GitHub Revamps Copyright Takedown Policy After Restoring YouTube-dl
The source code for YouTube-dl, a tool you can use to download videos from YouTube, is back up on GitHub after the code repository took it down in October following a DMCA complaint from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Citing a letter from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (the EFF), GitHub says it ultimately found that the RIAA's complaint didn't have any merit.
This is the best possible outcome of the RIAA's attack on youtube-dl. Good on @GitHub for standing up for developers against DMCA § 1201 abuses.
— Filippo Valsorda 💚🤍❤️ ✊ (@FiloSottile) November 16, 2020
If there's a silver lining to the episode, it's that GitHub is implementing new policies to avoid a repeat of a repeat situation moving forward. [...]
GitHub is also establishing a $1 million defense fund to provide legal aid to developers against suspect section 1201 claims, as well as doubling down on its lobbying work to amend the DMCA and other similar copyright laws across the world.
GitHub Reinstates Youtube-DL and Puts $1M in Takedown Defense Fund * TorrentFreak
Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard
GitHub has reinstated the youtube-dl repository after it concluded that the code doesn't violate the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions.
Standing Up for Developers: Youtube-dl is Back - the GitHub Blog
At GitHub, our priority is supporting open source and the developer community. And so we share developers' frustration with this takedown—especially since this project has many legitimate purposes. Our actions were driven by processes required to comply with laws like the DMCA that put platforms like GitHub and developers in a difficult spot. And our reinstatement, based on new information that showed the project was not circumventing a technical protection measure (TPM), was inline with our values of putting developers first. We know developers want to understand what happened here, and want to know how GitHub will stand up for developers and refine our processes on these issues.
In this post, we provide answers to common questions about the DMCA and why GitHub handled this case the way we did, describe why circumvention claims deserve special treatment, and share how we're updating our policies and fighting to improve the law.
Now when you go to their site, it reads:
Repository unavailable due to DMCA takedown.
This repository is currently disabled due to a DMCA takedown notice. We have disabled public access to the repository. The notice has been publicly posted.
If you are the repository owner, and you believe that your repository was disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification, you have the right to file a counter notice and have the repository reinstated. Our help articles provide more details on our DMCA takedown policy and how to file a counter notice. If you have any questions about the process or the risks in filing a counter notice, we suggest that you consult with a lawyer.
Also at 9to5Google
[2020-10-25 01:01:09 UTC: Updated title to more accurately reflect notice was given to GitHub, not to youtube-dl. --martyb]
A company operating a YouTube-ripping platform has sued the RIAA for sending "abusive" DMCA anti-circumvention notices to Google. According to the complaint and contrary to the RIAA's claims, the Yout service does not "descramble, decrypt, avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair" YouTube's rolling cipher technology.
Last Friday, the RIAA caused [outrage] on the Internet when it filed a complaint that took down the open source software YouTube-DL from Github.
According to the RIAA, the "clear purpose" of YouTube-DL was to "circumvent the technological protection measures used by authorized streaming services such as YouTube" and "reproduce and distribute music videos and sound recordings owned by our member companies without authorization for such use."
As the debate and controversy over the complaint rages on, a company based in the US that operates a YouTube-ripping platform has filed a lawsuit alleging that similar complaints, filed by the RIAA with Google, have caused its business great damage.
An RIAA takedown request, which removed the YouTube-DL repository from GitHub, has ticked off developers and GitHub's CEO. Numerous people responded by copying and republishing the contested code, including in some quite clever ways. Meanwhile, GitHub's CEO is "annoyed" as well, offering help to get the repo reinstated.
[...] GitHub handles DMCA claims to maximize protections for developers, and we designed our DMCA Takedown Policy with developers in mind. Nearly every platform with user-generated content accepts and processes DMCA takedown notices to comply with the law. For GitHub, many of those notices come from developers wanting us to enforce the terms of their open source licenses, for example, when someone is using their code without the proper attribution required by the open source license they adopted.
[...] As we explained, the key claim in the youtube-dl takedown is circumvention. Although we did initially take the project down, we understand that just because code can be used to access copyrighted works doesn't mean it can't also be used to access works in non-infringing ways. We also understood that this project's code has many legitimate purposes, including changing playback speeds for accessibility, preserving evidence in the fight for human rights, aiding journalists in fact-checking, and downloading Creative Commons-licensed or public domain videos. When we see it is possible to modify a project to remove allegedly infringing content, we give the owners a chance to fix problems before we take content down. If not, they can always respond to the notification disabling the repository and offer to make changes, or file a counter notice.
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has published five of the white papers it funded regarding questions about Microsoft Copilot. After Microsoft acquired GitHub, it set up a machine learning system to cull through its archive of software, called Copilot. The approach chosen and even the basic activity raises many questions starting with those of licensing.
Microsoft GitHub's announcement of an AI-driven Service as a Software Substitute (SaaSS) program called Copilot -- which uses machine learning to autocomplete code for developers as they write software -- immediately raised serious questions for the free software movement and our ability to safeguard user and developer freedom. We felt these questions needed to be addressed, as a variety of serious implications were foreseen for the free software community and developers who use GitHub. These inquiries -- and others possibly yet to be discovered -- needed to be reviewed in depth.
In our call for papers, we set forth several areas of interest. Most of these areas centered around copyright law, questions of ownership for AI-generated code, and legal impacts for GitHub authors who use a GNU or other copyleft license(s) for their works. We are pleased to announce the community-provided research into these areas, and much more.
First, we want to thank everyone who participated by sending in their papers. We received a healthy response of twenty-two papers from members of the community. The papers weighed-in on the multiple areas of interest we had indicated in our announcement. Using an anonymous review process, we concluded there were five papers that would be best suited to inform the community and foster critical conversations to help guide our actions in the search for solutions.