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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
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There seems to be a public debate going on about this subject

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There seems to be a public debate going on about this subject but I am curious. Is it legal to download You Tube videos and convert them to mp3 using an online converter. Reading different chat sites the prevailing opinion is yes being that it is a public website and if you download it once for personal use only. Is this true or false?
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

There is inherently nothing illegal about such behavior so long as these conditions are met:

1. The subject matter (the video) was uploaded either by the initial creator or with his/her direct consent. Once that takes place the videos become public domain and are able to be shared or transferred to others. If there is no consent to uploading then the initial party infringed and that makes all other parties who download or view the video as part of that infringement.

2. The video uploaded is not uploaded with any limitations of use or other conditions. Some videos, especially music videos, have conditions that the video cannot b shared or uploaded by any other third parties. The same limitation may exist with video or movie clips.

3. Credit is provided to the actual creator. If the converted file is passed off as the original work of the converting party, it turns into copyright infringement.

Good luck.
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