Last updated on March 9, 2021
Only about a week after the official development repository from Youtube-dl disappeared after a DMCA request from Github, a current version of the tool is now available for downloading Youtube videos from the project website.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) had sent a DMCA takedown request to Github, where the open source project has so far officially hosted its code. Github then blocked access to the software. In addition to the project's repository, this was also implemented for some forks on the platform. The development team at Youtube-dl is apparently unimpressed by this and is continuing for the time being.
That could also be due to the legal situation, which is not that easy. After all, you can also use YouTube-dl to download videos that are under free licenses. Among other things, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) criticized the fact that there are numerous legal scenarios for YouTube-dl. The Freedom of the Press Foundation immediately protested against the procedure , pointing out that YouTube-dl is used to archive important and sometimes only temporarily available videos for reporting.
In addition, with the takedown request, the RIAA managed to provide renewed evidence of the so-called Streisand effect . Shortly after the official repository was blocked, there were numerous new uploads of the code on the platform. Thanks to a Github bug, an uploader was even able to smuggle the software into the official repository for DMCA messages and the source code was redistributed as an image encoded on platforms such as Twitter .
The outcome is currently uncertain
In addition, the Github boss Nat Friedman is apparently trying to restore the project's repository. The Github team also explicitly points out that reloading code that has actually been blocked on the platform contradicts its own rules and can be linked to deactivation of the account. The magazine Torrentfreak suspects that this clarification was implemented in order to possibly steer the protest into different channels.
Regardless of these considerations, the current version 2020.11.01.1 of Youtube-dl is now available on the project website. It is available in source code and as executable files. If you already use the software written in Python, you can update it via Pip. Further information on how the project will proceed is not yet available.