Whether you want to back up content from your personal YouTube account or download some of your favorite YouTuber videos for offline use, many turn to youtube-dl as the most reliable and comprehensive tool for downloading videos from YouTube – along with many others . Lots of other sites with videos like Vimeo, CNN etc. Besides the simple download capabilities, youtube-dl can also convert your download to almost any format including creating an MP3 file just the audio track of a video.
As with many things in life, there are legal and illegal ways to use youtube-dl, especially since YouTube has expanded its paid music subscription service. On Friday afternoon, the RIAA released a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) asking GitHub to remove the open source code from youtube-dl and all related mirrors.
One of the main rationale behind the RIAA’s claim is that youtube-dl appears to have been developed with the express intention of allowing copyrighted works to be downloaded, with music videos by Icona Pop, Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift being used to test the functionality of the tool , a claim that we were able to independently verify.
Indeed, the comments in the youtube-dl source code make it clear that the source code was designed and marketed to circumvent YouTube’s technological measures to allow unauthorized access to, and unauthorized copies and distributions of, our members’ copyrighted works to create: you identify the works of our members, determine that the works are VEVO videos (practically all owned by our member companies), acknowledge that these works are licensed to YouTube under the YouTube standard license, and use these source code examples to describe how to obtain unauthorized access to copies of our members’ works.
This deactivation notification does not necessarily mean the permanent end of youtube-dl. GitHub always immediately removes any source code project that receives such a DMCA notification, but the project’s developers have the option to counterclaim in hopes of restoring youtube-dl’s status on GitHub. We will keep an eye on the developing situation.
In the meantime, those who still have youtube-dl on their device or can get it from a mirror can continue to use it as usual. The bigger problem is that youtube-dl is likely to stop receiving updates for the time being, so changes made by YouTube or other video services could potentially cause the tool to stop working. Since youtube-dl is a pretty well-known and powerful tool with over 72,000 stars on GitHub, there are likely many other tools that rely on it for their YouTube-related functions.
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