What is FLVTO and is it Legal?

What is FLVTO and is it Legal?

FLVTO to iTunes Conversion

What we’ll cover:

What is FLVTO? 1

Is it illegal? 2

What is FLVTO?

FLVTO is the name of a music file conversion software. Developed in 2013 by Russian firm Hotger, the converter is available online, on desktop and on mobile app. Since its inception, 8 million users have used the converter resulting in 200 million file conversions.  The converter is increasingly popular in the United States. FLVTO can queue up to 99 songs at any given time (setting it apart from its rivals) and works by users pasting in the URL of the chosen file into the converter template, whereupon a downloadable audio file is generated. FLVTO can produce a variety of audio file formats, such as MP3, MP4, AVI, WMA, WMV, FLV and MOV as well as HTML code.

FLVTO: https://www.flvto.biz/

Is it illegal? 

Legally speaking, a music downloader or converter is only illegal if you use it to convert and download copyrighted music. This means that anything non-copyrighted on YouTube is available to be freely converted. However, a quick scan of FLVTO’s top 100 most converted and downloaded MP3s reveals that most of the videos converted on the site are of copyrighted music. In the USA this is illegal because under Title 17 of the U.S. Code Chapter 1 (Section 106) of US Copyright Law it states that the owners of copyrighted music have the following rights:

“(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

(2) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending.”

What this means is that it is only the person who owns the copyright who has the right to distribute it or reproduce it, therefore acquiring the file through a music downloader is technically illegal. 

However, despite it being common knowledge that online converters are downloading copyrighted music from YouTube the situation is relatively hard to police. Converters, like FLVTO, are designed to change and download files from one format to another and this is a process which is not illegal. The tool itself is legal but it is being exploited by its users for illegal conversions of copyrighted material.

Whilst the topic has been hotly debated in the press and in courtrooms in recent years there have as yet been no criminal prosecutions for using a converter. Google has threatened legal action against numerous YouTube converter sites as well as stating how they will remove hits for the sites from their search engine. However, sites such as FLVTO continue to be in existence.

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