On October 28, following a removal notice from the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA, one of the most well-known pieces of YouTube video download tools, youtube-dl, was removed from GitHub.
The official youtube-dl and its forked repository were immediately complied with by Microsoft owned GitHub and disabled as a DMCA takedown within 24 hours. Multiple forked private and public repositories containing the source code of the original youtube-dl project were also withdrawn.
RIAA alleged that the technologies used by the YouTube-dl repository breached section 1201 of copyright laws to unlawfully access licensed content.
The note also said that as examples of music users might download, the tool’s creators used copyrighted songs from artists such as Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Charlie XCX. It also cited a German court decision in favor of the takedown.
The DMCA removal request put up on the website also says that without their permission, the tool is intended to “reproduce and distribute” music videos and sound recordings owned by RIAA member companies.
It is difficult to refute the potential misuse of such a piracy tool, but individuals using the tool for other purposes, such as uploading or archiving, pointed out that any Internet browser may be used to open YouTube and download videos via developer tools and should be subject to the same scrutiny. No announcement on the matter has been released by GitHub yet.
There is always the option of legally uploading YouTube videos or buying the $12 / month premium YouTube subscription that includes background play, ad-free experience, unlimited access to YouTube Songs, and originals from YouTube.