GitHub has announced, via its blog, that it has reinstated youtube-dl’s repository after it was subject to a DMCA takedown. The Microsoft-owned site said that it understood frustrations surrounding the takedown but that it was just complying with the law. It said its reinstatement was due to new information that showed youtube-dl does not circumvent a technical protection measure (TPM).
According to GitHub, when it receives a DMCA notice, it gives projects the chance to remove the infringing content. An owner of one of the forks submitted a patch which addressed concerns raised in the DMCA and this repo was reinstated. GitHub reinstated the main youtube-dl repo after receiving evidence from the Electronic Frontier Foundation which highlighted that the program doesn’t violate the Copyright Act or the DMCA.
Most of the youtube-dl forks that were cited in the DMCA notice are still inaccessible but GitHub says it’s going to check each of projects to see whether they do circumvent a technical protection measure or not.
Going forward, GitHub will take an active role in trying to improve the law when it comes to these types of matters so software developers have a bit more freedom. It’s also donating $1 million to a developer defence fund to help protect open source developers on GitHub from unwarranted DMCA Section 1201 takedown claims.