RIAA youtube-dl takedown

Dear peeps,
I’m interested in your thoughts about this.

I’ve seen a lot of backlash over this in other circles. I’m sure there are strong opinions here too. Honestly, I don’t know the legal technicalities. But it seems that the cards are stacked in favor of the powers that be.


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Hi Dan! Personal opinion here:

It’s disproportionate to ‘ban’ tools like these. Once something is ‘out there’, and a platform allowed it to go ‘out there’ without decent reward for creators it is digitally public. Criminalising the devs or maintainers of the tools isn’t the way to go.

There are copyright laws and important ‘right to be forgotten’ protections which govern what people do with material they download and personal information they manage.

A lot of this is property law. Somehow property law is allowed to eclipse basic fairness and even human rights. If folks were to abide by basic principles of human decency and dignity in reward for effort and creativity, and honest attribution, there would not be a problem. Unfortunately, property law doesn’t help here.

It drives complexity and futile expense in digital rights management or disproportionate attempts by platforms and big rights owners to ban tools which are mostly in legitimate use, but are inevitably abused, in contravention of decent behaviour.

Sometimes it’s better to reinforce good behaviours and make it easy for folks to comply… an easy API, a fair download fee and a no onward sharing agreement. If there’s an agreement between parties, in most cases people stick to it. People know when they are cheating. If the platform commoditises the content so much that people no longer care they are cheating, then everyone loses, except the platform owners. If there’s a human connection between artist and listener, people are generally decent, and the few that aren’t are seen for what they are.

Monetise the API at the YouTube end, license for free journalism use? Pay a decent amount to the artist for the download. Ask for better authentication before download. Or put a big fat advert in the middle of it for those who don’t want to pay.

Sorry for the long ramble, I think this is a great topic. Personally, I think the RIAA have the wrong target: not the small, go instead for the big guys who devalue the content, like YouTube.

I’m not an artist… probably more of an IT guy so please forgive any of my bias… Happy to be corrected.

(Personal opinion only)

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Thank you for this great reply.

You touched on some good points that I didn’t really consider related at first (i.e. right to be forgotten). I guess the good news is that GitHub decided to put it back up. And like you say, they claim that the action targeted the wrong group. (In their case, the devs.)

Your point about people knowing when they are cheating is a good one. But the article you link is really good. I don’t get the sense that the RIAA actually is after cheaters. I get the feeling that they are exerting control over those who would lawfully use the product outside the confines of DRM. Saying they are after cheaters (IMHO) is a ruse.

This is why I like Resonate. I don’t get the feeling that I am a product here, or that the Resonate community will ever try to exert control over me or the artists in service to disconnected shareholders or the board of directors.

Thanks again, brother.


Thank you Dan. That means a lot to me. We all own this service together and share in what we collectively put in. Please spread the word among any journalist and developer colleagues about what we are trying to do here! See the latest from us all on this: Resonate Response to the UK Government inquiry into impact of streaming on future of music industry