Seriously? Flvto Lets You Download 99 YouTube Videos Simultaneously…

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(screenshot from site)

YouTube video-to-download converters have been around for years, but Flvto takes it to the extreme by enabling 99 video downloads simultaneously.

That includes downloads into videos (of various formats) or MP3s, even directly into iTunes.  That means users can port playlists neatly into offline iTunes playlists in a few clicks.

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Aggressively feeding suggestions

Need help finding 99 songs?  Flvto to the rescue!  Users can check for a list of the top 100 songs pre-assembled in a list, each with quick download buttons.

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But is this completely illegal?

Flvto notes that video-to-download conversion is probably legal.  Here’s what they emailed Digital Music News on the issue:

“Regarding the question of whether downloading these files is piracy: most laws state that it is perfectly legal to download music that one has acquired legally (via a site like YouTube) and listen to it. It is only illegal to do so if one plans to distribute or sell that music. Laws do vary, so it’s prudent for individuals to check the laws in their country, state, etc.; however, the majority maintain this. A totally legal service, Flvto is the fastest and most convenient option for converting and downloading music files online.”

Flvto is now surging: in a note sent to Digital Music News this morning, the site is now ranked in the top 10,000 worldwide, and is now available for Mac users.

18 Responses

    • FarePlay

      That’s like saying a take notification works.

  1. GGG

    Still seems like way more trouble then just streaming…

    • Anonymous

      The purpose of Flvto is to steal unauthorized content before it is removed by the owner.

  2. DavidB

    ‘Most laws’ don’t state anything of the kind. Are these people idiots or just trying it on? The answer is in the ToS, where the unwary user signs up to the statement that: “You hereby represent and warrant that you have all rights to the files that you are converting. In that case, if you do not have the intellectual rights to the above files, you warrant that you have the consent of the author on the conversion of the file” Not very well drafted, but evidently they think they can get out of trouble by passing responsibility on to the user. Hopeless.

  3. Lyle David Pierce III

    An “Archille’s Heel” to Flvto’s stated legal position is the presumption that the music (and lyrics, if there are lyrics), i.e., the creative content that Flvto users copy from creative content posted on YouTube, was legally acquired by YouTube in the first place and, therefore, “legally acquired” by the Flvto downloader. Indeed, if the creative content had neither been lawfully nor legally acquired by Youtube, a Flvto user would convert, then download an unauthorized copy. One example of such an illegality is an illegally uploaded song which has not yet been takedown noticed and removed pursuant to the DMCA, and there are more such examples to be sure.

    The United States Supreme Court in Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co., 499 U.S. 340 (1991), lends strong support for the general proposition that the playlists may be copyrightable. The Court made clear that, “it is beyond dispute that compilations of facts are within the subject matter of copyright.

    That being said, by way of illustration, it could also be reasonably argued that under the copyright acts such as the 1909 and 1976 Copyright Acts, even a ham sandwich may be eligible for statutory copyright provided that the compilation of facts, i.e., the bread, ham, mustard, lettuce, cheese, pickles, salt, pepper and toothpicks were arranged in a way original to the sandwich maker, and that the ham sandwich possesses at least some minimal degree of creativity, like perhaps the mustard was spread by the sandwich maker in some expressive way, which, if not yet obvious, is not what the list of the “[t]op 100 most converted and downloaded MP3s” compiled by Flvto is, or the music compiled in playlists by others on Youtube or elsewhere for that matter (and I do not mean playlists that are algorithmically or mechanically generated) are to the Flvto downloaders as those playlists are neither original to the Flvto downloaders nor does copying those playlists possess at least some minimal degree of creativity.

    In the words of the Feist Court, “[o]riginal, as the term is used in copyright, means only that the work was independently created by the author (as opposed to copied from other works), and that it possesses at least some minimal degree of creativity. [Citations omitted.] To be sure, the requisite level of creativity is extremely low; even a slight amount will suffice. The vast majority of works make the grade quite easily, as they possess some creative spark, “no matter how crude, humble or obvious” it might be. [Citation omitted]. Originality does not signify novelty; a work may be original even though it closely resembles other works so long as the similarity is fortuitous, not the result of copying.”

    Furthermore, as made clear in Harper & Row v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539, 555, quoting the cogent remark of Judge Learned Hand in Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp., 81 F.2d 49, 56 (CA2), “no plagiarist can excuse the wrong by showing how much of his work he did not pirate.”

    I am neither a lawyer nor am I purporting to give legal advice, but it is my belief and position based on the cases cited above that Flvto users (and perhaps even Flvto itself) will incur liability simply because they copied the playlists created by others, but obviously, there will be further liability incurred as well.

    • Anonymous

      “if the creative content had neither been lawfully nor legally acquired by Youtube, a Flvto user would convert, then download an unauthorized copy”

      … which is why pirates use ‘services’ like this: They know the content is illegal and will be taken down.

    • Troglite

      You may not be an attorney, but least you cited a precedence or legal statute. Flvto merely offered an opinion which represents a legal interpretation that is so fundamentally flawed that I have to assume they know its bull sh*t.

  4. Amyt

    There are literally thousands of websites which do exactly this. You can download MP3 off of any Youtube video with just a click. No points for guessing that many of these websites are monetised with Adsense

  5. ts

    I hope these idiots convince VCs to fund them so UMG can sue the pants off them.

    • Karl

      Yeah, like what happened with isohunt and Grooveshark.

  6. Wooly

    I thought everyone wanted to just stream, as opposed to own, these days.

  7. Versus

    Isn’t it illegal if the upload was already illegal?

    • Wealthy Internet Lawyer

      Seems like a grey area to me. Murky. I mean, if it was, it might be. If it wasn’t, then it might not be. Stop by my office when you get a chance so we can sort this bugger out.

  8. Michelle McCown

    I tried to download HD videos with Flvto yet it doesn’t offer HD download option. Then I turn to WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory. I have to say if you need a video downloader that can download both video and playlist and convert them to audio files. This program is the best option. Bravo!