September 23, 2023

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Community Rallies Driving Youtube-dl Right after DMCA Takedown

At this stage, you have very likely read that the GitHub repository for youtube-dl was just lately eliminated in reaction to a DMCA takedown recognize submitted by the Recording Field Affiliation of The united states (RIAA). As the identify implies, this well known Python application authorized users to produce regional copies of audio and video clip that experienced been uploaded to YouTube and other written content web hosting web sites. It is a essential resource for electronic archivists, people today with sluggish or unreliable World wide web connections, and additional than a few Hackaday writers.

It will in all probability come as no surprise to listen to that the DMCA takedown and subsequent elimination of the youtube-dl repository has utterly unsuccessful to contain the distribute of the program. In actuality, you could very easily argue that it is done the reverse. The builders could by no means have afforded the quantity of publicity the undertaking is at the moment having fun with, and as the code is licensed as community domain, consumers are free to share it even so they see fit. This is one genie that definitely won’t be likely back into its bottle.

In legitimate hacker spirit, we have started out to see some fairly creative ways of spreading the outlawed instrument. A Twitter user by the title of [GalacticFurball] arrived up with a way to transform the system into a pair of densely packed rainbow images that can be shared on line. Immediately after downloading the PNG documents, a command-line ImageMagick incantation turns the illustrations or photos into a compressed tarball of the source code. A very similar trick was a single of the techniques utilized to distribute the DeCSS DVD decryption code back in 2000 nevertheless unfortunately, we question any person is likely to get the ~14,000 strains of Python code that can make up youtube-dl printed up on any t-shirts.

Screenshot of the Tweet sharing YouTube-dl repository as two pictures

It’s well worth noting that GitHub has officially distanced them selves from the RIAA’s placement. The organization was compelled to clear away the repo when they acquired the DMCA takedown recognize, but CEO Nat Friedman dropped into the project’s IRC channel with a assure that efforts were being staying made to rectify the predicament as quickly as possible. In a current interview with TorrentFreak, Friedman claimed the elimination of youtube-dl from GitHub was at odds with the company’s have internal archival endeavours and money aid for the Web Archive.

But as it turns out, some adjustments will be required in advance of the repository can be brought back online. When there’s absolutely some discussion to be experienced about the over-all validity of the RIAA’s assert, it isn’t totally without having advantage. As pointed out in the DMCA observe, the task designed use of several automatic exams that ran the code from copyrighted works from artists this sort of as Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake. Although these were being admittedly really lousy choices to use as formal examination scenarios, the RIAA’s assertion that the overall task exists solely to download copyrighted music has no foundation in truth.

[Ed Note: This is only about GitHub. You can still get the code directly from the source.]