YouTube Offering Downloadable Videos
YouTube is now allowing downloads of some of the videos it hosts. While competing sites have offered the ability to download videos for some time, this is not a feature that YouTube has made available.
While entities like Viacom who have viewed YouTube as a legal problem may not find this news particularly exciting, people and businesses who really want their videos to be viewed more have something to look forward to as the feature becomes widespread. David Chartier at Ars Technica writes:
The option to easily download YouTube content is no small matter. More than just a site for goofing around on camera, YouTube has become an effective platform for public communication and furthering the careers of creatives and popularity-haulics alike. Some will undoubtedly consider allowing the public to download their videos because it furthers a purpose or message through yet another medium. Others who don’t agree and don’t enable the feature may feel a new pressure from users who quickly come to expect having that option available. Rippers and other tools for grabbing videos from sites like YouTube have existed for years, but it’s the cultural implications of this feature that may have repercussions.
So far, the feature is not widely available. President Obama’s change.gov videos (pictured above) seem to all have it in place, and there are likely others, but at this point, the rest of us are going to have to wait I guess.