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DRM

RIAA abuses TMCA to become a popular tool for downloading online videos

“youtube-dl” is a popular free software tool for downloading videos from YouTube and other user uploaded video sites. GitHub recently Took the code repository of YouTube-DL At the behest of the Recording Industry Association of America, it could shut down thousands of users and other programs and services that rely on it.

On the face of it, this may seem like a normal copyright downgrade of the kind that happens every day. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (TMCA), the copyright holder may ask a site to remove a post that is allegedly infringed, and the site must comply with it. . youtube-dl does not infringe any RIAA copyrights.

youtube-dl does not use the music of RIAA-member labels in any way. The makers of YouTube-DL shared information with the public about how to perform a particular task — one with completely legitimate applications.

The RIAA’s argument relies on a different section of the DMCA, Section 1201. DMCA 1201 states that it is illegal to bypass digital locks in order to access or modify copyrighted work. Copyrights argue that ignoring DRM violates TMCA 1201 Even if you do it for purely legal purposes; For example, if you download a video on YouTube for the purpose of using it in a way that is protected by fair use. (Thanks to the globalization of copyright law through trade agreements, similar laws exist in many jurisdictions.) RIAA argues youtube-dl first Can RIAA-member labels can be used to download music, and no one can use the tool for purely legal purposes.

This is the worst abuse of the notification and downgrading system, which is intended to settle disputes over alleged material infringement online. Again, youtube-dl does not use the music of RIAA-member labels in any way. The makers of YouTube-DL shared information with the public about how to perform a particular task — one with completely legitimate applications.

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We have put together an explanatory video on this downgrade and its implications for free speech online:

Play

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Share this video with others who use YouTube and other video upload services. If you use youtube-dl for legitimate purposes, we would love to hear from you. Email us at [email protected] and add “youtube-dl” to the subject line.