Software A is designed to download videos from server S; software B as well.
How can A be considered as “circumventing a technical measure” while B isn’t?

(With A = youtube-dl and B = Firefox, say.)

Firefox/youtube-dl is an example I took last week in an OS class to illustrate that anything a user-space program can do, any other user-space program (and the user themself!) can do it as well. There’s no magic.


One possible answer: because the decision is arbitrary. There's a list of “good” software and a list of “bad” software.

@civodul There’s a big difference between A and B.
B can afford good lawyers to fight back; A is a community driven project with no financial backing so can be trivially bullied into submission even when abuser has dubious legal grounds.

@civodul Because the law makes a rediculous distinction between "downloading" and "streaming".

@civodul I think you're imagining a world of reason and justice that has never existed. If Wall Street decides that letting jerkwater industries like "recorded music" push around the big-tech golden goose, then this effort will succeed. If Wall Street decides that this is bullshit, then it will go away. The end.

@alrs @civodul that is frighteningly accurate. our fate is in the hands of two bad guys, neither of which is worth rooting for, but one of which in this case will be on our side. the new feudalism

@civodul Do you remember when LimeWire was sued and went down?

Being right and winning a legal case are two different things.

@civodul Our generation did not yet succeed at fixing copyright, and our technical solutions are failing again and again — they take down our solutions with legislative attacks whenever they become too widespread.

@civodul wait, how can you use firefox to download from youtube??

@honiden Firefox can only display a video if it has downloaded it. That it doesn’t store the video on your hard disk is an “implementation detail”.

@civodul in short: intent.

Ages ago I remember reading this article about "the color of bits" that's a good explanation of the logic at play here:

The law is not limited to considering computers only as silicon and software; it looks at the context that system exists in.

(not that i want to defending copyright law! i also think taking down youtube-dl is ridiculous.)

@lm Well, I think member companies just put unreasonable trust in YouTube/Google. Fundamentally, YouTube serves videos to the world, so there are no “technical measures” that can let it serve videos but “only if the user doesn’t keep them on their disk”.

In a way, RIAA is a victim: Google lied if it said it could prevent that.

(I like that phrase, “RIAA is a victim”. :-))

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