The renowned open-source video download tool, YouTube-dl, has had its official websites https://yt-dl.org/ and https://youtube-dl.org/ blocked. The server host, Uberspace, has restricted access to the sites, complying with a court order.
This incident stems from record companies’ legal action against YouTube-dl, one of the most popular video downloaders, which allows users to download videos and audios from YouTube and other platforms. The record companies allege that YouTube-dl has violated encryption measures, leading to the permanent preservation and redistribution of their copyrighted content, an act they classify as infringement.
In October 2020, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sent a DMCA request to GitHub, resulting in the deletion of the YouTube-dl repository. This action led to outrage among fans, many of whom created countless YouTube-dl repositories to defy GitHub. In response, GitHub warned that continued creation of YouTube-dl repositories could lead to account suspension, sparking even more controversy. Eventually, after re-evaluating the DMCA request and YouTube-dl, GitHub restored the repository.
The record companies, undeterred by their setback in the U.S., continued their legal battle. Sony, Warner, and Universal Music sued YouTube-dl’s server host, Uberspace, in Germany, accusing them of fostering infringement.
At the end of July, Uberspace complied with the court ruling and blocked access to the aforementioned websites, with current attempts to visit resulting in a denial of access notice.
For the YouTube-dl project, this isn’t a significant problem since access through GitHub can resolve many issues. Moreover, Uberspace is only a server host, and a server switch could easily fix the situation.
However, the inability to access these two domains does pose new challenges, especially as many online tutorials reference downloads from YouTube-dl’s official websites, using install commands that fetch content from https://yt-dl.org/. With the domain now inaccessible and content undownloadable, users may face usage problems.
If users encounter such issues, they are advised to manually download from GitHub: https://github.com/ytdl-org/youtube-dl
The following original YouTube-dl official website download and install commands are now inactive:
sudo curl -L https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -o /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl sudo wget https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -O /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl