Another one falls on GitHub, now it's the turn of youtube-dl

Recently the news was released that GitHub has locked the repository and all the mirrors of the project «youtube-dl», which is being developed as a command line utility to download videos from YouTube and other sites. Blocked under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Following a complaint from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The claims are reduced to the presence in the code repository with examples of downloading licensed content from YouTube. In particular, in the script code for video extraction, there is a section with proofs of the work, in which links to materials, owned by the RIAA participants, are indicated as examples to verify.

The tests are also used to verify the functionality of bypass constraint mechanisms old and download encrypted content (cipher_signature), and these bypass targets are explicitly stated in the test notes.

The code also states that the material tested in the tests is distributed under the "YouTube Standard License", which restricts viewing from YouTube only and prohibits reproduction and distribution without obtaining the consent of the copyright holder.

The test itself checks the ability to download material without going through the agreement specified on YouTube and the methods used to restrict access. The RIAA confirms that the owners of the video clips and sample sound recordings mentioned in the code (Warner Music Group, Sony Music Group and Universal Music Group) did not grant permission to the youtube-dl developers to use their content.

GitHub

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am communicating with you on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. (RIAA) and its member record companies. The RIAA is a trade association whose member companies create, manufacture, or distribute sound recordings that account for approximately eighty-five (85) percent of all legitimate consumption of recorded music in the United States. Under penalty of perjury, we affirm that the RIAA is authorized to act on behalf of its member companies in matters related to the infringement of their sound recordings, audiovisual works, and images, including the enforcement of their copyright and common law on the Internet.

Copyright violations. We know that your service hosts the youtube-dl source code on your network in the following locations, among others ...

Based on these facts, the RIAA concludes that youtube-dl is being developed specifically as a tool to violate the terms of use of content licensed, circumvent protection mechanisms and organize distribution of video clips and sound recordings without obtaining permission from the copyright holder.

Nor should we forget the lock what did GitHub do to the repository of the open project "Popcorn Time" after receive a complaint from the Motion Picture Association, Inc. (MPA), which represents the interests of major US television studios and has exclusive rights to show many movies and TV shows.

This block was derived from the complaint of a violation of the Copyright Law of the Digital Age (DMCA) in the United States.

As such, we must admit that both applications were provided to access copyrighted content without concentration, but we must also see the other side as there is also the free content to which many people had access, for example tutorials, recordings of classes, documentaries, content for academic purposes, among others.

Finally, in the GitHub policy update posted for discussion, added a clause defining the ability to scan the content of repositories, including private ones, to identify and moderate illegal information, such as extremist and terrorist material, as well as images of violence and sexual exploitation of children. The updated rules are scheduled to go into effect on November 16.


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  1.   Carlos Fonseca said

    Microsoft, the "friend" of free software.

  2.   Nonamed said

    it's not the end of the world, they're on gitlab:

    https://gitlab.com/ytdl-org/youtube-dl

  3.   Jose Juan said

    So much fuss !; all for the "YoutubeIE" class (from the youtube.py extractor) of that magnificent and sacred code, you disgusting bastards.