RIAA just "DMCA'd" Github for youtube-dl

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RIAA just "DMCA'd" Github for youtube-dl

Postby Matt » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:05 pm

https://github.com/github/dmca/pull/8122

Not 100% sure if this isn't going to get too political, but it seemed relevant enough to the crowd here... please Hall if I am wrong.

EDIT: Added scare quotes as per NeuralStunner's reply which I'm quoting here so it's on top:
NeuralStunner wrote:This twitter thread clarifies that while Github called the notice a DMCA, it really isn't. No copyrighted work is actually being infringed by the utility. All they have is the shaky argument that there could be. On that grounds, aux cables would be illegal. Or computer audio drivers with an out->in passthrough.

The thread also cites a significant number of CC/public domain works that are otherwise unacquirable without a downloading process. Music is a small portion of all content on youtube to begin with, but the RIAA has taken it on themselves to (mis)represent everyone's interest.
Last edited by Matt on Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: RIAA just DMCA'd Github for youtube-dl

Postby wildweasel » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:19 pm

Oh hell. This is a really good utility for backing up entire channels or playlists for offline usage or archival, so this really sucks.
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Re: RIAA just DMCA'd Github for youtube-dl

Postby Darkcrafter » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:40 pm

Github seems to be controlled by someone then. On the other side if no one would control it how github could enforce people to conduct licenses. Arent't there really any independent alternative to it?
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Re: RIAA just DMCA'd Github for youtube-dl

Postby NeuralStunner » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:50 pm

This twitter thread clarifies that while Github called the notice a DMCA, it really isn't. No copyrighted work is actually being infringed by the utility. All they have is the shaky argument that there could be. On that grounds, aux cables would be illegal. Or computer audio drivers with an out->in passthrough.

The thread also cites a significant number of CC/public domain works that are otherwise unacquirable without a downloading process. Music is a small portion of all content on youtube to begin with, but the RIAA has taken it on themselves to (mis)represent everyone's interest.
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Re: RIAA just "DMCA'd" Github for youtube-dl

Postby SanyaWaffles » Fri Oct 23, 2020 6:27 pm

I'm interested to see what Leonard French has to say about this considering this seems to be a flagrant abuse of the DMCA.

I use this tool frequently to back up channels that aren't even RIAA aligned content... most of the time obscure videos that no one has interest in.

I hope someone has a mirror of the source code and uploads it somewhere else. The fact it can just be GONE like that scares the fuck out of me, with all honesty.
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Re: RIAA just "DMCA'd" Github for youtube-dl

Postby Nash » Fri Oct 23, 2020 6:33 pm

Based on the description of the repo that's hosting that, isn't that just merely a LIST of takedown notices? Like, an archive? Not necessarily any of them (or at all) had any real action taken by Github themselves...

(correct me if I'm wrong)

Anyway, yeah, the thread linked in NeuralStunner's post definitely paints a clearer picture on this whole thing.
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Re: RIAA just "DMCA'd" Github for youtube-dl

Postby SanyaWaffles » Fri Oct 23, 2020 6:37 pm

Damn, all the youtube-dl sites links to the executables, source code and python script are all dead.

Fortunately it seems it hasn't updated since 20th of September. As long as YouTube doesn't change too much of their implementation I can still use my local copy.

This sucks.
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Re: RIAA just "DMCA'd" Github for youtube-dl

Postby Rachael » Fri Oct 23, 2020 6:43 pm

If you like a repository - mirror it. There's no telling how big corp will abuse their power again and get repositories like this taken offline.

You can type "git clone <URL> --mirror" to get an exact bare repository clone. This repository retains all refs and branches of its parent, can be cloned locally and pushed to, and can be updated simply by typing "cd <reponame>.git && git fetch"

If you did a clone without a mirror, this will work on local repositories, as well. I.e. in Windows you can do "git clone C:\games\gzdoom --mirror" - however it creates a mirror of your own local branches, not that of the parent repository.

This is a really big loss. I hope somebody did manage to get a clone of that before it was gone.

If you have a local copy it is possible to recover the remote refs, as they are stored in normal checkouts, as well. All information is in the ".git" subfolder of your checkout copy.
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Re: RIAA just "DMCA'd" Github for youtube-dl

Postby Chris » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:44 pm

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Re: RIAA just "DMCA'd" Github for youtube-dl

Postby Skibicki » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:48 pm

These links are for a recent mirror, and the youtube-dlc fork with fixes:
https://codeberg.org/polarisfm/youtube-dl
https://github.com/blackjack4494/yt-dlc
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Re: RIAA just "DMCA'd" Github for youtube-dl

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:24 am

So it's again Big Corporation vs. Internet - 0:1? :mrgreen:
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Re: RIAA just "DMCA'd" Github for youtube-dl

Postby Rachael » Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:10 am

Graf Zahl wrote:So it's again Big Corporation vs. Internet - 0:1? :mrgreen:

Only if they haven't killed off actual development of this project.

Sure, we got the repos back, but, where is the main project author going to go? Will they keep this going? If they do - then yes, you are right. And I hope they do. ^_^

I've been building a big collection of git mirrors that I want to save, over time, even before this came about, but when this happened the size of that collection tripled - when I realized how easy it was for my favorite projects to simply vanish.

I might even start hosting them somewhere, so that people can clone from them directly. Git is a very powerful tool that lends itself to some easy scripting for a web interface.
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Re: RIAA just "DMCA'd" Github for youtube-dl

Postby Matt » Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:57 pm

https://torrentfreak.com/deciphering-yo ... ke-201030/
At TorrentFreak, we have relatively little knowledge about encryption, so it would be impossible for us to bypass this ‘rolling cipher,’ one would think. However, after a few Google searches, we learned that pretty much every browser can do this by default.
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Re: RIAA just "DMCA'd" Github for youtube-dl

Postby Chris » Fri Oct 30, 2020 6:38 pm

Matt wrote:https://torrentfreak.com/deciphering-youtubes-rolling-cypher-in-your-browser-is-a-piece-of-cake-201030/
At TorrentFreak, we have relatively little knowledge about encryption, so it would be impossible for us to bypass this ‘rolling cipher,’ one would think. However, after a few Google searches, we learned that pretty much every browser can do this by default.

Which is really the crux of the issue, as I see it. A rolling cipher is a data transformation technique. That's all. ASCII codes, video compression, ROT-13, etc are also data transformation techniques. To be an effective lock, something more is needed. Something to prevent the cipher from working correctly if it's not authorized.

Essentially what's going on is a client sends an HTTP GET request for a youtube video URL, then the server sends back all the necessary code and information to generate the video URLs to download and play them. A browser uses this to display a page, and download the video for playback in the page, whereas youtube-dl downloads the video without automatic playback and doesn't display a page (and if you say anything accessing a web page has to display it as intended, you're essentially saying ad-blockers and greasemonkey and web debuggers are illegal since they remove elements from or change how the page is displayed, while putting buggy browsers in jeopardy if they have issues causing pages to display incorrectly). Calling this "protection" or a "lock" would be equivalent to a combination lock with the combination written right on it, and expecting only people with freshly cleaned suits to unlock it (without the people walking up to the lock having to agree to anything before touching the lock). If it didn't specify where the videos files are, browsers wouldn't be able to play them, which any of them implementing the appropriate open web standards can. Is Pale Moon or Konqueror circumventing Youtube's "digital lock"? Is Firefox? Are only Chrome-based programs authorized to access the video URLs? More to the point, "effective technological protection measures" (as required by the DMCA anti-circumvention provision) must be able to, in the absence of anti-circumvention tech, block unauthorized use and allow authorized use. If not, it's by definition not effective protection. Does Youtube do this when a client accesses its servers to request videos? No, IMO.

In contrast, Youtube does implement DRM on some videos; most notably, movies that you buy, rent, or are temporarily free. Youtube-dl actually can't download those videos, and neither can certain browsers. In this case, Youtube doesn't provide everything necessary to play a video when requesting it, without additional information from the non-free/open DRM module. I'm quite aware of this since my browser can't play even the Free movies they have available, and youtube-dl is not able to download them to play through mpv. For the RIAA to say its videos are sufficiently protected when they don't have this DRM enabled on their videos is laughable. It's telling that the MPAA isn't part of the takedown request, despite also having content up on Youtube.
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Re: RIAA just "DMCA'd" Github for youtube-dl

Postby leileilol » Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:43 pm

I don't use Youtube-DL - but I do know that Google's recent youtube changes did throw a wrench into the rave.dj site's process for video searching this month, and i'm assuming this is a casualty of collateral damage in this cat & mouse game.

(for the uninitiated, rave.dj snags 2 or more Youtube videos and tries to produce an AI generated mashup or mix of them in an MP4 form off their own server. It's a real fun time killer of curiosity that's unfortunately not going to last at this rate.)
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