YouTube is one of the most popular and used Internet platforms in the world. Part of this success is due to the large amount of music content that is obviously protected by copyright, but on the other hand it is also due to the large number of videos of all kinds that are not protected by copyright and that is probably most of the material available on YouTube.

However, GitHub has removed 18 projects that used the youtube-dl code, a Python library so popular that you have probably used a program or application that requires youtube-dl without your knowing it, since it is the code that basically allows you to download YouTube videos from the platform without problems or mishaps.

Why did GitHub close these repositories?

The reason is legal, and is that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) which claims to represent artists such as Taylos Swift, Justin Timberlake and many more highly popular, filed a lawsuit requesting the removal of these repositories due to the violation copyright.

In a statement the RIAA mentions the following:

“The above list includes a representative sample of youtube-dl forks from the youtube-dl source code that is hosted on GitHub. Based on our review of the representative sample mentioned above, we believe in good faith that most youtube-dl forks are infringing to the same extent as the main repository.

The clear purpose of this source code is to (i) circumvent the technological protection measures used by authorized streaming services such as YouTube, and (ii) reproduce and distribute music videos and sound recordings owned by our member companies without authorization for such use. We note that the source code is described on GitHub as “a command line program for downloading videos from YouTube.com and a few other sites.”

We cannot deny that the RIAA is correct in arguing that many of these programs have the ability to bypass these security measures in copyrighted content, what is interesting is that their decision harms millions of people who do not violate the copyright laws. copyright when using these types of programs.

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GitHub has the power to reestablish these repositories in the event of a counterclaim claiming that the youtube-dl code is not exactly a copyright hazard on the platform, but no such thing has happened so far.

Should you worry?

Although the RIAA’s reason for closing these repositories is totally understandable, the organization is seeking to “cover the sun with a finger”, as this does not mean that users will no longer have tools to download YouTube videos, that is, the repositories will be have been removed, but there are many other hosted projects beyond GitHub that use these lines of code from youtube-dl.

If you already have a program or application that uses youtube-dl to download YouTube videos, don’t worry, it will continue to work normally, the only problem would be that YouTube will make changes to the platform that make youtube-dl not work correctly, without However, that does not mean that the developer community that has been working with this repository for years cannot find a solution to a problem that seems more of a fad than a solution.