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      Some YouTube pages have “signature” JavaScript in their pages that generates special URLs for fetching the video. Although that adds extra steps to get to the video like DRM does, it doesn’t involve secrets protected by licenses and technical measures like, say, Widevine or DVD copy protection do. It’s just some JavaScript served up to anyone who comes to the video page, like the player itself is.

      EFF’s position is that that’s not copy protection, so this code isn’t circumvention, and it seems GitHub is now siding with them. Your link is to a fork and I’m not sure whether this option has been removed from the main youtube-dl repo (I think not?).

      It’s likely tests involving copyrighted videos stay removed, because it’s not necessary and can only hurt the project’s efforts to stay online.

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        Your link is to a fork and I’m not sure whether this option has been removed from the main youtube-dl repo (I think not?).

        Indeed, it’s still up: https://github.com/ytdl-org/youtube-dl/blob/f8c749f12c3b88fc97b4d2a2d9934483589b50a3/youtube_dl/extractor/youtube.py#L1187 (link to blob in master at time of writing)

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      Maybe Github team finally understood the true sense of open-source.

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        Or they got a legal counter-notice and are supposed to restore on that basis.


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          Yeah IIRC the DMCA process doesn’t give a party like GitHub much agency.

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            this seems more likely. From what little I know of the DMCA, the recipient of the takedown request (GH in this case) supposed to remove content, but if the subject of the DMCA takedown (youtube-dl in this case) submits a counter-notification, the recipient can then restore the content. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

            What likely happened is that they consulted a lawyer, or the EFF, and filed a counter-notification

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              What likely happened is that they consulted a lawyer, or the EFF, and filed a counter-notification

              Yes: https://github.com/github/dmca/blob/master/2020/11/2020-11-16-RIAA-reversal-effletter.pdf

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                I find that to be an exceptionally well-written response. I’m glad they published it for all to see.

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                The thing is that this isn’t that type of notification: takedowns of copyrighted content are required under section 512. Section 1201 does restrict “anti-circumvention” software, but it isn’t actually someone else’s copyrighted content, so the same takedown requirement doesn’t apply: https://twitter.com/xor/status/1319758946710790144

                EFF’s response isn’t about 512 vs. 1201, but is saying youtube-dl isn’t anti-circumvention software because what YouTube is doing isn’t copy protection: unlike actual DRM (like Widevine, DVD copy protection, etc.) there’s no locked-down licensed player with secret keys and so on, just player JS sent to anyone hitting YouTube. (Remember it wasn’t Google complaining, it was the RIAA, so the folks actually deploying the code haven’t really made any claims about whether it’s copy protection.) GitHub’s reinstatement is based on that no-copy-protection theory, and they’re saying they’ll try to be sure 1201 claims get properly examined and contested in the future.

                This theory and this change probably does a lot more for youtube-dl than it will do for the Widevine decryptor that also got taken down.

                The ideal would be if GH’s position also emphasized that difference between 512 and 1201: that they have more discretion when it’s arguable whether something is contested under 1201, and they intend to use that discretion in a pro-developer way. I don’t actually know if that’s viable legally/businesswise. It might, in any case, be less realistic with GitHub as as part of a much larger company that’s naturally less willing to go out on a limb and has its own interests around copyright.

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                Their blog post on this literally links to it in the first sentence.


                I’m a little bummed that that post also takes the chance to do a PR move and not just a post-mortem. It also makes that thing very flawed, b.c. the post tries to avoid as hard as possible to speak positive of the EFF (totally understandable: that might paint GH as biased).

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                  The post tells people to donate to EFF, that doesn’t seem like not speaking positive of them to me :)

                  Agree the PR move on “we did our job just barely!” is quite silly

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                    Okay, thanks for calling that out. So, what’s weird about the post is that they very calmly talk about the EFF when their effort is involved, they announce their own cash pool and then, in a separate paragraph tell people to spend their money to the EFF.

                    At no point in the post there is a “thank you EFF” or “we’re giving money to the EFF”. No issue there, because that puts them in a bad spot if an RIAA-lawyer looks at that.

                    I have no issue with that, just found it… amusing :).