This afternoon, YouTube-DL, one of the most popular software for downloading YouTube videos, was removed from GitHub following a recording announcement by the Recording Industry Association of the United States or the RIAA.
Whether you want to back up the contents of your personal YouTube account or download some of your favorite YouTube videos for offline use, many are turning to YouTube-dl as the most reliable and in-depth tool for downloading videos from YouTube – including videos like Vimeo and CNN Many sites. Beyond the simple download features, YouTube-DL can convert your download to almost any format, including creating an MP3 of the audio track of a video.
As with many things in life, there are legal and illegal ways to use YouTube-DL, especially as YouTube has developed its paid music subscription service. On Friday afternoon, the RIAA released a DMCA – Digital Millennium Copyright Act – Disclosure notice for GitHub The site requests the removal of the open source code of YouTube-DL and all related glass.
One of the primary sites for the RIAA claim is that YouTube-DL seems to have been created with the apparent intention of directing the downloading of copyrighted works, used to test music videos by the likes of Icona Pop, Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift. The functionality of the tool, we were able to check independently.
In fact, the ideas contained in the YouTube-DL source code make it clear that the source code is designed and marketed for the purpose of enabling unauthorized access to our member’s copyrighted works and making unauthorized copies and distributions, avoiding YouTube’s technical activities: they identify our member’s works, VO Owns our member companies), they acknowledge that the works are licensed to YouTube under the YouTube Quality License, and use those examples in the source code to describe how to obtain unauthorized access to copies of our members’ works.
This downgrade notice does not necessarily spell out the permanent decision of YouTube-DL. GitHub always takes any source code project that receives such a TMCA notification, but the creators of the program will have the opportunity to file a counter claim in the hope of restoring YouTube-DL status in GitHub. We will monitor it as the situation develops.
Update 10/28: GitHub reached out to their CEO, Knot Friedman, who shared the company’s mission to help developers of projects such as YouTube-DL lead to “regulatory challenges” such as the TMCA announcement.
The DMCA downgrade of YouTube-DL Repo is a clear example of the regulatory challenges facing developers. The whole purpose of GitHub is to help developers, and we will do our best to do so. In particular, developers need to be vigilant and make full use of our TMCA processes to ensure that their projects are as widely available as possible under the law. Any developers facing a TMCA downgrade of their projects on GitHub should contact [email protected] for assistance with our TMCA processes.
Knot Friedman, CEO of GitHub
Meanwhile, those who have a YouTube-DL on their device or can get it out of the glass can continue to use it by default. The big problem is that YouTube-DL will stop receiving current updates, so any changes made by YouTube or other video services may make the tool no longer functional. With YouTube-DL being the most popular and powerful tool with over 72,000 stars on GitHub, there may be many tools that rely on it for YouTube-related capabilities.
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