Yout, a popular stream-ripping site, is appealing a court decision that found it in violation of the DMCA's anti-circumvention provision, according to a report on Torrentfreak. The site is receiving support from GitHub and EFF, who argue that the site has many legitimate uses and does not circumvent YouTube's technological protection measures.
Yout allows users to download videos and audio tracks from platforms like YouTube. The site's software relies on the open-source project youtube-dl, which enables users to download videos despite YouTube's lack of a download button. Yout claims that it does not break any laws and that it has many legitimate uses, such as for education, journalism, and human rights.
Why the RIAA suing Yout?
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade group that represents the interests of the music industry. The RIAA claims that Yout violates the DMCA's anti-circumvention provision by providing users with an easy way to download video and audio from platforms like YouTube.
The RIAA argues that Yout circumvents YouTube's technological protection measures, and as a result, it infringes on the rights of music labels and artists. The RIAA has used DMCA
takedown notices to remove many of Yout's appearances in Google
's search results.
Yout Fights Court Decision
Yout filed a lawsuit against the RIAA in 2020, asking a Connecticut district court to declare that its site does not violate the DMCA's anti-circumvention provision. The district court dismissed the case in favor of the RIAA
, stating that Yout failed to demonstrate that it did not circumvent YouTube's technological protection measures.
Yout's operator, Johnathan Nader, has appealed the district court's decision. Nader's attorneys filed their opening brief last week at the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The appeal aims to reverse the lower court's ruling, which found Yout in violation of the DMCA's anti-circumvention provision.
Github & EFF: DMCA Criminalizes Devs and Creators
Yout is not the only party calling for a reversal of the lower court's decision. Microsoft
's GitHub and The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have submitted amicus briefs that argue for the same.
GitHub warns that the lower court's expansive interpretation of the DMCA threatens to criminalize the work of many other developers, and points out that there are many other software tools that affect how users experience online websites, such as browser extensions, screen readers, ad blockers, and media players.
The EFF points out that video creators, educators, journalists, and human rights organizations all depend on the ability to make copies of user-uploaded videos.
The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has yet to decide whether to uphold or reverse the lower court's decision. The outcome of the case could have significant implications for the future of stream-ripping sites and other software tools that enable users to download or modify online content. Yout hopes that the court will recognize its legal rights and the value of its service to the public.
GitHub-Based Pirate Bay Mirror Beats Police Takedown with DMCA Counternotice
In another case with GitHub-involvement, the operator of GitHub-hosted Pirate Bay-mirror The Proxy Bay fought back with a formal DMCA counternotice, arguing that no copyrighted material was hosted on the site. Subsequently, GitHub decided to restore the domain due to the successful counternotice, although the reinstatement could have been avoided as the counternotice had listed the wrong domain name.
Tip of the day: It's a good idea to backup your computer on a regular basis, and the most fool-proof way is to manually create a disk image and save it to an external hard drive.