We recently talked about a scandal in the center of which is GitHub. The fact is that copyright holders from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) have succeeded in deleting the youtube-dl project and 17 copies from GitHub. This Python library was used in many tools and services for copying content from YouTube, had more than 72,000 stars on GitHub and was one of the most popular repositories on the site.
The library was removed due to a violation of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), as it could be used to "circumvent technical protections used by authorized streaming services such as YouTube." In fact, the RIAA is not even claiming a DMCA violation or that the library is violating the rights of its members, but they are claiming that the library itself is illegal.
This situation has generated a flurry of criticism against the RIAA, GitHub and Microsoft, which has owned the service since 2018. Ordinary users, experts and human rights activists wrote that YouTube-DL was popular not only among pirates: for example, it was actively used by Internet archivists, and the library was often used to download free documentaries, videos that are in the public domain, and so on. …
Many users began to specially distribute the source codes of YouTube-DL, creating more and more repositories (soon there were hundreds of them), placing the sources even in the repository with DMCA notifications on GitHub, as well as on social networks, including by coding the sources into Images.
convert -depth 8 yt_dl1.png rgb: yt_dl1.part
convert -depth 8 yt_dl2.png rgb: yt_dl2.part
cat yt_dl1.part yt_dl2.part> yt_dl-2020.9.20.tar.gz pic.twitter.com/7wB3VZomBj
– ░ 𝕔𝕒𝕥 / 𝕕𝕖𝕧 / 𝕤𝕡𝕠𝕠𝕜𝕪 ░ (@GalacticFurball) October 23, 2020
As the publication now reports TorrentFreakThe RIAA requirements extended beyond GitHub. Also, representatives of the Association tried to achieve the closure of the official website YouTube-DL (yt-dl.org), which they notified the resource hoster, the German company Uberspace. The hoster's management responded to the RIAA through their lawyers, saying that the company had not violated anything, and at that time there was no software or source codes on the project's website at all, since all download links were on GitHub.
Meanwhile, a completely unexpected thing turned out: Nat Friedman, who headed GitHub after acquiring the Microsoft service in 2018, is also unhappy with the situation. TorrenGreak writes that the CEO of GitHub recently joined the YouTube-DL developer IRC channel and verified his identity by posting a post on his official Twitter.
Friedman expressed regret about the situation and said that he wants to contact the developers to help them unblock and restore the repository as soon as possible.
“GitHub exists to help developers, and we never wanted to interfere with their work. We want to help the youtube-dl developers dismiss the DMCA complaint so they can restore their repository, ”Friedman explained to TorrentFreak, confirming that he had indeed logged into IRC. – This (situation) made me angry. Perhaps because of the importance of tools like youtube-dl for archivists, or because of our own archival program and funding for the Internet Archive. We are considering how in the future GitHub we can proactively assist developers with DMCA claims and take a more active role in reforming / repealing Section 1201 (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). ”
That being said, the head of GitHub explains that the YouTube-DL repository can hardly be restored in its original form. Only if parts of the code and accompanying documentation are removed that allow you to bypass the rolling cipher protection used by YouTube and which Youtube-dl has successfully tricked, as well as examples of how to download copyrighted material.