DMCA Takes Down GitHub Open Source Youtube-dl Software
On 24th October 2020, DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) took down GitHub’s youtube-dl due to a Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. (RIAA) letter.
RIAA sent out a letter accusing youtube-dl of violating the rights of its members. This is a tool that allows people download videos from YouTube and other websites. It is an open source tool hosted on GitHub. Upon receiving the notice from DMCA, GitHub took down the service.
According to RIAA, youtube-dl offered people a backdoor to protective measures on streaming services. It also allowed such individual to save the videos and share them without authorisation. It is notable for using the Unlicense software license.
Additionally, in October 2020 the project is one of the most starred projects on GitHub, with over 72,000 stars. The project also had 78 dependent packages and 1.43k dependent repositories according to libraries.io.
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Members of the public frowned at youtube-dl’s takedown. Here are some reactions to the action:
Youtube-dl is a legitimate tool with a world of a lawful uses. Demanding its removal from Github is a disappointing and counterproductive move by the RIAA. https://t.co/VUbTokd4cP
— EFF (@EFF) October 23, 2020
This is outrageous. I use youtube-dl every day to download legally uploaded videos from various sites, which is completely lawful. Technology is value-neutral. Just because some people abuse it doesn’t mean the technology itself is bad. And just remember: code is speech.
— Plexiglas (@Plexigls) October 24, 2020
People who use the tool for important work and other purposes are seeking alternatives. Fans of the software came up with new repos of YouTube-dl on GitHub such as: MrS0m30n3/youtube-dl-gui, przemyslawpluta/node-youtube-dl, Rudloff/alltube, l1ving/youtube-dl, and lrvick/youtube-dl.
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