GitHub restores YouTube-DL in defiance of RIAA lawsuit

YouTube-DL has returned to its rightful place, the GitHub repository from which it was removed last month following a legal claim from the RIAA, the all-powerful Recording Industry Association of the United States. car turned into judge and party in any matter related to copyright. Their own and those of others.

The YouTube-DL case was scandalous so it assumed that GitHub remove a fully legitimate open source application that acts as a mere technology tool. The Microsoft host received criticism from all fronts, including from the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which endorsed the defense of the application.

Although the RIAA claimed that it was intended to “circumvent the technological protection measures used by authorized streaming services such as YouTube” and certainly some users can use it to hack, the application is still a technological medium for legal uses as well. Actually, it is a command line that in practice replaces a web browser for downloading content, but without decrypting video transmissions encrypted with commercial DRM technologies, such as the Widevine used by sites like Netflix.

We already made a comparison that came to the hair. Seeing this claim and under the protection of the controversial section 1201 of the US Copyright Act, the RIAA would be able – if it could – to eliminate P2P networks, search engines, web browsers, torrent apps and even the same Internet, because all of them are still means that can also be used to pirate content.

GitHub resets YouTube-DL

GitHub has announced that it has restored the youtube-dl repository after its removal. The host said he understood the frustrations that had surrounded the case, but that he had acted in compliance with the Law. Now, the restitution had occurred after verifying that the tool did not circumvent a technical protection measure.

According to GitHub, when you receive a DMCA notice, you offer projects the opportunity to remove the offending content. An owner of one of the YouTube forks submitted a patch that addressed the concerns raised. GitHub reinstated the main youtube-dl repository after receiving evidence from the Electronic Frontier Foundation highlighting that the program does not violate the Copyright Law.


Most of the youtube-dl forks that were cited in the RIAA’s lawsuit are still inaccessible, but GitHub says it’s going to check each of the projects to see if they bypass a technical protection measure or not. The question is why didn’t you do that before removing software from your repositories … The reasonable thing to do would have been to check the allegations first because the RIAA has a long history of unjustified claims. The oldest of the place will remember the case of the DeCSS code in the late 90s.

In line with this, GitHub has announced a policy change where it will take an active role “so that software developers have a little more freedom.” He has also announced the million dollar donation which will be used as a fund to help protect open source developers working on GitHub from claims of unwarranted removal from Section 1201 of the DMCA.

“We are defending the developers and have restored the Youtube-dl repository. Section 1201 of the DMCA is broken and needs to be fixed. Developers should be free to create and that’s how you get great tools like youtube-dl, “said GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, who said he was upset by the case and personally offered his help to restore the repository.

Welcome to this case if as they promise from GitHub from now on they will “put developers first” and prevent the RIAA from acting as judge and party in a unjustified claims under widely questioned regulations.