GitHub revamps copyright takedown policy after restoring YouTube-dl

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The source code for YouTube-dl, a tool you can use to download videos from YouTube, is back up on GitHub after the code repository took it down in October following a DMCA complaint from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Citing a letter from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (the EFF), GitHub says it ultimately found that the RIAA’s complaint didn’t have any merit. 

The RIAA argued the tool ran afoul of section 1201 of the US copyright law by giving people the means to circumvent YouTube’s DRM. It also claimed the software’s documentation invited people to pirate several popular songs. In its letter, the EFF dissects the RIAA’s claims, highlighting where the organization had either misinterpreted the law or how the code of YouTube-dl works. “Importantly, YouTube-dl does not decrypt video streams that are encrypted with commercial DRM technologies, such as Widevine, that are used by subscription videos sites, such as Netflix,” the organization points out when it comes to the RIAA’s primary claim.

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