YouTube-dl's repository has been restored

Last modified on November 16, 2020

On the current time we reinstated youtube-dl, a popular mission on GitHub, after we bought additional data in regards to the mission that enabled us to reverse a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown. 

At GitHub, our priority is supporting open supply and the developer neighborhood. And so we portion builders’ frustration with this takedown—particularly since this mission has many marvelous capabilities. Our actions had been pushed by processes required to regulate to guidelines just like the DMCA that hold platforms like GitHub and builders in a elaborate state of affairs. And our reinstatement, in line with novel data that confirmed the mission grow to be not circumventing a technical safety measure (TPM), grow to be inline with our values of hanging builders first. We know builders want to cherish what took state of affairs proper right here, and need to perceive how GitHub will get up for builders and refine our processes on these problems. 

In this publish, we offer options to basic questions in regards to the DMCA and why GitHub dealt with this case the sort we did, image why circumvention claims deserve particular remedy, and portion how we’re updating our insurance coverage insurance policies and combating to bolster the foundations.

Why did GitHub path of this takedown in essentially the most well-known state of affairs? 

As a platform, we should regulate to guidelines—even ones that we don’t mediate are attractive for builders. As we’ve seen, this may presumably nicely presumably result in eventualities the place GitHub is required to want code—regardless of the reality that it has a multitude of non-infringing makes use of—whether or not it is a long way largely designed to keep away from a TPM. Nonetheless proper this is exceedingly uncommon. 

Decrease than two p.c of the DMCA takedowns we path of are in line with circumvention claims, and of those two p.c, this grow to be a notably extraordinary case. 

DMCA takedown claims in line with circumvention are a rising, industry-extensive misery for builders with some distance-reaching implications. We’ll obtain into this in additional element, however first, proper right here’s some expeditiously background. 

Circumvention claims beneath the DMCA

Most takedown notices we obtain instruct copyright infringement—that any person extinct their copyrighted work (recurrently software code) in a components that infringes their rights. Nonetheless as many people noticed, the youtube-dl takedown witness fell right into a more moderen class: anticircumvention—an allegation that the code grow to be designed to keep away from technical measures that once more watch over obtain entry to or copying of copyrighted materials, in violation of Part 1201 of the DMCA.

Part 1201 dates once more to the tiresome 1990s and didn't await the relatively a couple of implications it has for software train at the present time. Which talent, Part 1201 makes it illegal to make train of or distribute know-how (together with supply code) that bypasses technical measures that once more watch over obtain entry to or copying of copyrighted works, regardless of the reality that that know-how may presumably nicely moreover even be extinct in a components that are not copyright infringement. Circumvention grow to be the core declare within the youtube-dl takedown. 

GitHub’s developer-centered method to the DMCA 

GitHub handles DMCA claims to maximise protections for builders, and we designed our DMCA Takedown Coverage with builders in ideas. Almost about each platform with specific person-generated bellow materials accepts and processes DMCA takedown notices to regulate to the foundations. For GitHub, many of those notices come from builders wanting us to put into impact the phrases of their open supply licenses, as an example, when any person is the utilization of their code with out essentially the most life like attribution required by the open supply license they adopted. Listed beneath are techniques our method protects builders:

  • Given the value to builders of an unwarranted takedown of code, we create decided we now have gotten a whole witness sooner than we want motion. We distinguish between code that merely may presumably nicely moreover even be extinct in an infringing components and code that's preconfigured to be extinct a decided components. We additionally acknowledge that code can present obtain entry to to copyrighted bellow materials with out violating the foundations (as an example, attractive train). In some circumstances we will present the prospect to once more a mission up because the bellow materials recognized within the takedown witness won't be basically infringing or circumventing a TPM that controls obtain entry to or copying of copyrighted works. 
  • Our path of things a elevated bar for 1201 claims than the infringement claims we on the whole obtain. We require complainants to present additional data express to circumvention, and to image the technical measures and the diagram the mission is designed to keep away from them, for us to place confidence in a witness whole. Below we affirm how we’re additional strengthening our path of.
  • On each event we path of takedowns, we notify your whole affected repository homeowners in regards to the takedown and gives them options to dispute it. We allow the repository proprietor to create changes to handle the allegations within the witness and in numerous circumstances, we will present the prospect to once more initiatives up as a result of they connect. 
  • We're clear with the developer neighborhood about DMCA takedown notices. Every time we path of a DMCA takedown witness or counter witness, we publish the textual bellow materials to our DMCA repository, dated on the date we path of it (versus after we obtain it), in specific that anyone can watch the witness and the idea for our motion. 

These are all steps we at display screen want to succor builders, which journey past our secure duties and long-established {industry} discover whereas gentle assembly the necessities of the DMCA.


As we defined, the essential factor declare within the youtube-dl takedown is circumvention. Though we did on the beginning up want the mission down, we understand that attractive as a result of code may presumably nicely moreover even be extinct to obtain entry to copyrighted works doesn’t imply it is going to’t even be extinct to obtain entry to works in non-infringing techniques. We additionally understood that this mission’s code has many marvelous capabilities, together with altering playback speeds for accessibility, sustaining proof within the struggle for human rights, serving to journalists essentially-checking, and downloading Artistic Commons-licensed or public enviornment motion pictures. After we watch it is a long way doable to modify a mission to want allegedly infringing bellow materials, we give the homeowners of enterprise to restore points sooner than we want bellow materials down. If not, they could be capable of continuously reply to the notification disabling the repository and provide to create changes, or file a counter witness. 

That’s what took state of affairs on this case. First, we had been able to reinstate a fork of youtube-dl after indubitably one in every of many fork homeowners utilized a patch with changes in accordance to the witness. 

Then, after we bought novel data that confirmed the youtube-dl mission doesn't basically violate the DMCA‘s anticircumvention prohibitions, we concluded that the allegations didn't hold a violation of the foundations. As nicely as, the maintainer submitted a patch to the mission addressing the allegations of infringement in line with unit exams referencing copyrighted motion pictures. Essentially primarily based completely on all of this, we reinstated the youtube-dl mission and may presumably nicely merely be offering options for reinstatement to all of its forks. 

What we’re altering

Going ahead, we're overhauling our 1201 declare evaluation path of to create decided that the following steps are carried out sooner than any takedown declare is processed:

  1. Every single credible 1201 takedown declare will likely be reviewed by technical specialists, together with when relevant impartial specialists retained by GitHub, to create decided that the mission in precise reality circumvents a technical safety measure as described within the declare.
  2. The declare may even be carefully scrutinized by secure specialists to create decided that unwarranted claims or claims that stretch past the boundaries of the DMCA are rejected.
  3. Within the case the place the declare is ambiguous, we will present the prospect to err on the side of the developer, and journey away up the repository besides there may be apparent proof of illegal circumvention.
  4. Within the occasion that the declare is found to be whole, secure, and technically marvelous by our specialists, we will present the prospect to contact the repository proprietor and gives them of enterprise to reply to the declare or create changes to the repo to bewitch away from a takedown. If they don’t reply, we will present the prospect to try to debate with the repository proprietor another time sooner than taking any extra steps.
  5. Easiest as soon as these steps had been carried out will a repository be taken down.
  6. After a repository is taken down attributable to what appears a wonderful and marvelous 1201 declare, we will present the prospect to proceed to realize out to the repository proprietor in the event that they've not already answered to us, in elaborate to present them the totally different to handle the declare and restore the repository. 
  7. Even after a repository has been taken down attributable to what appears a wonderful declare, we will present the prospect to create decided that repository homeowners can export their problems and PRs and different repository data that connect not procure the alleged circumvention code, the place legally doable.
  8. We can employees our Have confidence and Safety frontline crew to reply to developer tickets in such circumstances as a high priority, in specific that we will present the prospect to create decided that claims are resolved expeditiously and repositories are promptly reinstated as soon as claims had been resolved.

All of this may presumably nicely moreover very nicely be accomplished at our have heed and at no heed to the builders who train GitHub. We place confidence in this represents the gold long-established in developer-first 1201 claims dealing with. Love we connect with all of our house insurance coverage insurance policies, we will present the prospect to doc and open supply this path of in specific that different companies that host code or packages can fabricate on it as well as. And we will present the prospect to proceed to refine and reinforce this path of as our experience

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