Several record companies sued Uberspace for hosting youtube-dl

The subject about youtube-dl has not stopped and now in a new attempt to finish once and for all with the project by various record companies such as Sony Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music, these recently filed a lawsuit in Germany against the provider Uberspace, which hosts the project's official website, youtube-dl.

In response to a previous extrajudicial request to block youtube-dl, Uberspace did not access to shut down the site and did not agree with the claims. The plaintiffs insist that youtube-dl is a copyright infringement tool and try to portray Uberspace's actions as complicity in the distribution of illegal software.

The owner of Uberspace believes that the lawsuit has no legal basis, since youtube-dl does not contain the ability to bypass protection mechanisms and only provides access to public content already available on YouTube.

It should be noted that YouTube uses DRM to restrict access to licensed content, but youtube-dl does not provide a means of decrypting video streams encoded with this technology. In terms of functionality, youtube-dl is similar to a specialized browser, but no one is trying to ban, for example, Firefox, because it allows access to videos with music on YouTube.

The plaintiffs allege that the conversion of Youtube-dl content licensed YouTube streaming on unlicensed downloads violates the law by circumventing technical access mechanisms from YouTube. In particular, mention is made of the circumvention of the “cipher signature” technology (rolling encryption) which, according to the plaintiffs and according to the decision in a similar case of the Hamburg Regional Court, can be considered a technological protection measure.

Opponents believe that this technology is not related with copy protection mechanisms, encryption and access restriction to protected content, as it is just a visible YouTube video signature that is readable in the page code and it only identifies the video (in any browser you can see this identifier in the page code and get a download link).

From the above statements, the use in Youtube-dl of links to individual compositions and attempts to download them from YouTube can also be mentioned, but this feature cannot be considered a copyright infringement, since the links are indicated in unit tests internal ones that are not visible to end users, and at startup, they do not download and distribute all content, but only download the first few seconds to verify functionality.

According to attorneys at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Youtube-dl project does not violate the law, as YouTube's encrypted signature is not an anti-copy mechanism and verification downloads are considered fair use. Previously, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) already tried to block Youtube-dl on GitHub, but the supporters of the project managed to defy the block and return access to the repository.

According to Uberspace's lawyer:

The lawsuit unleashed is an attempt to create a precedent or a substantive decision (fundamental judgment) that can later be used to pressure other companies in similar situations. On the one hand, the rules for the provision of the service on YouTube indicate the prohibition of downloading copies to local systems, but, on the other hand, in Germany, where the procedures are ongoing, there is a law that gives users the opportunity to create copies for personal use.

In addition, YouTube pays royalties on music, and users pay royalties to copyright societies to compensate for losses due to the right to create copies (such royalties are included for consumers in the cost of smartphones and storage devices). ).

At the same time, the record companies, despite the double payment, try to prevent users from exercising the right to save YouTube videos on their disks.

Finally, if you are interested in knowing more about the news, you can consult the original note In the following link.


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