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German courts order youtube-dl software site taken down

by on05 April 2023

Sony, Warner and Universal get legal lebensraum

A German court has ordered hosting provider Uberspace to take the website of the open-source youtube-dl software offline. The ruling results from a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Sony, Warner, and Universal last year. Uberspace will appeal the verdict and meanwhile, youtube-dl's code remains available on GitHub.

Hamburg’s district court gave the music companies a victory and they issued a press release, stating that Uberspace must take youtube-dl's website offline.

According to Frances Moore, CEO of the global music industry group IFPI, the court's decision once again confirms that stream-ripping software is illegal and claimed that YouTube-DL's services enabled users to stream rip and download copyrighted music without paying.

Uberspace's legal representative German Society for Civil Rights (GFF) said the decision doesn't come as a total surprise since the court already declared YouTube's "rolling cypher" to be an effective technical protection measure in an earlier case.

However, what is worrying is that the defence believes that the order is a blanket ban on youtube-dl, and failed to consider the software's potentially legitimate uses.

In addition, GFF believes that the court's decision severely restricts the hosting provider's freedom to operate.

"If web hosts have to delete an entire website on demand of the rightsholders even in complex situations with no legal precedent, this poses a threat to the business model of web hosts and ultimately to the free flow of information on the Internet," the GFF said.

Uberspace says it will appeal the judgement and GFF is confident the hosting provider will ultimately prevail.


Last modified on 05 April 2023
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