware bundled with the software, which makes it a much better choice for downloading videos. This then is a review of the Softorino YouTube Converter 2 app.
Once the app is installed on your computer you will need to “activate” it in order to gain full access to all the features. You are then presented with this screen:
You can search for YouTube videos directly from the app. For example, I created a video for a client a number of years ago on Pakistan baskets. I’ve gone through several computers since then and have long since lost the original file. So I entered “pakistan baskets” into the search box and was shown the results (it still ranks #1, so it was easy to find).
I then clicked on the “Add to Queue” button, selected the resolution desired, and finally on the “Download to Computer” button.
Once the task is complete, I had to find out where the software saved the video. This is one downside I saw – Softorino YouTube Converter automatically saves every file in the “downloads” folder without asking you where you want to save it. while not a deal-breaker, I would prefer to specify where I want to put the downloaded file.
If you click on the “more” button, the app displays it list of supported services, indicating that you can download videos from a number of other sources. While true, the app only seems to search YouTube and returns “No results found” when specifying a URL from another site. Given that 92% of all downloaded videos are from YouTube, this isn’t a deal-breaker either, but it is something to be aware of.
For downloading YouTube videos, the Softorino app is one of the best and safest ways of accomplishing this task.