According to the latest news, Microsoft owned GitHub has removed YouTube dl. So far, YouTube dl has been an incredibly popular Python library to help download YouTube videos. This is done as a strategic move in response to a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Now, the project’s page shows a landing page that links viewers to the notice that reads “This repository is currently disabled due to a DMCA takedown notice. We have disabled public access to the repository. The notice has been publicly posted.”
GitHub has also removed a bunch of forked private and public repositories along with the original project repository. GitHub removed repositories that contained the source code of the original YouTube dl project.
RIAA in its letter claims that YouTube dl’s purpose is to “circumvent the technological protection measures used by authorized streaming services such as YouTube” and to let users “reproduce and distribute music videos and sound recordings owned by our member companies without authorization for such use.”
This letter elaborately mentions how some users make use of the tool to download copyrighted works. The letter also conveys that most videos that have been downloaded are VEVO videos. The letter also points out how the source code of the tool claimed it can be used to copy and distribute songs from well-known artists around the world such as Icona Pop, Justin Timberlake, and Taylor Swift.
However, it should be noted that YouTube dl was not entirely used for piracy purposes. No sooner than GitHub removed the repository, several creators started posting on Twitter sharing how they used this tool to make backups of their own contents. It is a very popular tool among internet archivists across the globe too.
It had over 72,000 stars before getting taken down. YouTube dl had a huge audience base and following in the open-source community. With this, it will be interesting to see what the creators of the YouTube dl project come up with.