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:

The RIAA’s fraudulent attack on youtube-dl is not a DMCA §512 infringement/safe-harbour, and the reality is weird

TL;DR: This is not a 17 USC 512 infringement/safe-harbour, RIAA’s standing is highly questionable, it is threatening a member for an averred nonmember’s §1201 injury, any actual works duplication is not performed by youtube-dl’s developers directly, nor is the work itself or its test suite an infringement of RIAA / members copyrights, and numerous defences exist for routine use or incidental transmission or copies made by developers, hosting services,or others. Further, youtube-dl, digital and information liberties groups, Microsoft, and Google/Youtube should fight the RIAA’s claim.

Show thread

@dredmorbius I like this comment:

On this story, I've been finding myself saying "the RIAA might have a case, but only due to a law I absolutely oppose!"

Really, I don't think we should be putting all our eggs in one basket. All our videos on YouTube. All our code on GitHub. If you're worried about this take down, moving off GitHub & YouTube is probably the best thing you can do!


Agreed -- and PeerTube is a thing -- but YouTube remains the largest library of publicly-accessible videos in the known universe, which is not a resource we should surrender lightly.


@woozle @dredmorbius My attitude is that we want the video creators to surrender it rather than the viewers. Convince them to post their videos elsewhere instead of or in addition to YouTube.

Ideally it won't matter where they post it!

Personally I find it convenient to upload the occasional video to my home static webserver...

@woozle @dredmorbius Which I gather is happening, many YouTubers are building their own platform. "Nebula"?


...which is not open-source, but it does seem to be creator-owned... which is itself a step in the right direction.

(for reference:


@woozle @alcinnz maybe but if it's still centralized maybe they misunderstand the problem they're trying to solve.

@pettter Respectfully, no, I read the (sparse) information on their website and it is clear that they exist as "joint venture between Standard and [their] creators," to "experiment, explore, and tailor our content to our audience."

I say this with years of experience in both tech /and/ a creative industry (music distribution): a partnership between a central agency and an artist categorically inhibits conversation between the artist and their audience. That they are contradicting this axiom of the creative arts, implicitly through some profit-driven marketing copy, gives me strong evidence to make the claim: they don't understand the problem they're trying to solve.

All that said: the problem Nebula is trying to solve has nothign to do with providing an alternative to Youtube, and they say as much. It'd be more appropriate to view them as an alternative to say, NBC, Hulu, Netflix, Seeso, or another house that cooperates with a roster of creators to produce streaming content.

@woozle @alcinnz

@woozle @dredmorbius My question is: Do they allow downloads? Or is it no better than YouTube in that way?

What I can see is that say they have that feature on iOS & the terms of service say "No downloading videos to post somewhere else."

Doesn't sound promising...



We do need better video-hosting platforms than we have, if we really want to get an exodus going, but that is a work in progress.


@alcinnz Confusion, ignorance, disinformation, motivated reasoning, outrage, and entrenched-interest propaganda are par for the course. Courts are a dispute-resolution system, so this goes with the territory.

I clearly back a horse here, but I'm also interested in arguing my case based on statute, case law, and gloss. I've had some prior exposure, so I'm familiar with parts of the game.

I'm also aware that the issue is not merely one one for lawyers (arguing and interpreting the law), but for legislators (creating it) --- a distinction I ran across recently. The lawyers' and legislators' mindsets are different.

And there are Lessig's other three laws: code, markets, and norms.

Monopoly / monoculture gambles are, of ccourse, high-risk. Interestingly this applies also to the copyright cartel. Holes punched in anti-circ would resound globally due to uniform legislation.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

On the internet, everyone knows you're a cat — and that's totally okay.