YouTube is a video hosting platform, considered the largest one in the world (see its Wikipedia article).
Most YouTube videos are not eligible for upload to Wikimedia Commons.
However, since June 2011, YouTube offers the option to license videos under the free license Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC-BY) which is compatible with Commons. These videos may be transferred to Wikimedia Commons, with the usual caution that you should not upload work that appears to be plagiarized or is out of scope.
Some other videos don't use this license option, but include it:
- in the video description (e.g. Wikipedia: Username, eligible for Commons and already here), or,
- directly in the video (e.g. Blu - Muto, not eligible for Commons as CC BY-NC-ND).
Search videos licensed as Creative Commons on YouTube by visiting this YouTube link and replacing "SearchText" with a different search term.
In May 2010, Google introduced the free WebM video encoding format, and many videos from YouTube are available under this format. As of November 2012, Wikimedia Commons accepts WebM uploads. If videos are available in .webm format on youtube, they don't need to be converted to a different format before uploading them to Commons.
Moving YouTube files to Commons with youtube2mediawiki 
If the YouTube video is available in the WebM format and you are comfortable with running Python scripts on your machine, one possibility is to use youtube2mediawiki:
- Download and install python 2.7
- Download youtube2mediawiki (e.g. as ZIP-file)
- Extract the archive and use the command line to start the python script.
Downloading videos from YouTube
youtube-dl tool or JDownloader; both are also available as package in many GNU/Linux distributions. Note: As of November 2013, some YouTube videos cause problems with JDownloader and several other downloading solutions. In that case, try the beta version JDownloader 2 instead.
A number of Firefox extensions are available, including BYTubeD – Bulk YouTube video Downloader.
Both BYTubeD (a Firefox extension) and JDownloader allow downloading all videos from a specific account (useful for large numbers of videos) and specific formats.
VLC media player
The following directions should work at least for a WebM version: Navigate to the desired video clip in your webbrowser. Copy the URL and open VLC media player and “open from URL clipboard” (available from menu “Media” or via keyboard shortcut [Ctrl]+[V]). While the clip is playing or paused open “Codec infomation” (available from “Tools” menu or via keyboard shortcut [Ctrl]+[J]). Mark the URL string shown after “location” (e.g. via triple click) and copy it to the clipboard (via context menu entry or keyboard shortcut [Ctrl]+[C]). Then open the dialogue window “open network stream” and insert the copied URL. Click the dropdown menu available through the button next to the “playback” button select “convert”. In the appearing new window select “save raw input”, type in a name for the “destination file” and press the “start” button. Now a file should be written to disk. (Untested: If no WebM version is available [check for “VP8” and “Vorbis” in the mentioned “Codec infomation” dialogue] you might want to transcode by not electing “save raw input” in the last step.)
See how to cut a WebM video in few seconds.
Scripts to convert to Ogg Theora and upload to Commons are available:
For uploading large files to Commons, consider activating chunked uploads in your preferences, if your browser supports them (allowing file sizes up to 500 MB as of 2013).
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