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Each week, I livestream a video from a noncommercial Facebook business page I manage; then, I download it through Facebook's native download button (given to business pages but not personal accounts, apparently) and upload the video to YouTube. However, whenever I download my videos this way, their resolution gets lowered to 480p, compromising the picture for when I upload it to YouTube. If I could use third-party software, I could download the videos in their full resolution.

In a related thread, someone stated, "Downloading Facebook videos are not allowed by Facebook TOS. Facebook may cancel user account if it detects account owner downloaded a Facebook video."¹ (That thread is about making EULAs, while this thread is about downloading videos I own.) However, I tried to find such a statement in Facebook's terms myself but did not find such a statement.

Do I have the right to use third-party software to download Facebook videos I livestreamed? Is videoconverterfactory.com correct in saying that fair use makes their software legal for downloading videos from YouTube, Facebook, etc., even to the point of overriding the terms of service, so long as it's for personal use?²

Sources

¹ EULA for Global Liability

² https://www.videoconverterfactory.com/tips/is-it-legal-to-download-youtube-videos.html

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    I'm not sure this is a question of law or "rights" but rather the terms of Facebook's service that you agreed to as a part of using it. You may want to review their service agreement and see what it says. Of course with entities like Facebook many things are unstated and they seem to have a habit of acting arbitrarily in many cases.
    – jwh20
    Dec 17 '21 at 15:48
  • If you create the videos, you own the copyright and can upload them directly from wherever you create them to youtube, there is no need to download from facebook, unless you create them on facebook. Dec 17 '21 at 19:10
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    Fair use affects copyright law in the US. It has nothing to do with a contractual agreement such as a ToS agreement. If a valid ToS prohibits downloading, then even if doing so would be within Fair use, it would be a violation of the contract. Dec 17 '21 at 19:20
  • This may depend on where you are, since the TOS may be different. Dec 17 '21 at 19:22
  • @jwh20 I haven't personally seen any prohibitions myself from the terms. Either there aren't any, or I'm just not seeing it.
    – The Editor
    Dec 18 '21 at 23:57
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+100

Every answer depends on a specific jurisdiction: my answer is for the US, but may be in part applicable to other jurisdictions. The answer is only valid until they change their terms: today is Dec. 27, 2021. The first part regards the Facebook TOS. In §3, they state that

You may not use our Products to do or share anything [t]hat violates these Terms, our Community Standards, and other terms and policies that apply to your use of Facebook.

This explicitly includes infringing the IP rights of another – which is not applicable in this instance. §5 includes a long list of supplemental policies related to community standards, commercial use, advertising, program development and so on, none of which appear to address how one can download content. It is probably unknowable whether there is/was/will be a version of the TOS in some jurisdiction or time that prohibits using a third party program to download content (distinct from the ban on data-mining which is stated), but from the stated perspective, the only restriction is that intellectual property right must be respected. However, there is no evidence that there exist any hidden prohibitions on using a third party app to download content.

Before leaving this, there is also a "Live" option that one might use. The policies for live streaming pertain to content (mainly non-deceptiveness, also a ban on looping and static content), and do not specific how a user might access such content.

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  • Thanks for your reply! It seems, then, that there's no prohibition against me using Facebook Live to stream videos and then use a third-party app to download them, correct? (I'm doing so to upload the videos to YouTube after the streams have ended.)
    – The Editor
    Dec 27 '21 at 18:46

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