Is it stealing to download YouTube music videos?

There are some free, public-access music videos on YouTube. They do have a link you can click to purchase the songs.

Is it wrong if I download the video (it’s free, public access after all), separate the video from the audio with software, and put the audio on my MP3 player?

If the video is copyrighted or it’s contents are then no you can not download the video to extract songs or portions of the video. You have a fair use right to download the video to view it. When you view a video on the Internet you download it onto your disk drive then it is played. You can not make a copy of the video or redistribute the video or it’s contents without the permission of the copyright holder.

I see the question you are asking.

It depends on the source of the music, tbh. If the artist or their colleagues are the ones who put it on youtube - it is not stealing to convert to mp3 unless they specifically say not to convert it (this is just my opinion).

As for secular music, believe it or not almost ALL of their music is stolen concepts/beats/lyrics anyways. Very little is genuinely created by them. The people who make it big in the secular industry are chosen by rich people to make it based on everything BUT their abilities.

However, if the artist is worth supporting (Bizzle - Well Wishes comes to mind - all profits are going to a project to build wells in an African country with no clean water.), I would still buy the album.

Aw, ok

I didn’t say that, though. I was just pointing it out. I wouldn’t listen to their Godless music anyways, but if you are going to commit adultery by listening to it - I don’t think stealing it is going to make your situation much worse. Regardless, as I already described, if they or their colleagues put it on youtube and did not specifically say not to convert it - it is not stealing.

Yes. It is a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service to download videos unless you see a “Download” link provided by YouTube.

  1. B. 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. You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content. YouTube and its licensors reserve all rights not expressly granted in and to the Service and the Content.

Thank you very much for this! That answers my question perfectly.

That is an interesting rule. I never read youtube’s TOS.

So if a Youtube video is embedded on another website - and then someone converts the embedded video, is it still a violation of YOUTUBES TOS? If so, is it actually “stealing?”

Regardless, I don’t think Youtube TOS defines what is literally “stealing,” especially considering most people don’t read the TOS. I mean, I can say to anyone who comes in my house if they hear me singing in my house they are not allowed to copy my words, but it doesn’t mean they stole from me if they did. It just means they broke an arbitrary rule I made. I am wondering if it is the sin of stealing.

If the music video really is free, then you’re fine. But you have to look at the wording. Who is offering the music video? The artist? The recording company? Does it say “Free to copy, courtesy of EMI Music” or similar? It’s sad, but Gena_4533 might be the person who put up the video and the message, which likely means neither the artist or the recording company did. The link to the music might be to a legitimate web site, or a pirate friend who sells the songs for money and Gena_4533 gets his or her cut for driving traffic to his site.

Just a few observations.


So it’s fine for me to violate the Terms of Service and download the free music video?

What “Terms of Service”? youtube’s?



Then don’t violate them.


If having a free mp3 means you don’t buy the song as you should, then the effect is certainly the same as stealing.

If you converted a lecture that is not available on CD, MP3, DVD, or any other medium, though, then it it seems to me that you’re merely changing the way you view content that was offered for free. Admittedly it may be against the terms of use (I’ve never read them), but that’s a bit like jaywalking. It’s a poppycock crime.

Yeah, be sure to separately analyze 1) the moral sin of intellectual property theft; 2) the crime of intellectual property theft in your jurisdiction; and 3) the license with the medium (youtube) you are using. On top of that, you owe certain affirmative duties to the other parties as well, such as not to endanger the trust between the content creator and the content provider, and the duty to respect the state under the Fourth Commandment. You may be willing to risk the state’s law as far as prison or reparations go, but that may not be enough to get you out of your God-given duty. I think it’s ok to rationalize away this duty on a de minimus level if you truly have good reason to think the author or provider wouldn’t mind (just like you can take something from your host’s refrigerator if you have good reason to think he won’t mind), but you certainly must accept the consequences if it turns out they do mind and want to press charges / collect damages. For example, if an author’s work has been on youtube for 2+ years (a company that is very willing to protect an author’s claim of IP infringement), that’s solid evidence the author doesn’t mind people using it for private, nonprofit convenience (downloads). Never enable third parties to access illegal retrieved information, however, as there is no reason to spread liability for your potential crime to others. This moral rationalization is “thin ice” - beware!

So you’re saying I can violate YouTube’s Terms of Service in order to download, say, the Rosary prayer and give it to a friend since the uploaded probably wouldn’t mind?

Precisely, but only as a moral matter; that would be the understanding of this layman. But remember on whose authority you are taking that from (me - a nobody). I would prefer you to judge the message more than the messenger. If it makes sense to your conscience, follow it, but still reasonably seek to improve your conscience as you can in case a better wisdom arises.

As a legal matter, the lawyer in me would recommend you faithfully adhere to the terms of any agreement you enter.

ok i see what ur saying

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