I understand from reading youtube api tos that selling youtube content is prohibited.

But here's how my business works:

  1. I sell a physical product, let's say CDs.
  2. On the cover of the CD is a QR code and a serial number, when you scan the QR code you will download my app.
  3. Inside the app there are a few unlisted youtube videos, but they are locked.
  4. In order to unlock it, you need to put the unique serial number that is on the back of the CD.

Why I make this model is to make sure that the people who watch my video have bought my CD. Now does this model break the youtube api tos or not?



  • Did you have a particular part of the agreement that worried you? I didn't see anything in my brief scan of it and it seems to be consistent with the plain english (aka, probably not legally defensible) portion at the start that explained what they were trying to accomplish.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


It is probably okay, see section 2 (bolding is mine):

The following commercial uses are permitted provided that You comply with all other terms and conditions of this Agreement:

  • the sale of an API Client

To get a definitive answer you should consult a professional legal counsel, so that the counseling that you get is backed by professional liability.


It probably wouldn't hurt to double check with them, but it doesn't seem like it would be an issue. It sounds like their main concern is they don't want people selling other people's content. Since you are the rights holder of the videos you are linking to, there should probably be no problem there.

From a practical perspective, Youtube still gets their advertising revenue either way and nobody is having their rights violated, so I'm not sure what they would have against it.

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