GitHub, a Microsoft-owned code hosting platform particularly used by developers, has taken down the source code of a popular YouTube video download tool citing a request from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Several YouTubers who were using YouTube-DL code extensively to download or archive their own videos have expressed their disapproval of the takedown and questioned its legality. The text of the RIAA request that now covers the code page of YouTube-DL on GitHub, says that the tool is “clearly meant to circumvent the technological protection measures used by authorised streaming services such as YouTube”.
The DMCA takedown request put up on the website also says that the tool is meant to “reproduce and distribute” music videos and sound recordings owned by RIAA member companies without their authorisation. The RIAA particularly pointed out three music videos as examples that, according to the association, were being copied and distributed