GitHub has removed the ability to access youtube-dl's source code due to a DMCA request by the RIAA

... The clear purpose of this source code is to (i) circumvent the technological protection measures used by authorized streaming services such as YouTube, and (ii) reproduce and distribute music videos and sound recordings owned by our member companies without authorization for such use. We note that the source code is described on GitHub as “a command-line program to download videos from and a few more sites.” ...

Micah F. Lee (EFF/The Intercept @micahflee

"RIAA blitz takes down 18 GitHub projects used for downloading YouTube videos"

HN discussion:


Reddit search:


Censorship, propaganda, surveillance, and targeted manipulation are inherent characteristics of monopoly:

RMS, "The Right to Read" (1997):

Remember that the RIAA is a bad-publicity-deflection cartel of its major members. These are:


This isn't a DMCA takedown. It's a cease and desist letter citing the DMCA.*

The difference matters. GitHub is required to honor DMCA takedowns. Other legal requests are granted on a case by case basis.*

-- /u/telionn @ reddit

As I understand, takedown is a 17 USC 512 (copyright infringement) safe-harbour, but not a required or indemnifying protection under 17 USC 1201, anti-circumvention:

Lumen (Chilling Effects) is silent on this point in their FAQ:


@dredmorbius @micahflee What it is is bullshit. We've used youtube-dl for archiving BLM activism videos before and this takedown/request is directly affecting projects that support democracy and expression.

@dredmorbius @micahflee Besides from practically all YouTubers using it to make backups of their videos in case they lose an original file

@thomasfuchs @dredmorbius @micahflee
It is objectively bullshit. youtube-dl is not helping circumvent "effective technological measures". It can extract the links to the streams from webpages. It can not break DRM.

Anyone could find those links by opening the built-in network inspector of a browser and run ffmpeg -i <url> -map 0 -c copy stream.ts

It's clearly a case for the EFF.

@smpl @thomasfuchs @dredmorbius @micahflee But they're citing that german courts consider YouTube to be DRM. Still doesn't necessarily apply to the US...

Remember: DRM is a legal construct masquarading as a technological one!

@alcinnz @thomasfuchs @dredmorbius @micahflee

It's easy to understand why they chose not to cite a finnish court ruling from 2007, who said this about a real DRM protection, CSS (DVD).

"CSS protection can no longer be considered an effective technological measure referred to in the law. A consequence of this is that the constituent elements of a misdemeanour of violating a technological measure are not fulfilled. Therefore the charge must be dismissed."

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