Microsoft-owned GitHub has just removed eighteen of its projects, after claims from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) that the code is illegal under US copyright law. One of the tools which has now been removed is that of YouTube-dl, which enabled users to archive their videos.
Despite the fact that the takedown message displays the reasoning as being due to DMCA claims, the RIAA does not make a claim of copyright infringement but instead of violation of US copyright law. The notice specifically refers to three copyright music videos by Icona Pop, Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift, whom are all represented by RIAA.
Although a partial amount of the allegation appears to hold merit, that is not the sole purpose. This is as activists, content creators and historians have proved to widely use the tool for its valid archival purpose too. The Electronic Frontier Foundation named the RIAA’s notice a “ disappointing and counterproductive move”.
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