In October 2020, the RIAA caused outrage by taking down YouTube-ripping tool youtube-dl from GitHub.
The RIAA cited the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA, claiming that the tool could be used to download their artists’ musical works from YouTube, in breach of copyright.
With little supporting case law in the United States, the RIAA referenced a decision from the Hamburg Regional Court in a similar case, which found that YouTube’s “rolling cipher” should be considered an effective technological protection measure under EU law. Any attempt to circumvent it, therefore, would amount to infringement.
Nevertheless, GitHub later restored the software and placed $1m in a takedown defense fund.
Threats Were Also Sent to Others
While the RIAA’s effort to take down…