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KeepVid scraps YouTube-ripping function in favour of legal approach

A blank videoImage copyright Getty Images

A popular website that let people save or "rip" videos from services such as YouTube has unexpectedly turned into a copyright advocacy site.

KeepVid let people download copies of videos that could not officially be saved from YouTube, Vimeo and others.

But the service has now been removed from its website and replaced by a page of guidance on terms and conditions.

The terminology used suggests it has now become aware of legal restrictions on downloading from sharing sites.

Journey of discovery

In an update to its website, KeepVid said it had discovered that ripping videos from YouTube was against the site's terms and conditions.

"KeepVid unveils that users aren't allowed to download videos from YouTube," it said.

It revealed that "there are many video-sharing sites in the market" and offered to "introduce" visitors to services such as Netflix and Spotify.

It said it had "found out" that Netflix was "a very popular place to watch and download videos to your computer".

Download by subscription

KeepVid was often the top search result for people who were looking for a way to rip videos from YouTube and Vimeo.

For a majority of videos, YouTube does not offer an official way for people to download and keep them.

However, subscribers to its premium tier, YouTube Red, can download videos to watch offline within the YouTube app.

KeepVid operated its service for free on its website and through paid software called KeepVid Pro. Both services have been discontinued.

The company has not explained why it has decided to close its service. However, it said it hoped the video market would be "organised to meet people's requirements".

"Video downloading will become possible if the video download tools and video sharing platforms reach an agreement about downloading videos," it said.

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