RIAA Finds YouTube Downloader Apps on GitHub

Photo credit: Charles Deluvio

A YouTube download app apocalypse is happening on GitHub, courtesy of the RIAA.

The source code for YouTube-DL was ripped off last night. Visiting the project repository on GitHub generates a message: “The repository is not available due to a DMCA checkout”, with the download removed. The RIAA is responsible for the takedown, which impacts several projects on GitHub.

However, the letter sent by the RIAA is not exactly a DMCA takedown notice. Public Knowledge Legal Director John Bergmayer said it’s more than that. The RIAA letter cites Section 1201 of the US Copyright Act. He claims that YouTube-DL violates copyright law because it aims to circumvent YouTube’s copyright protection measures.

“Indeed, comments in the YouTube-DL source code make it clear that the source code was designed and is marketed for the purpose of circumventing YouTube’s technological measures to allow unauthorized access to copyrighted works. of our members, ”reads the RIAA’s complaint.

“They identify the works of our members, they note that the works are VEVO videos (almost all of which are owned by our member companies), they recognize that these works are licensed under the YouTube standard license, and they use these examples. in the source code to describe how to gain unauthorized access to copies of our members’ work, ”the complaint continues.

A lot of people are unhappy that YouTube-DL has been removed completely. One of the reasons is that there are non-infringing uses. Case in point: YouTubers often use the YouTube upload feature as a way to save their content from the platform.

“In case people are wondering why RIAA and GitHub are wrong to remove YouTube-DL,” a creator writing. “As a YT creator, I use YouTube-DL to make a backup of my channel – my own content. A feature that YT doesn’t offer and that I absolutely need because no one should be 100% trusted. a platform. “

The creators behind YouTube-DL may file a counterclaim in hopes of restoring the project. Removing all references to accessing pirated content using the tool may be enough to satisfy the RIAA’s complaint. One sticking point for the removal was the screenshots showing a Justin Timberlake song being uploaded. It is definitely prohibited for the RIAA and its member companies (Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group).

YouTube-DL itself is a fairly well-known tool for creators who want to keep copies of their videos. It is also a tool that has been integrated with several third party YouTube apps. Removing the project will likely impact several different applications if the tool stops working.

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