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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday November 22 2020, @10:44PM   Printer-friendly

GitHub Revamps Copyright Takedown Policy After Restoring YouTube-dl

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.

The @EFF did amazing work representing the project, and you should read their letter:

— 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

Standing up for developers: youtube-dl is back - The GitHub Blog:

Today we reinstated youtube-dl, a popular project on GitHub, after we received additional information about the project that enabled us to reverse a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown.

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.

Standing up for Developers: youtube-dl is Back
Yout LLC. Sues RIAA Over YouTube-DL DMCA Complaints
GitHub has Received a DMCA Takedown from RIAA for youtube-dl

Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Monday November 23 2020, @04:31AM (2 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday November 23 2020, @04:31AM (#1080574) Journal

    For decades, the MAFIAA has been hysterically screaming about copying. They're like cops who say "I feared for my life", only they say "I feared for my recording" when they go on the attack and fire off lawsuit after lawsuit, accusing the entire world population of infringement of rights that should be one of the people's inalienable rights, same as freedom of speech and religion. They have further construed these untenable and immoral rights to be much greater than is actually the case. Even without the exaggerations, it does not serve humanity that copyright be at all enforceable.

    The ability to copy is a natural property of the universe, and is absolutely essential to education. To be against copying, and to slander it as piracy, is to be against education. The Founding Fathers thought education a necessary component of a functioning democracy, so that voters could make better informed choices. Therefore, to be anti-education is to be against democracy. In America, to oppose democracy is treason. Education is, of course, also essential for the continuation of civilization, without which we would have to reduce our population to the extremely low levels that Stone Age living can support.

    I'd like to see the RIAA barred for a decade from filing any more lawsuits on matters of copyright. They need a long and very cold shower.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 24 2020, @03:10PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 24 2020, @03:10PM (#1080995)

    While I admire your sentiment, freedom to copy (while arguably a "freedom of speech") isn't specifically enumerated in the constitution, while copyright (sadly) is.

    • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Tuesday November 24 2020, @09:58PM

      by bzipitidoo (4388) on Tuesday November 24 2020, @09:58PM (#1081107) Journal

      Thanks. And true. But thankfully, the Constitution can be amended. Thomas Jefferson, who swore "eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man" was very unsure whether copyright was a good idea. He basically punted on that issue. Now, however, we can confidently say that copyright never was a good idea.

      I'd love to see an Amendment granting the people the Freedom to Copy. Not that we can't copy anyway regardless of the law. It would merely serve to further shut down all these pretentions of ownership over ideas. I understand now though that the law does not lead in these matters. Such an Amendment will only come about when copying has already been a de facto right for decades, and if it seems necessary to constantly remind those who would hoard knowledge that no one owns an idea. Copyright is a powerful drug, triggering artists' fears of loss, and playing upon the American conceit of individualism. As if genius is always singular, unique, lonely and never collaborates, and ideas form in a total vacuum and aren't mostly combinations and variations on older ideas.

      It's much like the Civil War Amendments ending slavery. Enacted in the final days of the Civil War, after a settlement of the issue had already been forced on the battlefield. Wouldn't have been necessary, if slavery had not been enshrined in the Constitution in the first place. And neither the war nor the highest of laws could convince die hard Confederates to give up their propaganda and viciously wrong and hateful narratives that they used to justify their treachery. Took another freaking century to end Jim Crow, and now, 50 more years after that, Jim Crow actually enjoyed a revival that we can only hope will be very brief.

      As to cries that without copyright, artists will starve, this is demonstrably false. Crowdfunding seems a most promising way forward, to encourage the creation of good art. Advertising revenue could be another. After all, that has worked for broadcast radio and TV for decades. What's needed is more exploration and construction of crowdfunding and other means of compensation. And certainly we can still stop plagiarism, and could set up some sort of royalty rights, for public performances that turn a profit, all of which are not based upon artificial restrictions upon and monitorings of copying.