Having read through the Youtube ToS, it 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. You shall not copy, reproduce, make available online or electronically transmit, publish, adapt, 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.

I understand it's a breach of ToS to download a video from youtube without a download button.

However, if I do have prior written consent from the respective licensors of the video, does downloading that video without a "download" button mean that I'm still breaching Youtube's ToS?

1 Answer 1


The video in some ways belongs to YouTube. Although it's a royalty free one, they have rights to the video, and you ARE using THEIR service, this means that you have to follow their terms of use. It's best to get an offline copy from the content creator. Source: YouTube Terms of use section 6C

For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your Content. However, by submitting Content to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and YouTube's (and its successors' and affiliates') business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. You also hereby grant each user of the Service a non-exclusive license to access your Content through the Service, and to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform such Content as permitted through the functionality of the Service and under these Terms of Service. The above licenses granted by you in video Content you submit to the Service terminate within a commercially reasonable time after you remove or delete your videos from the Service. You understand and agree, however, that YouTube may retain, but not display, distribute, or perform, server copies of your videos that have been removed or deleted. The above licenses granted by you in user comments you submit are perpetual and irrevocable.

  • That's what I was thinking. Thanks for the answer.
    – wot
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 8:58
  • 1
    <somewhat related>That last sentence worries me. What license is perpetual and irrevocable?</somewhat related> Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 10:59

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