GitHub removes the popular YouTube download tool after the copyright notice

GitHub, a Microsoft-owned code hosting platform used by developers in particular, removed the source code of a popular YouTube video download tool, citing a request from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Several YouTubers who used YouTube DL code extensively to download or archive their own videos have expressed opposition to the takedown and questioned its legality. The text of the RIAA request, which now covers the YouTube-DL code page on GitHub, states that the tool is “clearly intended to bypass the technical protections used by authorized streaming services like YouTube”.

The DMCA takedown inquiry The website also states that the tool is intended to be used to “reproduce and distribute” music videos and sound recordings made by RIAA member companies without their permission. In particular, the RIAA pointed to three music videos as examples which, according to the association, were copied and distributed without the permission of the record companies. The Icona pop song I Love It (with Charli XCX), which belongs to the Warner Music Group and is under the YouTube standard license, which prohibits reproduction beyond streaming on the platform, was distributed according to the announcement. Tunnel Vision (Explicit) was also reported to have been distributed by Justin Timberlake, owned by Sony Music Group and under an additional age code ID, as was an M4A audio file from Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off.

The possible misuse of such a tool for piracy is hard to refute, but people who use the tool for other purposes like downloading or archiving pointed out Any internet browser can be used to open YouTube and download videos through developer tools and should undergo the same test. GitHub hasn’t issued a comment yet.

GitHub started operations in India earlier this year. The California-based company announced that it would build an India team for all functions, including community, engineering, sales, support, marketing and service.


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