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Single Points of Failure and Proprietary Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

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Microsoft
  • Ahmad Haghighi: GitLab blocked Iranians’ access.

    On 3rd Oct. 2020 GitLab blocked Iranians’ access (based on IP) without any prior notice! and five days later (8th Oct.) my friend’s account blocked and still he doesn’t have any access to his projects! even after creating a ticket and asks for a temporary access to only export his projects! GitLab refused to unblock him! (screenshot in appendix). My friend is not the only one who blocked by GitLab, with a simple search on the web you can find a growing list of blocked accounts.
    So I decided to move from GtiLab and EVERY Free Software based/hosted/managed on/in USA.

    When it comes to USA policies, Free Software is a Joke Smile

    GitLab is not the only actor in this discrimination against Persian/Iranian people, we also blocked by GitHub, Docker, NPM, Google Developer, Android, AWS, Go, Kubernetes and etc.

  • ‘youtube-dl’ downloading software removed from GitHub by RIAA takedown notice

    This takedown notice does not necessarily spell the permanent end of youtube-dl. GitHub always immediately takes down any source code project that receives a DMCA notice like this, but the project’s creators will have an opportunity to file a counterclaim in the hopes of restoring youtube-dl’s status on GitHub. We’ll be keeping an eye on the situation as it develops.

  • RIAA DMCAs GitHub into nuking popular YouTube video download tool, says it can be used to slurp music

    YouTube-DL is pretty simple to use: you give the command-line program the URL of any YouTube video, and it will fetch the material and save it to your computer for future playback.

  • Recording Industry Association of America Gets Youtube-dl Kicked Off GitHub

    Microsoft GitHub has removed all traces of the very useful youtube-dl utility for downloading videos from YouTube and other websites, including this one, following a questionable DMCA request from the Recording Industry Association of America.

    youtube-dl is a simple command-line utility that lets you easily download audio adn videos from just about any website with a file file embedded in it. It works on sites like this one. A lot of software, including the popular video player mpv, can use it to download video fragments on the fly so videos embedded in web pages can be opened and played as if they were local files.

    The Recording Industry Association of America submitted a DMCA request to Microsoft GitHub demanding that youtube-dl gets removed from the Internet on October 23rd, 2020. The complaint contains this rather misleading claim: [...]

RIAA blitz takes down 18 GitHub projects

A couple more

RIAA Takes Down Popular Open Source YouTube-DL Software

  • RIAA Takes Down Popular Open Source YouTube-DL Software

    GitHub has removed the open-source YouTube-DL repository as well as several forks. The developer platform took action following a takedown request from the RIAA. The music group argues that the code is primarily used to download copyrighted content and also violates the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions.

Microsoft Disables GitHub Repository Of youtube-dl After RIAA...

RIAA weaponizes DMCA against an open source project!

GitHub Disables youtube-dl Repository

  • GitHub Disables youtube-dl Repository

    The Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. (RIAA) filed a request for removal regarding the popular youtube-dl project, which allows developers to download the source files for YouTube videos.

RIAA Attacks YouTube DL With DMCA Takedown

  • RIAA Attacks YouTube DL With DMCA Takedown

    Recently the RIAA filed a DMCA takedown notice to GitHub for the removal of YouTube-dl an archiving tool for downloading videos from youtube along with other websites so today we're going to read through this letter and see what case is being made.

A couple more updates/followups

  • RIAA Tosses Bogus Claim At Github To Get Video Downloading Software Removed

    The RIAA is still going after downloaders, years after targeting downloaders proved to be a waste of time and a PR catastrophe. It's not actually thinking about suing the end users of certain programs, but it has targeted Github with a takedown notice for hosting youtube-dl, a command line video downloader that downloads videos from (obviously) YouTube and other video sites.

  • RIAA Sued By YouTube-Ripping Site Over DMCA Anti-Circumvention Notices

    A company operating a YouTube-ripping platform has sued the RIAA for sending "abusive" DMCA anti-circumvention notices to Google. According to the complaint and contrary to the RIAA's claims, the Yout service does not "descramble, decrypt, avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair" YouTube's rolling cypher technology.

GitHub should stand up to the RIAA over youtube-dl

  • GitHub should stand up to the RIAA over youtube-dl

    Earlier this week, GitHub took down the repository for the youtube-dl project. This came in response to a request from the RIAA—the recording industry’s lobbying and harassment body. youtube-dl is a tool for downloading videos. The RIAA argued that this violates the anticircumvention protections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). While GitHub taking down the repository and its forks is true to the principle of minimizing corporate risk, it’s the wrong choice.

    Microsoft—currently the world’s second-most valuable company with a market capitalization of $1.64 trillion—owns GitHub. If anyone is in a position to fight back on this, it’s Microsoft. Microsoft’s lawyers should have a one word answer to the RIAA’s request: “no”. (full disclosure: I own a small number of shares of Microsoft)

    [...]

    We should also consider the risks of consolidation. git is a decentralized system. GitHub has essentially centralized it. Sure, many competitors exist, but GitHub has become the default place to host open source code projects. The fact that GitHub’s code is proprietary is immaterial to this point. A FOSS service would pose the same risk if it became the centralized service.

    I saw a quote on this discussion (which I can’t find now) that said “code is free, infrastructure is not.” And while projects self-hosting their code repository, issue tracker, etc may be philosophically appealing, that’s not realistic. Software-as-a-Service has lowered the barrier for starting projects, which is a good thing. But it doesn’t come without risk, which we are now seeing.

    I don’t know what the right answer is for this. I know the answer won’t be easy. But both this specific case and the general issues they highlight are important for us to think about.

RIAA's YouTube-DL Takedown Ticks Off Developers

  • RIAA's YouTube-DL Takedown Ticks Off Developers and GitHub's CEO

    An RIAA takedown request, which removed the YouTube-DL repository from GitHub, has ticked off developers and GitHub's CEO. Numerous people responded by copying and republishing the contested code, including in some quite clever ways. Meanwhile, GitHub's CEO is "annoyed" as well, offering help to get the repo reinstated.

Free software group asks Microsoft to quit RIAA over youtube-dl

  • Free software group asks Microsoft to quit RIAA over youtube-dl takedown

    The Software Freedom Conservancy, an organisation that helps promote, develop, improve and defend free and open source software, has asked Microsoft to resign from the Recording Industry Association of America after the RIAA forced the takedown of youtube-dl, a popular command-line script that can be used to download videos from YouTube and many other videos from the Internet, from GitHub, a code repository owned by Microsoft.

GitHub Warns Users Reposting YouTube-DL They Could Be Banned

  • GitHub Warns Users Reposting YouTube-DL They Could Be Banned

    Importantly, the action also angered those who maintain, use, and support the software, plus those who didn’t appreciate the perceived overreach into the open source community. As a result, large numbers of people united to stand shoulder to shoulder.

    In many instances their response struck at the heart of the RIAA’s aims: if they wanted YouTube-DL to be harder to find, activists would make it even easier. The software was mirrored, cloned, uploaded to hosting platforms and even turned into images that could be easily shared on millions of sites. This, despite the software still being distributed defiantly from its own site.

    One of the responses was to repost the content to Github itself, where hundreds of YouTube-DL forks kept the flame alight. A copy even appeared in Github’s DMCA notice repository where surprisingly it remains to this day. Now, however, Github is warning of consequences for those who continue to use the platform for deliberate breaches of the DMCA.

"Certain commit hashes are rapidly heading toward being illegal"

  • how to publish git repos that cannot be republished to github

    So here's an interesting thing. Certain commit hashes are rapidly heading toward being illegal on Github.

    So, if you clone a git repo from somewhere else, you had better be wary of pushing it to Github. Because if it happened to contain one of those hashes, that could get you banned from Github. Which, as we know, is your resume.

    Now here's another interesting thing. It's entirely possible for me to add one of those commit hashes to any of my repos, which of course, I self host. I can do it without adding any of the content which Github/Microsoft, as a RIAA member, wishes to suppress.

    [...]

    What would then happen if you cloned my git repo and pushed it to Github?

    The next person to complain at me about my not having published one of my git repos to Github, and how annoying it is that they have to clone it from somewhere else in order to push their own fork of it to Github, and how no, I would not be perpertuating Github's monopolism in doing so, and anyway, Github's monopoloy is not so bad actually ...

No Excuses Left, Time to Leave the GitHub Monopoly | Techrights

GitHub warns users to avoid uploading copies of youtube-dl

The Github youtube-dl Takedown Isn't Just a Problem of US Law

  • The Github youtube-dl Takedown Isn't Just a Problem of American Law

    The video downloading utility youtube-dl, like other large open source projects, accepts contributions from all around the globe. It is used practically wherever there's an Internet connection. It's especially shocking, therefore, when what looks like a domestic legal spat–involving a take-down demand written by lawyers representing the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA),  a U.S. industry group, to Github, a U.S. code hosting service, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a U.S. law–can rip a hole in that global development process and disrupt access for youtube-dl users around the world.

    Those outside the United States, long accustomed to arbitrary take-downs with "DMCA" in their subject line, might reasonably assume that the removal of youtube-dl from Github is yet another example of the American rightsholders' grip on U.S. copyright law. Tragically for Internet users everywhere, the RIAA was not citing DMCA Section 512, the usual takedown route, but DMCA Section 1201, the ban on breaking digital locks. And the failures of that part of American law that can allow a rightsholder to intimidate an American company into an act of global censorship are coded into more than just the U.S. legal system.

On the youtube-dl DMCA Takedown

  • On the youtube-dl DMCA Takedown

    Last Friday (Oct 23, 2020), a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) takedown notice by the RIAA (the Recording Industry Association of America) has effectively shut down development of youtube-dl, a tool to access content on video streaming platforms like Youtube.

    There seems to be a fundamental disagreement between the right holders and the community if this tool is legal or illegal. We received a number of questions on social media how we would handle such a takedown request.

    To answer this question, but also to assess potential risks and consequences for sustainability of Codeberg e.V. and Codeberg.org, and to outline viable options to go forward for all affected parties, we performed research and analysis of relevant rules and constraints. This post outlines our position and understanding of the issue. As usual, this is the result of careful research but nothing should be construed as legal advise. Our understanding, interpretation, and position may or may not change with incoming information.

Revenge

  • RIAA Takedowns Backfire as Pirated MP3s Now Surface on GitHub

    Two weeks ago the RIAA asked GitHub to remove the open-source stream-ripper software youtube-dl. This request wasn't well-received by developers, many of whom retaliated by posting copies of the code. Yesterday, things went from bad to worse when a user with the name 'F*** T** RIAA' uploaded three MP3s of the songs the RIAA mentioned in its takedown notice

EFF Statement

  • RIAA Abuses DMCA to Take Down Popular Tool for Downloading Online Videos

    "youtube-dl" is a popular free software tool for downloading videos from YouTube and other user-uploaded video platforms. GitHub recently took down youtube-dl’s code repository at the behest of the Recording Industry Association of America, potentially stopping many thousands of users, and other programs and services, that rely on it.

    On its face, this might seem like an ordinary copyright takedown of the type that happens every day. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a copyright holder can ask a platform to take down an allegedly infringing post and the platform must comply. (The platform must also allow the alleged infringer to file a counter-notice, requiring the copyright holder to file a lawsuit if she wants the allegedly infringing work kept offline.) But there’s a huge difference here with some frightening ramifications: youtube-dl doesn’t infringe on any RIAA copyrights.

    The video downloading utility youtube-dl, like other large open source projects, accepts contributions from all around the globe. It is used practically wherever there's an Internet connection. It's especially shocking, therefore, when what looks like a domestic legal spat–involving a take-down demand written by lawyers representing the Recording Industry...

    Have you tried modifying, repairing, or diagnosing a product but bumped into encryption, a password requirement, or some other technological roadblock that got in the way? EFF wants your stories to help us fight for your right to get around those obstacles.Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)...

    The antitrust lawsuit against Google filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and eleven state attorneys general has the potential to be the most important competition case against a technology company since the DOJ’s 1998 suit against Microsoft. The complaint is broad, covering Google’s power over search generally, along...

    This is an Open Access Week guest post by Jordan Bunker, prototype engineer and open access advocate.After the world went into lockdown for COVID-19, Makers were suddenly confined to their workshops. Rather than idly wait it out, many of them decided to put their tools and skills...

More from EFF

  • Ink-Stained Wretches: The Battle for the Soul of Digital Freedom Taking Place Inside Your Printer

    Since its founding in the 1930s, Hewlett-Packard has been synonymous with innovation, and many's the engineer who had cause to praise its workhorse oscillators, minicomputers, servers, and PCs. But since the turn of this century, the company's changed its name to HP and its focus to sleazy ways to part unhappy printer owners from their money. Printer companies have long excelled at this dishonorable practice, but HP is truly an innovator, the industry-leading Darth Vader of sleaze, always ready to strong-arm you into a "deal" and then alter it later to tilt things even further to its advantage.

    The company's just beat its own record, converting its "Free ink for life" plan into a "Pay us $0.99 every month for the rest of your life or your printer stops working" plan.

    "youtube-dl" is a popular free software tool for downloading videos from YouTube and other user-uploaded video platforms. GitHub recently took down youtube-dl’s code repository at the behest of the Recording Industry Association of America, potentially stopping many thousands of users, and other programs and services, that rely on it.On...

    The video downloading utility youtube-dl, like other large open source projects, accepts contributions from all around the globe. It is used practically wherever there's an Internet connection. It's especially shocking, therefore, when what looks like a domestic legal spat–involving a take-down demand written by lawyers representing the Recording Industry...

    Have you tried modifying, repairing, or diagnosing a product but bumped into encryption, a password requirement, or some other technological roadblock that got in the way? EFF wants your stories to help us fight for your right to get around those obstacles.Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)...

From Techdirt

  • Despite RIAA's Claim That YouTube-dl Is Infringing, Journalists Use It All The Time

    A few weeks ago we had a story about the RIAA getting GitHub to remove YouTube-dl using a bizarre form of copyright takedown. The RIAA claimed that the tool violated rules against circumventing DRM. Over at Freedom of the Press Foundation, Parker Higgins has highlighted how often this tool is used legitimately for journalism purposes, which is important. Under the Betamax standard, tools with substantial non-infringing uses should not run afoul of copyright law. Higgins' writeup is reposted here with permission.

Google Takes Down Repositories That Circumvent its Widevine DRM

  • Google Takes Down Repositories That Circumvent its Widevine DRM

    GitHub has removed several repositories that helped to bypass Google's Widevine DRM, which is used by popular streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. Google requested the code to be removed as it would violate the DMCA. The company also sent a sensitive data takedown request for the associated RSA key which, ironically, remains easy to find through Google.

youtube-dl repository restored at GitHub

  • youtube-dl repository restored at GitHub

    The GitHub repository for the youtube-dl utility, which is used to download video content from various web sites (including YouTube, thus the name), has been restored. As we reported in last week's edition, GitHub had taken the repository down due to a DMCA notice from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The only change made to youtube-dl is the removal of some tests that downloaded a few seconds of certain music videos; those videos were specifically targeted by the RIAA in its complaint.

Saving face, PR

  • GitHub Reinstates Youtube-DL and Puts $1M in Takedown Defense Fund

    GitHub has reinstated the youtube-dl repository after it concluded that the code doesn't violate the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions. The company believes that developers should have the freedom to tinker, whether the RIAA likes it or not, and has placed $1 million into a takedown defense fund.

By Sam Varghese

DMCA Begone YouTube DL Is Back On GitHub

  • DMCA Begone YouTube DL Is Back On GitHub

    A few weeks back youtube-dl got pulled down from github due to a DMCA takedown notice from the RIAA but it's now finally back and GitHub claims that they'll be making some policy changes going forward

GitHub, EFF Push Back Against RIAA

EFF Statement

  • GitHub Reinstates youtube-dl After RIAA’s Abuse of the DMCA

    GitHub recently reinstated the repository for youtube-dl, a popular free software tool for downloading videos from YouTube and other user-uploaded video platforms. GitHub had taken down the repository last month after the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) abused the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s notice-and-takedown procedure to pressure GitHub to remove it.

    By shoehorning DMCA 1201 into the notice-and-takedown process, RIAA potentially sets a very dangerous precedent.

    Next time you hear someone blame Section 230 for a problem with social media platforms, ask yourself two questions: first, was this problem actually caused by Section 230? Second, would weakening Section 230 solve the problem? Politicians and commentators on both sides of the aisle frequently blame Section 230 for...

Origins of the youtube-dl project

  • Origins of the youtube-dl project

    As you may know, as of the time this text is being written youtube-dl’s repository at GitHub is blocked due to a DMCA takedown letter received by GitHub on behalf of the RIAA. While I cannot comment on the current maintainers' plans or ongoing discussions, in light of the claims made in that letter I thought it would be valuable to put in writing the first years of youtube-dl as the project creator and initial maintainer.

    Copper thieves

    All good stories need at least a villain so I have arbitrarily chosen copper thieves as the villains of the story that set in motion what youtube-dl is today. Back in 2006 I was living in a town 5 to 10 kilometers away from Avilés, which is itself a small city or town in northern Spain. While people in Avilés enjoyed some nice infrastructures and services, including cable and ADSL Internet access, the area I lived in lacked those advantages. I was too far away from the telephone exchange to enjoy ADSL and copper thieves had been stealing copper wires along the way to it for years, causing telephone service outages from time to time and making the telephone company replace those wires with weaker and thinner wires, knowing they would likely be stolen again. This had been going on for several years at that point.
    This meant my only choice for home Internet access so far had been a dial-up connection and a 56k V.90 modem. In fact, connection quality was so poor I had to limit the modem to 33.6 kbps mode so the connection would be at least stable. Actual download speeds rarely surpassed 4 KB/sec. YouTube was gaining popularity then to the point it was purchased by Google at the end of that year.

The RIAA, GitHub, and youtube-dl

  • The RIAA, GitHub, and youtube-dl

    Toward the end of October, GitHub removed the repository for the youtube-dl utility, which provides a means to download video content from various streaming sites, such as YouTube. The repository was replaced with a cheery notice that it had been removed due to a DMCA takedown. It will likely come as no surprise that the DMCA action came from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) or that the complaint was that the program circumvented the "technological protection measures" used on the videos by YouTube and other authorized sites.

    If the goal of that notice was to somehow erase youtube-dl from the internet, the effort could not have been more misguided. Predictably, the notice fully revalidated the "Streisand effect": as word filtered out, youtube-dl was spread far and wide. Beyond that, many who had never heard of the program before were suddenly aware of its existence, purpose, and the threat to its continued existence. Meanwhile, youtube-dl is still available for download, packaged for Linux distributions, and so on. The repository shutdown is an inconvenience to the project and its users but not much more than that.

    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a US law—ostensibly about protecting copyright-holders—that has been (ab)used in a wide variety of ways by the enormous content conglomerates that hold the bulk of the copyrights for music, television, movies, and so on. In particular, the anti-circumvention provisions have been invoked in dubious ways to try to prevent competition in printer-ink cartridges, thwart investigation into the Volkswagen emissions cheating, and to chill cryptographic research of various sorts. While the DMCA itself is US law, it was written to implement two World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties, so the effects are more widely applicable.

    The RIAA is no stranger to using the DMCA, of course. The organization has been sending takedown notices since the DMCA was enacted and was filing lawsuits against alleged copyright infringers before that. There are certainly legitimate infringement problems that the organization and its members have targeted along the way, but their blanket attacks and overreach (e.g. the the "dancing baby" video takedown) have also done much to paint the law (and the RIAA) in a rather bad light—not that it has resulted in any changes to the DMCA, sadly.

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