GitHub reinstates video YouTube downloading tool that can be misused to steal content

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GitHub has reinstated YouTube-DL, an open-source tool used for downloading YouTube videos.  The Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) had asked GitHub to disable access to the app, taking the position that people could use it to to save copyrighted music illegally.

Journalists counter-argue that the tool can be used to identify content for take-down.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation says that downloading is valuable to people without reliable Internet access and for educators.

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Read further details in The Verge

Why it matters

Downloading, of course, is one of many ways that pirates use to obtain content to re-distribute illegally.

Another issue is that of Fair Use.  While Piracy Monitor won’t get into the battle between Fair Use and the infringing use of content, we can see both sides of the matter.  Creative professionals (and media conglomerates) want to protect the value of their creations (and assets).  On the other hand, if a consumer wants content for personal use and has no intention to redistribute it, that’s permissible – this was settled years ago, in the days of VCRs.

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