#314 What is Codeberg thinking of the DMCA takedown?

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opened 1 month ago by 6543 · 15 comments
6543 commented 1 month ago
Collaborator

short sad story: youtube-dl is gone from github.com

https://github.com/ytdl-org/youtube-dl

there is a discusion for NewPipe to migrate ...

... so how Codeberg in general would be afected by this type of "issue"

short sad story: youtube-dl is gone from github.com https://github.com/ytdl-org/youtube-dl there is a discusion for NewPipe to migrate ... ... so how Codeberg in general would be afected by this type of "issue"
6543 added the
question
label 1 month ago
Poster

The usual disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice!

If you ask me, it's very simple: To Codeberg, German law applies. So if a repository contains a clear violation of German law and Codeberg is notified about that, it must be taken down with regards to NetzDG. EDIT: It appears NetzDG does not apply to small sites under 2 million users. It's complicated, I don't know for sure...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but youtube-dl seems to quite clearly come into conflict with §95a UrhG. While I personally think that particular law paragraph is an unjust limitation of individual liberty, that is only a justification to attempt to democratically change the law, not to violate it. As long as that law is in place, we have to follow it, whether we like it or not.

CC @hw - You're in charge, so, with regard of the above: What is our official stance on youtube-dl mirrors on Codeberg?

The usual disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice! If you ask me, it's very simple: To Codeberg, German law applies. So if a repository contains a clear violation of German law and Codeberg is notified about that, ~~it must be taken down with regards to NetzDG.~~ EDIT: It appears NetzDG does not apply to small sites under 2 million users. It's complicated, I don't know for sure... Correct me if I'm wrong, but youtube-dl seems to quite clearly come into conflict with §95a UrhG. While I personally think that particular law paragraph is an unjust limitation of individual liberty, that is only a justification to attempt to democratically change the law, not to violate it. As long as that law is in place, we have to follow it, whether we like it or not. CC @hw - You're in charge, so, with regard of the above: What is our official stance on youtube-dl mirrors on Codeberg?
lhinderberger added the
legal
label 1 month ago
Poster

By the way, it looks like this could be the LG Hamburg court decision that people are talking about: https://dejure.org/dienste/vernetzung/rechtsprechung?Gericht=LG%20Hamburg&Datum=19.07.2017&Aktenzeichen=308%20O%20230/17

Especially worth reading with regards to §95a UrhG is Entscheidungsgründe part II 1.b)

If I have understood this correctly, it seems the judges have decided that YouTube's content URL obfuscation is an effective protection mechanism with regards to §95a UrhG.

Please read that verdict and also read §95a(3) UrhG.

If you ask me, as a layman, after reading both of these, I highly doubt we're allowed to host youtube-dl and similar software.

By the way, it looks like this could be the LG Hamburg court decision that people are talking about: https://dejure.org/dienste/vernetzung/rechtsprechung?Gericht=LG%20Hamburg&Datum=19.07.2017&Aktenzeichen=308%20O%20230/17 Especially worth reading with regards to §95a UrhG is Entscheidungsgründe part II 1.b) **If** I have understood this correctly, it seems the judges have decided that YouTube's content URL obfuscation is an effective protection mechanism with regards to §95a UrhG. Please read that verdict and also read §95a(3) UrhG. If you ask me, as a layman, after reading both of these, I highly doubt we're allowed to host youtube-dl and similar software.
ojn commented 1 month ago
Poster

There were some discussions on HN that even a fork of y'dl now would be tainted in the eyes of US legal system because of the practices of using certain URLs from youtube.

@6543 @lhinderberger @hw what are your thoughts on that?

In my eyes it's a terrible blow to the digital freedoms on the Web and Internet at large. DMCA shouldn't affect the european legislature but the the Bern convention still stands.

The code was published on the Internet "simultaneously" (is defined as "within 30 days")

the right to make adaptations and arrangements of y'dl code while not violating the copyright rules can't be taken away even in this case. Regardless that some US judges might disagree and blatainly would like to hinder its' publication online, it is not of our concern in Europe (well for democratic countries that is).

from wikipedia: a U.S. court "concluded that a work created outside of the United States, uploaded in Australia and owned by a company registered in Finland was nonetheless a U.S. work by virtue of its being published online". However other U.S. courts in similar situations have reached different conclusions

There were some discussions on HN that even a fork of y'dl now would be tainted in the eyes of US legal system because of the practices of using certain URLs from youtube. @6543 @lhinderberger @hw what are your thoughts on that? In my eyes it's a terrible blow to the digital freedoms on the Web and Internet at large. DMCA shouldn't affect the european legislature but the [the Bern convention](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Literary_and_Artistic_Works#Applicability) still stands. The code was published on the Internet "simultaneously" (is defined as "within 30 days") **the right to make adaptations and arrangements** of y'dl code while not violating the copyright rules can't be taken away even in this case. Regardless that some US judges might disagree and blatainly would like to hinder its' publication online, it is not of our concern in Europe (well for democratic countries that is). > from wikipedia: a U.S. court "concluded that a work created outside of the United States, uploaded in Australia and owned by a company registered in Finland was nonetheless a U.S. work by virtue of its being published online". However other U.S. courts in similar situations have reached different conclusions
Poster

DMCA shouldn't affect the european legislature

German law forbids circumvention of copy protection too (§95a UrhG).

@6543 @lhinderberger @hw what are your thoughts on that?

As stated above, my layman opinion is that it's probably not legal to host software circumventing YouTube's URL obfuscation, based upon that court decision I linked above.

It would be good though to have an official answer from @hw regarding the way we want to react to Youtube downloaders of any sort here on Codeberg.

> DMCA shouldn't affect the european legislature German law forbids circumvention of copy protection too (§95a UrhG). > @6543 @lhinderberger @hw what are your thoughts on that? As stated above, my layman opinion is that it's probably not legal to host software circumventing YouTube's URL obfuscation, based upon that court decision I linked above. It would be good though to have an official answer from @hw regarding the way we want to react to Youtube downloaders of any sort here on Codeberg.
ojn commented 1 month ago
Poster

Despite the name, this software is not just for youtube, but for many other video sites as well.
As far as I understood, they were using these "copy protection" url's for testing (not all of youtubes urls are that), removing such part fixes the issue. Then again, the name itself is probably international trademark violation so the potentiall fork should be called something else. I do agree that as it stands now it probably can't be hosted here, but the clean forks shouldn't be affected by DMCA or coming rulings in american federal court. That's just my opinion. Codeberg might need to do a legal consultation on this.

Despite the name, this software is not just for youtube, but for many other video sites as well. As far as I understood, they were using these "copy protection" url's for testing (not all of youtubes urls are that), removing such part fixes the issue. Then again, the name itself is probably international trademark violation so the potentiall fork should be called something else. I do agree that as it stands now it probably can't be hosted here, but the clean forks shouldn't be affected by DMCA or coming rulings in american federal court. That's just my opinion. Codeberg might need to do a legal consultation on this.
hw commented 1 month ago
Poster
Owner

@all : let's collect some material in this thread then we can prepare a posting to clarify our position.

A relevant section for discussion seems in particular Section 103(f) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (17 USC § 1201 (f) - Reverse Engineering), this explicitly states that it is legal to reverse engineer and circumvent the protection to achieve interoperability between computer programs (such as information transfer between applications). Interoperability is defined in paragraph 4 of Section 103(f).

Similar clauses exists in German/EU law, need to find it again.

@all : let's collect some material in this thread then we can prepare a posting to clarify our position. A relevant section for discussion seems in particular Section 103(f) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (17 USC § 1201 (f) - Reverse Engineering), this explicitly states that it is legal to reverse engineer and circumvent the protection to achieve interoperability between computer programs (such as information transfer between applications). Interoperability is defined in paragraph 4 of Section 103(f). Similar clauses exists in German/EU law, need to find it again.
Poster

How is that relevant when there's already a German court ruling in a Youtube downloader case?

How is that relevant when there's already a German court ruling in a Youtube downloader case?
qorg11 commented 1 month ago
Poster

So we're good or not

So we're good or not
hw commented 1 month ago
Poster
Owner

It might insofar be relevant that interoperability with pure FOSS devices is impossible without such tools: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/whats-wrong-with-youtube.html.en

(the argument was obv irrelevant for commercial/freemium/ad-serving download services in the Hamburg and Munich provincial court rulings).

It might insofar be relevant that interoperability with pure FOSS devices is impossible without such tools: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/whats-wrong-with-youtube.html.en (the argument was obv irrelevant for commercial/freemium/ad-serving download services in the Hamburg and Munich provincial court rulings).
basxto commented 1 month ago
Poster

It’s revelant in the sense, that youtube-dl is despite it’s name far more than a youtube downloader.
It supports jamendo, German public broadcasting, BBC, tons of porn sites etc.
Programs like mpv use it for buffering the video stream, without properly downloading them. And keeping it temporarily in memory does not count as a copy afaik.

It’s a great alternative for websites with custom players with bad usability.

edit: The court ruling is about a website, which converts (only) youtube videos to audio files and then redistributes them.

It’s revelant in the sense, that youtube-dl is despite it’s name far more than a youtube downloader. It supports jamendo, German public broadcasting, BBC, tons of porn sites etc. Programs like mpv use it for buffering the video stream, without properly downloading them. And keeping it temporarily in memory does not count as a copy afaik. It’s a great alternative for websites with custom players with bad usability. **edit:** The court ruling is about a website, which converts (only) youtube videos to audio files and then redistributes them.
ccoenen commented 1 month ago
Poster

("I am not a lawyer" applies!)

If the question is: "is this particular dmca applicable to codeberg" then it's easy: it is not. The RIAA would have to issue one to codeberg, and they would have to have one specific to the german jurisdiction (both are possible, but both is not the case right now).

The interesting question is "What would codeberg do", i.e. where is the line drawn when inevitably the first letter of this kind, applicable to german law, is received? There are essentially two-ish ways that I see:

a) you can simply comply and then it's not your problem any more. (with the obvious problem that this will create overblocking and generally lets "the big guys" win).

b1) you try to fight them off on formal reasons (not sure if this is really applicable here, but on grounds of copyright violations, this is often the easiest route out. This will probably already involve legal counsel and will likely cost a three-digit amount of money.

b2) you go to court (which also involves legal counsel, and will cost at least as much as b1).

In case of youtube-dl, this might be easily decided, because that is a high-profile project that is worth fighting for, and that has a lot of legal uses. So "what would codeberg do" is not only "... this time", but also where is the line between joe-shmoe's hackety-hack script collection and huge-but-not-part-of-any-foundation project?

So, if a statement is drafted, that's what I think should be in it. This does not mean that these questions must have a well-defined answer already, but maybe some approximation.

This is also a thing we've seen (on a different level, from a different angle) with email providers and subpoenas for personally identifiable information. Some providers fight those off regularly (mostly on formal grounds), others just comply 100% of the time.

("I am not a lawyer" applies!) If the question is: "is this particular dmca applicable to codeberg" then it's easy: it is not. The RIAA would have to issue one to codeberg, and they would have to have one specific to the german jurisdiction (both are possible, but both is not the case right now). The interesting question is "What would codeberg do", i.e. where is the line drawn when inevitably the first letter of this kind, applicable to german law, is received? There are essentially two-ish ways that I see: a) you can simply comply and then it's not your problem any more. (with the obvious problem that this will create overblocking and generally lets "the big guys" win). b1) you try to fight them off on formal reasons (not sure if this is _really_ applicable here, but on grounds of copyright violations, this is often the easiest route out. This will probably already involve legal counsel and will likely cost a three-digit amount of money. b2) you go to court (which also involves legal counsel, and will cost at least as much as b1). In case of youtube-dl, this might be easily decided, because that is a high-profile project that is worth fighting for, and that has a lot of legal uses. So "what would codeberg do" is not only "... this time", but also where is the line between joe-shmoe's hackety-hack script collection and huge-but-not-part-of-any-foundation project? So, if a statement is drafted, that's what I _think_ should be in it. This does not mean that these questions must have a well-defined answer already, but maybe some approximation. This is also a thing we've seen (on a different level, from a different angle) with email providers and subpoenas for personally identifiable information. Some providers fight those off regularly (mostly on formal grounds), others just comply 100% of the time.
hw commented 1 month ago
Poster
Owner

It might insofar be relevant that interoperability with pure FOSS devices is impossible without such tools: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/whats-wrong-with-youtube.html.en

[clarification wrt the GNU interpretation here: proprietary JS execution is considered non-free by FSF]

> It might insofar be relevant that interoperability with pure FOSS devices is impossible without such tools: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/whats-wrong-with-youtube.html.en [clarification wrt the GNU interpretation here: proprietary JS execution is considered non-free by FSF]
hw commented 1 month ago
Poster
Owner

For Codeberg e.V. members, a draft is in Codeberg/Discussion#19. Please review+comment.

ETA for posting EOD tomorrow.

For Codeberg e.V. members, a draft is in https://codeberg.org/Codeberg/Discussion/issues/19. Please review+comment. ETA for posting EOD tomorrow.
6543 commented 1 month ago
Poster
Collaborator

since there is https://blog.codeberg.org/on-the-youtube-dl-dmca-takedown.html now - I'll close this

if someone still have remaining questions, just ask for reopen this issue :)

since there is https://blog.codeberg.org/on-the-youtube-dl-dmca-takedown.html now - I'll close this if someone still have remaining questions, just ask for reopen this issue :)
6543 closed this issue 1 month ago
hw commented 1 month ago
Poster
Owner

thank you

thank you
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