Can I Use Someone Else’s YouTube Video on My Website?

One of the most common questions we get regarding creating content is, "can I use someone else's YouTube videos on my website?" We answer that question in this quick guide.
Can I Use Someone Else's YouTube Video on My Website_

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Video marketing has become an integral part of any effective content strategy. People love them. However, creating videos can be a painstaking process especially if you don’t have the time, resources, or skills to do so.

That is why one of the most common questions we get is: Can I use someone else’s YouTube videos on my website?

Can I Use Someone Else’s YouTube Video on My Website?

Whether or not you can use someone else’s YouTube video on your website depends on the licensing agreement between you and the copyright holder of the video. Generally, you are allowed to embed a YouTube video on your website as long as you follow the terms of service set by YouTube. 

However, if you want to use someone else’s YouTube video in a more commercial way, such as for advertising or marketing purposes, you will need to get permission from the copyright holder. You can do this by contacting the owner of the video or by using a licensing agreement.

YouTube videos on display on a laptop

What Does YouTube Say About Sharing Third-Party Videos on Your Site?

According to YouTube’s terms of service, you are allowed to embed a YouTube video on your website as long as you have permission from the copywriter owner.

The TOS state that an original video creator can grant any user a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to access and share their videos on YouTube. This access will allow you to reproduce, modify, redistribute and display the videos on your website.

However, you don’t need to necessarily seek permission before using a YouTube video on your site. YouTube allows content creators to enable or disable sharing of their videos. When a content creator allows sharing, you get a special code that you can embed in your website and will link back to the video.

When an uploader enables sharing, it usually means that they are okay with their videos being used elsewhere, including your website. So, in this case, you already have their permission to embed (not modify) and import the video to your website. This is great news for video content hubs.

When Is It Okay to Use Someone Else’s YouTube Video on My Website 

You might think that embedding other people’s YouTube videos on your website is just okay. After all, you will be helping them get more views, right? 

Unfortunately, most YouTubers might not be okay with you using their videos. However, there are several instances where it is totally okay to use the video. 

These include: 

  • If the owner of the video gives you permission. Make sure that the person you are seeking permission from is actually the owner and not merely someone that just posted the video.
  • If you fully credit the video to the original owner. Make sure to explicitly mention that the video is not your original work. 
  • If you use the video in a non-commercial way. You should only use other people’s videos for information or education purposes. If you use it to promote your services or products, you might land in legal trouble. 
Man holding a phone

To use the video on your website, you can use an inbuilt video embedding feature or a plugin such as the WP RSS Aggregator.

When Can I Not Share YouTube Videos on My Website?

Now, while you can easily share embeddable YouTube videos on your website, there are instances when this might not be a good idea.

These include:

  • If the uploader is not the original owner of the video.
  • If the owner of the video denies you permission.
  • If the video is of poor quality.

If the Uploader Is Not the Original Owner of the Video

Although there are more than 37 million YouTube Channels, only a few of them post original content. This means that a lot of videos on YouTube have been uploaded without the consent of the original owners.

If you embed a video that is not owned by the person who uploaded it, you could be infringing on their copyright. This means that you could be sued by the copyright holder for using their video without permission.

It’s important to remember that just because a video is on YouTube, it doesn’t mean that it’s in the public domain. In fact, most videos on YouTube are still protected by copyright law.

If the Owner of the Video Denies You Permission

If the owner of the video denies you permission to embed the video on your website, you are not allowed to use it. This is stated in YouTube’s terms of service.

Sometimes, you might be tempted to use a video without the permission of the copyright holder. However, doing this can get you in legal trouble. Not only could you be sued by the copyright holder, but you could also get banned from YouTube.

If the Owner of the Video Has Not Enabled Sharing

While disabling sharing might mean that the owner of the video does not want people reusing it, there are tools that might enable you to bypass this setting. For instance, some website themes and RSS aggregators can embed a video on your site using just the video link.

If the owner has not enabled sharing, you might want to seek their permission first before using the video on your website.

If the Video Is of Poor Quality

The purpose of posting a YouTube video on your website is to give your audience a good video experience. This means that you should only embed videos that are of high quality.

If the video is of poor quality, it will likely reflect poorly on your website. As a result, viewers might not take you seriously and could even leave your site.

Can I Just Put Any YouTube Video on My Website Without Permission?

In most cases, no. You might need permission from the copyright holder to embed their video on your website.

Can I Use a Video if the Owner Has Disabled Sharing?

Possibly. You can try using an RSS aggregator or other embedding tool to get around this setting. However, we wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you have permission from the owner.

Can I Embed a YouTube Video on a Commercial Website?

It depends on how you are using the video. If you are using it to promote your products or services, you might be hit by legal action. However, if you are using it to inform and educate and have permission from the owner, it is okay to use the video.


So, can you use someone else’s YouTube video on your website? The answer is yes. However, this is only possible if you have permission from the copyright holder and the video is of high quality.

If you don’t have permission or if the video is of poor quality, it’s best to not embed it on your site. Instead, for the best content strategy, try finding a high-quality video that is owned by the person who uploaded it.

Mark Zahra

Mark has been involved with WP RSS Aggregator for almost a decade, from running customer support to now leading RebelCode, the company behind the plugin. He has a passion for content and news, especially the concept of ethically sharing content to help each other grow.
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2 Responses

  1. What do I do if somebody has taken my YouTube footage without permission and used it to advertise a different product they are selling on their wensite?

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