The DMCA takedown notice sent by RIAA to the GitHub last month over YouTube-dl has backfired. GitHub has now offered support to YouTube-dl, and other open-source developers by setting up a new Defense Fund of $1 million. This will help them to fight any legal and unwarranted DMCA notices. The YouTube-dl was restored in GitHub after all.
$1 Million to Fight Against DMCA Notices
The Microsoft owned code repository, GitHub has restored YouTube-dl back into its platform today. The controversial software was earlier accused by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for being a tool to bypass its technical restrictions and letting users extract the audio from a YouTube video.
Since this seems infringing enough, RIAA has sent a DMCA notice to GitHub, asking it to remove the YouTube-dl, and 17 other tools that have been made using this. While GitHub complied to the notice, it now argues that the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions were flawed, and needs to be fixed.
We are taking a stand for developers and have reinstated the youtube-dl repo. Section 1201 of the DMCA is broken and needs to be fixed. Developers should have the freedom to tinker. That's how you get great tools like youtube-dl. https://t.co/k0sbsNN30u
— Nat Friedman (@natfriedman) November 16, 2020
Eventually, GitHub restored the YouTube-dl code back on its platform and created a Defense Fund of $1 million to help such developers in future. It said to be supporting open-source developers against such DMCA notices. Further, it said the tools like YouTube-dl gives the rightful freedom to developers to tinker the software for good.
It’s not just the GitHub, but its CEO Nat Friedman and the whole developer community was mad when GitHub acted accordingly for RIAA’s notice. But after investigating, GitHub termed the notice was not valid, and they had “received additional information” to reverse its decision. Thus, restoring it now.
This started with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who responded on behalf of YouTube-dl to RIAA’s notice, and explained how the software works actually. It said the YouTube-dl tool works just like a web browser and doesn’t decrypt any restricted videos like those from DRM technologies, which are protected by encryption.
Finally, the developer of YouTube-dl expressed his gratitude for the support he received from EEF, GitHub and the community to his tool.