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Music industry is suing youtube-dl hosters (i-n24.com)
617 points by 2pEXgD0fZ5cF 13 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 407 comments

I’m confused by their obsession with youtube-dl. I don’t really know anyone that pirates music, seems like streaming has really solved that with ad-supported listening. The common cases for using youtube-dl, as I understand, is for archival (mostly non-music), watching videos content out of the browser (also mostly non-music), and derivative works purposes.

It's about control. As a user agent, youtube-dl acts in our behalf in order to do what we want and protect our interests. That's why they hate it. It's the antithesis of everything they want: something that acts on their behalf, does what they want and protects their interests.

If something gives us any power at all, they'll sue it into oblivion.

This sounds like you're describing an evil AI rather than a bunch of humans. I think a simpler explanation might be that they either don't understand that youtube-dl isn't a threat to them, or that OC is wrong and it actually is a threat in some way. I don't think they're sitting at a board room table saying "We cannot let them have freedom, we must control everything they do".

> This sounds like you're describing an evil AI

Yes, they're called "corporations". We used to have software that helped keep their incentives aligned with those of the species, or at least those of Americans, but the Citizens United decision and the end of Glass-Steagall EOLed that stuff without an upgrade path - I blame Google lobbyists, that's just their style - and we've spent the last couple decades finding out why that maybe wasn't such a great idea.

The more likely explanation is that they originally formed teams to address this problem, teams that are now left with a choice between twiddling their thumbs and this.

Yeah, they really jumped the shark with that release. The meta has been changing drastically, and I don't know if the dev team really is interested in patching it back up.

Corporations have no minds and have no hands. They cannot think, decide, or act. Every action undertaken by a corporation was performed by a human being (or programmed by a human being).

Corporate "speech" is still just human rights to free expression. Corporations have nothing to say without humans.

> Corporations have no minds

I'm really interested in this view. I suspect that at a large enough size, organisations can absolutely have an emergent... "nature", which is not only characteristic of that organisation, but largely independent of its constituents (the humans). I introduce into evidence the Roman Catholic Church. It is so large, so entrenched in its ways, that it is extremely highly unlikely that an individual within it (including the pope) can substantially change the character of the organisation.

I have a personal belief that humans are to very large organisations (incl. nation states) as cells are to higher-order creatures. Once a large enough organisation has "matured", humans entering the organisation adapt themselves to it (probably subconsciously), and the organisation's unique culture survives.

It's called culture and large groups of humans are known to experience it.

It's different from culture. A culture makes everyone think in a similar way, there is one role: a participant of it. A corporation doesn't have to make everyone think the same, because it has many roles and written processes and KPIs which modulate anyone taking a role into a gear that rotates accordingly to the big schema. Corporations may have culture and it may be definitive, but it's not only that.

You should just google the definition of culture. Lots of work has been done to study culture at numerous levels from nations to corporations to small communities. It's called anthropology.

If you're actually curious, you should actually read papers and studies. This HN trend of ignorantly waxing philosophically about some topic adds no value to anyone's mind.

I'm not actually curious about definitions out there. And it's not HN trend, it's me. I see and experience both everyday cultures and everyday corporations, whatever meaning these words have for me, and compare them to each other. It doesn't require anything special beyond comparison skills. If you don't agree, fine, if you don't want to message a key mistake I maybe made, okay. If you want to take a complex definition and stretch it over a non-phd one to get my non-phd answer, okay. But you should know that patronizingly referencing to "lots of work" never works in a discussion or as an explanation. Maybe there is a work on such discussions, if you actually care.

But anyway, I just googled it:

- the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively

- the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society

- all the ways of life including arts, beliefs and institutions of a population that are passed down from generation to generation

- an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups

It has little in common with what I described, namely written (managed, on purpose, situational) processes and KPIs, which force people to act as they do, and are not inherent to them.

If you have a specific interest, you should just research it. The world is a very big place and lots of smart people have already gathered evidence to answer questions about pretty much anything. Talking on a forum is fun but collectively, we're idiots and we're not going to teach you much of anything.

It's great that you have questions, but you actually have to follow it up with research and learning if you care. From the comments you posted, I get the impression you haven't spent 1 hour googling answers to your questions. That sends me the impression, you don't really care, you just like hearing yourself think.

Maybe, but it's more complicated than that. I was pissed off yesterday, sorry if my tone sounded worse than it should have been.

My reluctance against your suggestion is based not on my interest or lack thereof^. I've had this sort of discussions many times before, and usually people split into two categories: those who correct or argue directly, in short and precise argument, and those who refer to unnamed sources throughout the thread. From the first group you learn quickly, and consistently, and they leave no aftertaste, even if you feel "defeated", because their argument sends a strong educational message. The second is a potential time spoil. I've read "some works" before, and in most cases (or it's perceived as such) it turned out that that guy meant just a slightly different meaning, or an interpretation of that author, which is different from a common sense around a specific term, or simply they missed a big chunk of a message and pressed on a non- point, or were primarily just a narcissist troll. I can remember the last time I constructively "just went" and read a book on some Buddhism downstream, after an argument with one guy who claimed that it's very rational and isn't just a cool story (the topic was that one of their prophets arrived in my country). I downloaded it, read a preface and 20 minutes later it already narrated magic forest experiences and spirits who messaged truth to the prophet. Same story with Islam followers, sometimes they are talking nonsense and refer to Qur'an, which I've already read in seven translations, including interpreting one, with cancelled ayat remarks, and often I know surah and ayat range they're talking about right away. (Edit: I just noticed that both cases are about religion, which is known to be "hot", but it doesn't end with religion, it just happens to bring brightest examples.)

I'm not saying that you're not right, but it's statistically nonsensical to follow your vague suggestions to go read on a field. That is why it will never work, and you will think that these lazy careless STEM guys portray some trend. It's a trust issue, not an issue with my desire (or lack of it, which is the case) to learn something regardless of who my opponent is. I simply can't trust few hours of my life to every other guy on the internet, if they don't provide a good enough argument to do that.

^ which I already claimed non-existent, it feels like you don't like to read comments at all

This is just unfortunately the default state for STEM-trained individuals (disclaimer: I am one of these).

May I rephrase your statement slightly?

Humans have no nucleus, no mitochondria, no golgi apparatus. They cannot transcribe RNA or respirate or activate neurons. Every action undertaken by a human was performed by a cell (or an agglomeration of cells) within it.

Human "action" is just the emergent properties of cells. Humans can do nothing without cells.

Humans have mass, corporations do not.

There is a fundamental difference in the concept of an entity that exists as a whole, and a legal construct that is purely an economic allocation abstraction.

Nations aren't real either.

Cells have mass, humans do not.

There is a fundamental difference between the basic building blocks of life and a convenient term for an ambulatory hallucinating collection of them.

This can go on. Do you not see the flaw in your argument?

There is an interesting talk 'Dude, You Broke the Future'[0] in which speaker compares corporations to 'paperclip maximizer' AI which could destroy us with their sole gole of maximizing profits (or paperclips)

0: https://media.ccc.de/v/34c3-9270-dude_you_broke_the_future

A group of people takes on a hive mind aligned with the interest of the corporation and the corporate bureaucracy manages the hands that act on its behalf with an incentive structure.

This constitutes a separate person, legally, with liability that is not on the individual because they cannot individually control the agenda and actions of the larger corporation.

But a corporation is a legal construct, and ownership of one isn’t anymore a right than having a drivers license. I believe it’s totally within the governments rights to regulate them differently than the individual citizens comprising the corporation.

You should read Meditations on Moloch, by Scot Alexander.

And every action undertaken by humans was performed by neurons and muscle fibres.

Most people in a corporation aren't doing what they personally would like to do, but what's on the interest of the corporation and what the corporation incentives then to do. This might be at odds with the personal preferences. People's livelihood depends on the rest of the corporation remaining positive towards them and thus this bar gets moved quite far over time.

Humans have no minds or hands. They are just a collection of cells.

This is an oversimplified take, and completely glosses over macro social effects beyond "individual choice".

This is the social science equivalent of reasoning about human behavior and focusing on the behavior of individual neuron connections, or the behavior of an OS by focusing entirely on the I/O drivers - wrong scope of analysis.

I think there is a naive assumption to it that nothing other than humans had ever been proven (smarter && autonomous && self-sustaining) than a human, thus a corporate cannot be alive. I’m not sure how is this proposition remains supported and for how long.

Recommendation: read The Grapes of Wrath, chapter 5 in particular.

> I don't think they're sitting at a board room table saying "We cannot let them have freedom, we must control everything they do".

That's pretty much what they said. Not with those words but that's essentially their thought process.

> With the software, which is available on the code sharing platform Github, YouTube videos and music files can be downloaded without a web browser.

They literally want to control how you view the videos. Maybe you think YouTube sucks and would rather use mpv with youtube-dl. According to these guys, you can't because reasons nobody really cares about. It's honestly offensive enough that they think they have any say in the matter.

They want to put advertisements in videos.

If you download the videos, they can’t inject ads into them, they don’t get ad revenue, earnings decline, shareholders sell their stock, value of the stock decreases, shareholders get even more upset, stock price decreases further, execs can’t take out loans against their stock because it’s not worth enough … the cycle continues.

I don’t really think it’s about control—it’s about increasing the value of the corps stock so employees and shareholders with stock can sell it or use it as collateral for loans to buy nice things.

And to do all that, they need control.

Their stock price and shareholders are nobody's problem but theirs, none of that justifies in any way what they are doing. It's simply not acceptable to me that these people think they can decide what my computer does and doesn't display, much less what goes into my mind. Every single ad they send me gets deleted. I won't even see them because they will get filtered by uBlock Origin. They are not entitled to my attention, it is not for sale and it most definitely is not the payment for whatever content they're sending me for free. They sent me the content hoping I would look at ads but that hope failed, they need to accept that and move on, not try to destroy open source projects and own my machine so that it becomes impossible to not look at ads.

It does justify what they are doing for their shareholders, which they’re legally beholden to.

I’m not debating wether it’s moral or ethical, but if you were in their shoes trying to juice revenue to increase the value of your equity, you’d either charge a monthly fee for users to remove ads or fight like hell against people who are trying to download videos without ads.

That’s exactly what YouTube is doing.

FWIW, I can’t stand ads and I think it’s complete bullshit that they’re suing to take down youtube-dl, but they’re acting complete rational for the incentives they’re optimizing for. The problem is that optimization is at odds with users like ourselves.

This is just a conjecture, but I suspect that the number of people using YouTube DL is a tiny fraction of those using YouTube proper. Like less than 1%. The potential for revenue recovery here is tiny. And the corporate execs are surely aware that most people who use YouTube DL are likely running adblock. So I disagree that this is about revenue and support the notion that this is about control and sending a message.

This is about whether it's moral and ethical though. You can maximize revenue selling drugs, it's a quite effective method I might add. Nobody considers that acceptable.

I think copyright, advertising and surveillance capitalism are completely unacceptable practices that ought to be banned straight up. They are directly and indirectly responsible for everything that's ruining computer and internet freedom today. If we can't ban them, we should all be aiming to minimize their revenue so that they cease and desist on their own. I'd rather have the entire copyright and advertising industries implode than cede control of my computer to them.

That's what's at stake here. Computing freedom. They need to own our computers in order to stop us from doing basic things like copying and deleting data. If we don't stop them, we will lose something I think is far more valuable than a bunch of industries. We will lose computing freedom.

I don’t see a lot of ads these days, but I do find it intriguing where this technology-economy disconnects go. It feels like the triad of freemium, ad-support revenue model and adblock is slowly causing obsolescence of currency-quantized measurement of value.

Maybe this is just me getting old, maybe this is just I finally realizing the obvious that is that currency was always proof of stake and never were value representations of goods. But kind of interesting and worrying.

It's not just about ads, it's also about marketing data and privacy: if people are able to watch a local copy whenever they want, they don't even know how often it's viewed, or by whom. (Unless they're watching on a TV that has automatic content recognition turned on.)

> they can't inject ads.

They totally can, just not at a moments notice. Putting a car ad into a car video-> works. Shoutout to sponsor -> works. Putting the scam ad of the day -> doesn't work (or needs some effort).

> Putting a car ad into a car video-> works. Shoutout to sponsor -> works.

If SponsorBlock is integrated into youtube-dl, then it no longer does.

I draw the line before SponsorBlock though. While they are repetitive and irritating after a while (if I was going to join skillshare I'd have done so some time ago, kindly bugger off, etc.):

* They do directly pay the people making the content

* That income can't be taken off them by the medium (youtube usually) deciding to demonetize the content

* YT isn't even taking a cut, in fact

* Those ad placements aren't trying to stalk me around the Internet and storing every tiny bit of information about me they can glean

* Sponsorship bit are usually there because they have at least some tentative relevance to the content and the people consuming it, without the need to stalk us as we travel around the Internet

At least until such time as the video carries like youtube start inserting ads directly into video streams, then I'll reconsider. I don't block ads to block ads: I block adds as a side effect of blocking stalking behaviours, wasted bandwidth from auto-playing video, 3rd party code on otherwise half-reputable sites trying to access my camera & mic, slowing my devices via poorly optimised animations, pop-ups that may interrupt other app use away from the browser, pop-unders too, battery drain from CPU use when mobile, being forced to interact because I can't just look around or scroll past as the ad is over the content, ... If the stalky inserts start to happen then I'll react by using sponsorblock or similar.

I didn't know about that! This is awesome!

The language will be coached in terms of "protecting our rights and property"

OC is wrong.

Online ad serving is a 100 billion dollar market and it is entirely dependent on control of the client, or at least the default behavior of the client, to make it show ads and to not save the media, requiring repeat visits to show more ads. It is vital to their industry that ad systems can display ads on browser clients by default.

This is a huge part of the push toward apps - more control over clients.

If they could go after ad-block extensions in browsers they would, but this is difficult for historic and technical reasons.

Youtube-dl is a separate client with no ad-displaying ability at all. It saves the media. They're going to do their best to portray this as somehow improper because their business depends on it.

Consider this: every DVD and Blu-Ray player is working for them. It has region encoding, and a blessed DeCSS decoder. They don't mind that.

But if you build your own Blu-Ray player and distribute the plans for others to do so as well, they'll be legally on top of you in a jiffy.

YouTube-dl is like that homemade Blu-Ray player -- it's something that's working on your behalf, not theirs.

The "Evil AI" description is more accurate. Of course, individual humans aren't in a board room being evil -- but the incentives in place -- high paid lawyers, little targets that won't fight back, the ability for the little wormy people inside to show off "wins," and no clear incentive not to.

The behavior will much more resemble the "Evil AI."

Or there's some bureaucrat who needs to justify his salary and found an easy target to go after.

Evil AIs are coded by humans :)

Take a look at China’s use of AI tech.

> This sounds like you're describing an evil AI rather than a bunch of humans.

And yet... it is entirely consistent with the way the music industry has been acting for over 20 years, since the popularity of Napster.

Left to their own desires, it might as well be a cold algorithm:

    20 GOTO 10

> This sounds like you're describing an evil AI

Every corporation is exactly that. Humans are just the substrate it runs on.

I don't think such a literal boardroom discussion is necessary their resulting actions to be reasonably described as "against giving power to users".

Is it so far fetched that there are people, especially in groups, who act in extreme ways? I’m sure they are saying exactly “ We cannot let them have freedom, we must control everything they do”, because it is optimum for them to do so.

I mostly use youtube-dl for archival of public videos (predominantly some educational material and sometimes rare old tunes of performers passed away many years ago). I do that, because somehow youtube has become the de-facto storage for such material (i.e. people don't host it on their own webistes), yet often some videos/playlists disappear. This is quite annoying, because as you said I have no control on the availability of said content. To me it feels like e.g. someone accidentally or intentionally deleted all Feynman lectures from planet earth as if they never existed. So I as well ask my self what the agenda of the plaintiff may actually be and which of their short and long term interests are being harmed. One hypothesis is that there is increased migration of videos from youtube to other platforms and Youtube wants to diminish that, however they don't want to take the PR negatives for suing youtube-dl, hence somehow encourage the music industry to do this dirty job instead (the latter already has a big track record).

> To me it feels like e.g. someone accidentally or intentionally deleted all Feynman lectures from planet earth as if they never existed.

Yeah. It's like a global mass gaslighting. One day there's a video, the other day it's just gone, no mention is ever made of it again and you're expected to just accept it.

> in order to do what we want and protect our interests

Letting everyone do things in their own self interest, unchecked, is rarely found in stable societies. For example, one persons interest (getting music for free) may not align with another's (the starving artist's).

> the starving artist

The "starving" or small time artist is an excuse that is useful for corporations when they want to manipulate public opinion. No music label cares even the slightest bit about individual artists or their fair payment, they care about megahits and big sellers.

If you want to support your favourite artist that isn't already a millionaire or multi-millionare paying for spotify isn't it.

To actually support "starving artists" visit their shows, buy some merch (however even this isn't the case anymore for some) or look for independent artists on bandcamp (bandcamp takes 15% of a sold album).

If all you do is pay for spotify or something like that you are not supporting a "starving artist" any more than someone downloading the songs, maybe even less because sharing the music on the right filesharing forums might at least lead to some of the sales (merch/concert) above.

For anyone interested have a look at https://informationisbeautiful.net/2010/how-much-do-music-ar...

To add to that: Big labels hurt small time artists immensely. If you are an artist on youtube getting hit with a (false) copyright claim by a large label is a constant threat to you. It even happens to people with songs with millions of views [1]. We have reached a point where using certain chords or chord progression can get you stomped by music labels.

Music labels are not in any way friends or allys to "starving artists", only to millionaire artists.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4AeoAWGJBw

Probably merch is most effective these days? You can download a mp3, but you are never able to download a T-shirt.

But at same time, merch have higher entry gate. You are unlikely to buy a merch created for someone you don't really know. (Unless it is just good enough that you are willing to just use it like a general T-shirt...etc)

Performing has always (and should always, if you ask me) be the main avenue to make money for musicians. Music can be copied, can be covered, can be mixed etc. Chords can be guessed, copied and stolen.

But the musician herself is irreplaceable. If you want to make money by making music, be sure to develop a relationship with your audience rather than police it in order to ensure you're getting paid.

Bandcamp seems to be a reasonable way for supporting artists, at least by the er... end users of the music.

eg: https://gunshipmusic.bandcamp.com

Yes, and with Bandcamp you can leave a message to the artist when you make a payment. It feels rewarding to sometimes even recieve a personalized thank-you messages from the artist.

Then stop making music for free. Find a way to get paid before you put the work in. Because after it's been made and published, it's already over.

Computers exist and are networked. Data is trivially and infinitely copyable. The clock will not be rewound back to the dark ages where data was a finite product that people could buy and sell. No matter how much the music industry rages and sues, it won't change the fact that YouTube is just sending me data via HTTP and there's absolutely nothing they can do if I decide to redirect that data to my hard disk instead. It's up to them to adapt to their new reality. If they can't, that's their problem.

That's like finding users for your software before telling them why they would actually like to have it — nobody cares for your music before you release it unless your former albums have been real bangers.

No record label in existence would give you any money before you prooved to them somehow that you are able to do the music you want them to finance you for.

As a member of a band myself I don't care when people download our music, rather the opposite, I like it when people dig the music. And if they dig it enough, they will also buy a shirt, the vinyl, or something among those lines.

> As a member of a band myself I don't care when people download our music

I think the difference between me and some others in this thread is, I think you have the right to make that choice. I think you also have the same right to say, "I put effort into this, and I want to limit its distribution to only those that compensated me for it".

> Find a way to get paid before you put the work in.

Do you have an industry/example in mind where this is the case? All of the "profit from something created" schemes that I can think of require that the something exists before it can be sold. I can't think of anything that's sold based purely on promises, without extreme risk being involved. And when this is the case, it seems there's some partial initial payment (and initial debt put on the creator of that something) to mitigate some of that risk, with complete payment after the thing is finished.

Could also be read as “<Find a way to get paid> before you put the work in.” as opposed to “Find a way to <get paid before you put the work in.>”

An employment would be one way.

Demanding things on behalf of “starving artists” otherwise sounds exactly like the “starving FLOSS maintainer” who burns out because nobody will find their work. Unfortunate but it’s on them to find a sustainable business model if they want it as an income stream. A ban on general computing will not save either the artist nor the programmer.

> An employment would be one way.

How so? All employment arrangements I've been involved in paid based on time that was previously worked (like, paid monthly for previous month), with the pay being for the clear, partial, progress that is shown during that time that I worked. I've never been paid, in anywhere near full, for time I will work in the future, or progress I will make. I've never seen as employer that pays, in full, for to-be-completed work. This seems extremely risky. Do you have an example?

> Do you have an industry/example in mind where this is the case?

Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter where people treat creations as an investment. Patronage platforms like Patreon where people can support creators they like on a regular basis.

Maybe that's the answer. Maybe not. I don't really know. I just know copyright is insane.

> All of the "profit from something created" schemes that I can think of require that the something exists before it can be sold.

That works for physical goods which are naturally scarce. Data is infinitely abundant. Supply is infinite. Price might as well be zero.

The value is the labor that creates the data, not the data itself. The artists, the programmers, these people are valuable. There needs to be some way they can get paid for the act of creating rather than sales of the artificially scarce product of their labor. Because that artificial scarcity was dead the second computers were invented.

I mean eventually it’s gonna be YouTube only sends a DRM video stream and then the problem is done. Okay sure pirates will still exist but casual piracy got harder which is the point. DRM doesn’t try to put the genie back in the bottle, it only makes the path of least resistance going through legal channels.

I'm actually surprised it hasn't happened yet. There must be some technical reason for that.

Is Widevine problematic?

It would affect the people it's intended to be used on the least, and affect the people it's not intended to be used on the most.

You're pretty much describing DRM in a nutshell. This limitation never stopped it in the past.

This is a good point. Yes, in theory chrome and android are big enough now that youtube could add widevine and there won't be a significant impact to their bottom line. Maybe there are still old devices that are running obsolete/frozen versions of youtube devices. Or more optimistically, there are still trace amounts of 'don't be evil' left at google.

Wouldn't they get sued for anticompetitive practices though? If other browsers/devices can't view the content then it seems like they would have a point.

Widevine is a joke, L3 at least. You can easily dump all video and audio frames by hooking into Chromium's CDM wrapper.

And nobody cares about L2, and manufacturers have awful security and accidentally leak L1 keys all the time.

Except the RIAA isn’t a starving artist and the actual artists make practically nothing from streaming services - the starving artist’s needs are already compromised by large corporate interests.

"Letting everyone do things in their own self interest, unchecked, is rarely found in stable societies."

So far corporations has been pretty unchecked, maybe that's got something to do with political instability today.

Yeah. We, mere mortals, need to be checked but these corporations? No, they get to have hundreds of years of government-backed monopolies on numbers, they get to buy laws via lobbying, they get to spam us with advertising all day...

Even more funny is the way the legal system was gamed so badly already and now the court must decide its own future use of youtube videos as evidence.

monopolies in numbers..?

Yes. All data, all computer files, are fundamentally just numbers. Really big numbers. You can even figure out how big they are.

  decimal_digits = ceil(bits * log10(2))
A 10 KiB picture is a 24,661 digit number. A 2 GiB video file is a 5,171,655,946 digit number.

It might take hard work and a ton of money to discover that number, but once it's known it can be trivially copied. Copyright is about creating artificial scarcity for numbers. That's how insane it is.

If that's insane, why not share all your keys and passwords in your profile? It's just numbers. A footage of what you're doing in your room is just a number. Even entire you are a number, to some precision, under some angles.

The key fact here is that numbers are just the means of content delivery in a digital world. To be clear, personally I'm not fond of Copyright status quo, but this particular logic makes zero sense.

No. Keys, passwords, all of that data is private. Not shared. It's not like I'm publishing this data for the whole world to see and then trying to regulate access to it. And if I do publish anything, I will do so with the understanding that once it's out there it's out of my control. Complete opposite of what these copyright people want which is public data that they are still able to control.

In cryptography there should be exactly one copy of a private key in the entire universe. When your keys leak due to a mistake or whatever, you invalidate it and make a new one, you don't sue anyone who might have a copy in order to get them to delete it.

By talking about privacy you clearly present that you are aware of and agree with the concept of the law. Once you're on the street it's also out of control, but we have some enforced rules of behavior on them, so you don't get murdered for your keys. Copyright contract isn't any different than any other law, and numbers and their copy-ability have nothing to do with that, because you also have natural murderability, which someone could freely exercise. It's a contract, not the law of nature, which you must respect. If you think otherwise and still expect relative safety on the street, isn't that just a one-sided view?

The social contract behind copyright used to be we'd pretend the works of creators are artificially scarce so that they could make their money for a few years. Then the work would enter the public domain.

When was the last time you ever saw that happen? Some work you grew up with enter the public domain? These companies have already made untold fortunes, several times over. So why doesn't it happen?

They altered the deal. Unilaterally. The money people paid them? They used it to hire lobbyists to change the law and rob people of their public domain rights. These monopolistic protections were meant to be limited, they had an expiration date. The corporations managed to extend copyright duration to the point it might as well be infinite. There exists a public domain but no work ever actually ascends to this mythical place. Fair use? Nobody without an army of lawyers would ever dare try for fear of being sued.

Is this the social contract you want people to respect? The one where they get everything and we get nothing? You say my view is one-sided? These corporations are the most one-sided monopolists there are.

The second people stop pretending artificial scarcity is real, it will be the end of them. Look at how Sci-Hub is shaking up the academic journals. Their end literally can't come soon enough.

I agree with all of these questions and points, this is a huge problem and not "just numbers" argumentation anymore. Also, you're speaking only of a "hot" part of this market, corporations and patent trolls. Copyright is otherwise fine, especially if you want to sell your software yourself, even if it doesn't claim any patents. Why wouldn't I respect e.g. blizzard who gifted me with starcraft, or rake in grass for jets-n-guns, or some saas whose guys worked hard but leaked their "numbers" to the internet somehow. You can't just throw them out with the bathwater.

The Great Gatsby just entered the public domain last year. The whole system stopped for many years, nothing was entering the public domain, and then just last year IIRC it started up again.

But for the most part you are right.

> All data, all computer files, are fundamentally just numbers.

That's a misconception.

To get a data-representation for stuff (like numbers, documents, songs, videos, pictures, text, etc.), we have to encode it. Then if we want to retrieve the thing, we'd have to decode it. It's not a number until decoded as such -- and you can't skip the need to decode data as a number because there're different ways to do it.

I appreciate that you're mostly just trying to object to laws restricting data, it's just that the bit about data-being-numbers may detract from it by starting with a misstatement.


If it helps break the mental-association: even if we assume that all data should be read as unsigned binary-integers, are they big-endian or little-endian? For example, is "1000" 8 or 1?

Or, say a computer has unordered-storage for stuff like [bags](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set_(abstract_data_type)#Multi... ) (which are actually used in software, e.g. [in C#](https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/api/system.collectio... )). Then, what number would such data be, if the data itself fundamentally lacks a [total-ordering](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_order )?

Or, if we insist that unsigned binary-integers are the fundamental encoding, then how could non-terminating numbers be stored, e.g. 1/3 or pi? Or even just non-integers or negative-integers, e.g. 1/2 or -1? Or, if we argue that data for those numbers isn't numbers until decoded as such, then why should we say that other data is numbers before decoding?

(Not that each point would need to be addressed, just, different thought-experiments that might help break out of the misconception.)

It might be more helpful to see binary-sequences as trivially decode-able as unsigned-binary-integers, rather than actually being unsigned-binary-integers.

Thanks for your interesting reply. I think it's the first time someone took this idea seriously and addressed it.

I don't see how it's a misconception. All data is a sequence of bits. All sequences of bits are numbers expressed in base 2. How could I be wrong here?

> you can't skip the need to decode data as a number because there're different ways to do it

> if we assume that all data should be read as unsigned binary-integers, are they big-endian or little-endian?

To me this just means all data could be represented as multiple numbers. Mentally, I visualize binary sequences as big endian. It's totally possible that there is another number that represents the same data but with different endianness.

> Or, say a computer has unordered-storage for stuff like bags

There must be at least one number that represents it, that much is certain. I'm just not particularly sure how complex that number is because when I made this argument what I had in mind was discrete self-contained files.

I don't think I understand these other possibilities well enough to comment at the moment.

> It might be more helpful to see binary-sequences as trivially decode-able as unsigned-binary-integers, rather than actually being unsigned-binary-integers.

I don't see the distinction. If you can decode data as an integer, it must be equivalent to that integer.

We can come up with [encoding-conventions](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_number_format ) where any particular bit-string could map to any number. If we assert that decoding to a number under an encoding implies equivalence, then we'd have to say that all numbers are equal to each-other.

It's easy enough to avoid such absurdities by recognizing that data's just data; that, to get stuff like numbers, text, images, etc., we need to decode the data.

Copyright is actually about making sure people have enough incentive to keep doing all that hard work of discovering cool new numbers.

People will do that regardless of incentive. It's essentially a basic brain function, it can't be turned off. I'm discovering a new number right now by posting this comment.

People create cool new numbers all the time without worring about royalties and how-am-i-going-to-make-a-living-from-this-diddly-tune. Copyright is a way to commodify something deeply human to allow capitalists to make money from it. Put it this way, in a post-scarcity money-less world, musicians would still make cool new numbers, advertising people would not be creating any advertising numbers, they would probably make music as well.

Absolutely. I find it interesting that many in this thread seem to think that unchecked self interest should be increased!

But they get music for free either way - Youtube and others are broadcasting it. And now they want the legal right to restrict us from recording those broadcasts, no different than stopping us from recording radio.

They broadcast free of charge, and when we don't consume that broadcast in the manner they hoped, they use it to justify taking away our right to run software of our choosing. It's obscene.

The RIAA isn't protecting the interests of artists, either.

If it's truly the starving artist we're all worried about, then it should be fine to pirate an album and mail the artist a check for $25, right? Everyone here who cares about the starving artist is cool with that?

>Letting everyone do things in their own self interest, unchecked

As in "freedom"?

>is rarely found in stable societies

As in most of the developed world?


I'm sorry, but you don't have complete "freedom" to achieve your own self interests. I once knew someone who was very interested in a car stereo. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for others who happened to own car stereos, that car stereo was in a car that belong to the police, and he definitely saw an even larger reduction in "freedom" after that.

>The common cases for using youtube-dl, as I understand, is for archival (mostly non-music), watching videos content

Even though videos are the main content, Youtube is also the #1 website in the world for streaming music:



And, even as a YouTube red subscriber, I like YouTube DL because it lets me create local Copies of music from great concerts. Many artists release a lot more great live stuff than there are albums for.

What I learned is if you a find concert or something else you’d like to rewatch in the future - download it. Even if it’s legit video on legit yt channel, it could dissapear for number of reasona. And it’s not like - we’re taking it down from yt but you can watch it here for $5 or subscription or whatever. You typically can’t find it anywhere anymore.

That's happened to me so many times I started obsessively downloading the stuff I like. I must be on the way to becoming a data hoarder by now. It's just so incredibly aggravating, the video was right there a day ago and now it's gone. Feels like getting gaslighted. It's sad in an existential way too. The universe worked so hard to create that data and now it's just gone? Not if I can help it.

Comments like these always remind me of a particular time in the early 2010's when I was into 90's UK DnB. Good Looking Records had a bunch of songs published on their channel. I had a playlist with dozens of songs I've enjoyed and couldn't find anywhere else at the time. Then one day, poof all gone.

Granted, since then, a bunch of older DnB songs from this label resurfaced on YouTube, uploaded by various users. But it was a pretty dry couple of years for me. I was only able to find a couple of songs for sale on Discogs at the time, and many more lost because once deleted not even the artist/song name showed up in my playlist so I didn't know what to look for.

> once deleted not even the artist/song name showed up in my playlist so I didn't know what to look for.

This is the worst part of all. It’s a memory hole, and feels like gaslighting to the end user.

Search on discogs for that label.

This. I use it to download music that is not for sale because they are either original content of small artists or they are covera and instrumentals; even if they fall under fair use, they can disappear forever and for no good reason.

There's a particular video I wanted to watch yesterday that I only remembered the title and that I loved it a decade ago. After 20 minutes of searching I found it was deleted, and the only way I could watch it was a random archive.org snapshot of the YouTube page.

First thing I did was download it and upload it somewhere else.

Doesn't that include YouTube Music which gives you the same live music videos and let you store them offline?

e.g. https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=YQfkm4Vp-1o&list=PLZGh95p3...

Store them offline in the YouTube app that deletes them from your device if the original is taken down, yes.

And if you don't mind my asking, what's the most practical/useful way to download videos from YT without using spammy 3d party websites?

Uhh, how about youtube-dl?

Youtube-dlc works much better currently

I was also surprised at this. Despite all the copyright claim controls, I was under the impression that YT was still the biggest source unauthorized music distribution.

This seems to me to be akin to bullying a mouse because bullying the elephant in the room isn't going to pan out.

They do things like this and then turn around and say "X will destroy the recording industry" and are surprised when voters start wondering why it's taking so long and asking if there are any legislative changes or tax incentives that could be used to assist X in its meritorious endeavor.

"Home taping is killing record industry profits! We left this side blank so you can help." - The front of a Dead Kennedy's tape released in the 80s. The recording industry's been beating the same drum since before I was born.

I don't care about the longevity of the record industry. Music is alive and well, with liberal distribution on the Internet making discovery and independent distribution so much easier. There's more music than ever, and much of it goes straight to YouTube (or Nico Nico).

If X will destroy the recording industry, please give me lots more of X!

Don‘t forget that many countries don‘t have spotify or any other streaming service. These are countries with much lower GDPs, where buying a song for .99 is not an option.

Music is culture and important. Yes, it is important to be paid for your music, but it is more important for music to be heard. Piracy should live. Fuck the labels, fuck the whole music industry creating plastic „art“ that has no meaning whatsoever. Let‘s make art, not money.

> Music is culture and important. Yes, it is important to be paid for your music, but it is more important for music to be heard.

If artists aren't paid for making art, much less art is created. So if music is important to you, you can't just ignore the question of how to pay for it.

It's nice to say "let's make art, not money", great soundbite, but artists are people just like everyone else, who deserve to be compensated for their work. And who can't live without having money to buy food.

I have worked in the music industry for a short time. Most people who claim they are artists, are not.

Let‘s talk about this differently. The impact of real art is way more important than a few plastic pseudo-art creating „i am special“ people not making money to live a life as an „artist“ / influencer on instagram… Buuut: anyway.

> I don’t really know anyone that pirates music, seems like streaming has really solved that with ad-supported listening.

Someone's told them that "X million songs per year" are downloaded via youtube-dl. They get $Y in royalties per thousand views, and they have some number Z which is the average number of times an individual will listen to a song. There's been a boardroom meeting where these numbers have been presented as "X million songs per year are being pirated, costing us X * $Y * Z / 1000 per year, THIS must STOP!"

Streaming has largely defeated torrents, but anti-piracy people in the record companies want to preserve their jobs. So they've invented a bogeyman of massive stream-ripping going on amongst young people.

Copyright ceased to be a way to reward creators and has now been used to create private monopolies on huge chunk of popular culture.

I think that was always the point. Rewarding creators was the pretext for this system, not the reason.

Especially since the recording industry has never been a friend to artists. They used to pay musicians a one off fee to come down to the studio and make some recordings, and didn't pay royalties, in the old days. Now they pay pennies on the dollar.

Meanwhile, independent music is thriving thanks to the Internet. Let it burn.

I'll just mention, because it hasn't been mentioned before: this is obviously wrong... We all know that it's wrong, but saying it has some symbolic meaning, right?

Because to find a counterexample you would only need a single artist who has the opportunity to spend more of their time working creatively (rather than their previous civilian job) because they get a royalty cheque every now and then. I personally know four of five such people.

Artists make most of their money from touring and merchandise. It's the labels that benefit off of their copyright-given monopoly.

If you hire some people to take down tools to bypass copyright, they'll go try to do that, whether it's really a good idea or not.

Honestly, they're probably targeting it because it's easy to find with the Google searches they're trying.

I'm running what basically a prepaid SIM, meaning I don't use mobile data. Thus I do use yt-dlp/youtube-dl to download music so that I can listen to it offline. I'm actually quite proud by the system I've set up.

I've got a playlist called music into which I add music. ^^

On my mobile phone I've got Termux with an add-on that allows you to add widgets that run custom code.

I've written a simple script ( yt-dlp -P ~/storage/shared/Music -i -o "%(title)s.%(ext)s" --no-restrict-filenames --download-archive ~/music_archive.txt -x --audio-quality 0 <link to the playlist> ). Which is ran whenever I press on the widget. I could use crontab, but since I don't add music that often, I prefer to do it manually. ( The -o is for file name, normally the file would have the same name as the source, but for unknown reason so of my files' names for restricted to ~40 chars, doing it the way you see above solves the issue).

Before this system I used to have a similar script on my PC and crontab running it. The script downloaded music into Google Drive and on the mobile phone I had a program that would sync that folder with music to the phones music folder.

But the current system is far superior, for one it doesn't fill up my Google Drive and secondly it doesn't require multiple devices to work.

Being able to use a terminal on my phone makes me really happy! ^^

What's the add-on?

So when you press the widget it runs yt-dlp on your phone, or is it sending a command to a remote PC?

The add-on is called Widget, your can find it by googling Termux Widget.

When I press on the widget it runs yt-dlp on my phone. There are no other devices involved in the process, just my phone.

Oh cool, I didn't realize yt-dlp would run on Android.

youtube-dl is what makes most youtube music ripping sites function. Which are widely used by people who aren't paying for music streaming subscriptions.

ex: https://github.com/Rudloff/alltube

No. Alltube isn’t a music ripping site. It’s a site that allows users to download any YouTube video. Some users use this tool to download music.

This is like suing VCR manufacturers because some people used them to record music videos off of MTV.

> suing VCR manufacturers

Might I direct you to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Corp._of_America_v._Unive....

Which ruled in favor of Sony, that making personal copies of complete TV shows which you have access to is fair use, and that makers of such devices cannot be held liable as long as there are substantial non-infringing uses.

I suspect that GP didn't pick that example randomly, because youtube-dl is a pretty close analog of a BetaMax.

Which just makes it a generic ripping site because downloading YouTube videos is breaching the usage terms of the website in general.

"You are not allowed to: access, reproduce, download, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, alter, modify or otherwise use any part of the Service or any Content except: (a) as specifically permitted by the Service; (b) with prior written permission from YouTube and, if applicable, the respective rights holders; or (c) as permitted by applicable law;"

> (c) as permitted by applicable law

This one alone gives you a whole bunch of reasons to download a video, at least in sane jurisdictions.

It's not generally that great a quality right? Why even bother when you there are so many different ways to get music?

1) Quality is acceptable

2) Large part of world's population can't afford subscription services

3) There's a lot of music that is not on music streaming services but is on YouTube

4) Sometimes you need the mp3 file (for ringtone, for editing, for remixing etc)

5) There are still some people who rather want everything on their HDD

6) content disappears from YT all the time, as anyone with large playlists must have notice. Better keep a local copy.

> There's a lot of music that is not on music streaming services but is on YouTube

A lot of Caribbean music (Soca, Dancehall, Parang etc.) is like this.

>It's not generally that great a quality right?

You just described youtube in general. As the old saying goes, "content is king". Look at VHS (if you're old enough to remember). As bad of a quality as it was, everyone used it. Pros would complain about how bad it looked, but the mass populace was just fine with it. Youtube is the same way. In the beginning, the quality was soooo bad, but users didn't care because it gave them endless content.

> Look at VHS

Pfft, people bought 5-in-1 DVDs. People bought 10-in-1 DVDs. Average Joe doesn't care about "quality", he wants the content.

5 movies encoded to fit on a DVD-9 will still look much better than the typical VHS. They will also sound much better. Comparing DVD to VHS will always have DVD winning, unless the content was encoded from VHS.

See: cell phone speakers.

I use paid youtube music and it seems high quality to me I can't tell a difference. Love having different stuff like Tiny Desk.

But more than the quality for the top 100 pop songs almost all the official music videos they now put in like interludes, breaks, talking over and stuff to cut it up so it's not just the song.

Makes listening harder. for those who come to watch the video too.

It's as good of quality as listening directly on YouTube, which is fine enough for most people.

People are downloading music clips so that they don't have to listen to ads? Why don't they just install an ad-blocker?

If the avg man knew the concept of an adblocker we would live in a different online world. I've seen people sit and watch 2 minute ads and or complain about how cramped pages are, they know they don't want ads and it's annoying but only a small percentage of that google "block youtube ads" and can click their way to install an extension etc.

Is it possible on iOS as well?

The ios youtube app seems to bypass the ad blockers, I stream on ios using brave it blocks youtube ads for me.

There is a Safari extension for this. With the added advantage of replacing the stupid YouTube player with standard video controls.


Maybe they want the music clips for offline viewing?

Indeed. If the industry won't give me a simple way to purchase a file, I'll make my own.

That's my case - as I know that some music videos/clips will disappear soon or later for any reason (happened in the past), and as I cannot buy+download them then the only option I'm currently aware of is to download them with youtube-dl. It works reliably and it's simple to use.

In my case this often happens "in addition" to buying+downloading the song's mp3 (usually on Amazon).

I'm downloading them so I can listen without being randomly paused by youtube. Also ends up saving bandwidth massively, and mpv --no-video wastes far less cpu than firefox.

> The common cases for using youtube-dl

It works very well with many non-YouTube sites, especially ones hosting “adult” videos.

I assume porn is the most common case, but archiving Stanford lectures might well be second.

I just assume they are about 5+ years behind most of the population because in this kind of media stuff I tend to be about 4 years behind the population and a little over a year ago I decided ah, this using youtube-dl to download music etc. and rip it with ffmpeg and save it to my iphone is sort of a hassle I guess I will get that damn spotify membership like everyone else.

I mean obviously I am not the last person to make this decision, but I have a feeling that the population yet to do so are vanishingly small.

> using youtube-dl to download music etc. and rip it with ffmpeg

For those who don't know, youtube-dl can do this oob if ffmpeg is installed:

  youtube-dl --extract-audio --audio-format <best|mp3|ogg|*> <url>

Some websites even make audio streams available separately. You can learn about those with the -F flag, and then select an audio stream with the -f flag. E.g. on youtube, you can use

    [youtube-dl | yt-dlp] -f 140 <url>
to download 128k mpeg4 audio.

You may be surprised that Spotify may have rather large holes in its coverage, and these holes are also dynamic: things recently available may become unavailable without notice.

I like to work to classic video game soundtracks. Streaming services are garbage for those, but YT is pretty good. You have to play whack a mole with copyright strikes, but somebody will upload most things. It's also the best way to listen to actual game music (the music designed to help you focus) as opposed to orchestral remasters, remixes, homages, etc.

RIP my most recent favorite Zelda background music vid.

I may have noticed that there are small holes, I suppose most of the things if they became unavailable I wouldn't notice as I practice the one big playlist method.

> I don’t really know anyone that pirates music

I do. And I pirate it myself. Though many people around me did get Spotify when it launched here recently.

It also depends on your social circle, I know some young people who do use `youtube-dl --extract-audio` for downloading some songs from YT.

My choice is usually to just reboot to Windows, fire up iTunes, buy the songs I want and listen to them DRM free. The only Apple product that I use xD

Music piracy isa solved issue. But those people who's job was to fight music piracy need to justify their salaries, departments and budgets.

Can it just be hosted on some blockchain so that there is nobody to sue except the likes of Satoshi?

Schneir talked about putting contraband on the blockchain.

How many copies of youtube-dl and DeCSS and PlayStation 5 private keys and such need to get put onto the blockchain before the Music Industry tries to sue it out of existence?

I mean, who are they going to serve papers to? All of Nigeria, India, China, and El Salvador? It's not exactly possible to sue it out of existence.

Also, there's enough money in blockchain to buy out the music industry.

I believe that to maintain copyright control you need to enforce it. By not enforcing it they are effectively granting permission to the behavior.

No, that's a trademark thing. Copyrights do not need to be consistently enforced to maintain.

I use youtube-dl to download Cracking the Cryptic videos. The RIAA does not own those videos. In fact there are quite a few videos on youtube the RIAA doesn't own.

They own all videos until you can prove otherwise, and win the appeal.

Ah, I didn’t know other countries too have Germany‘s GEMA-Vermutung (per default assumption of media requiring payment to the GEMA for legal use).

The US doesn't have that same law. YouTube decided to do something similar of their own volition.

We do, but it doesn't cover most modern devices.

From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_copying_levy:

>17 U.S.C. § 1008 bars copyright infringement action and 17 U.S.C. § 1003 provides for a royalty of 2% of the initial transfer price for devices and 3% for media.[20] The royalty rate in 17 U.S.C. § 1004 was established by the Fairness in Music Licensing Act of 1998. This only applies to CDs which are labeled and sold for music use; they do not apply to blank computer CDs, even though they can be (and often are) used to record or "burn" music from the computer to CD. The royalty also applies to stand-alone CD recorders, but not to CD burners used with computers. Most recently, portable satellite radio recording devices contribute to this royalty fund.

>Thanks to a precedent established in a 1998 lawsuit involving the Rio PMP300 player, most MP3 players are deemed "computer peripherals" and are not subject to a royalty of this type in the U.S.

>Currently, private copy royalties are generated in the US by the sale of "blank CDs and personal audio devices, media centers, satellite radio devices, and car audio systems that have recording capabilities."[21]

Okay, that's a fair comment. However, I've never seen it apply to any device actually sold. Even in 1998, manufacturers just changed the label on blank CDs to evade the royalty.

Romania has something similar as well. If you own a business and want to play even ambiental/lounge music (even free music) you need to pay for a license. Of course the money collected that way doesn't go to the original artists.

Sweden has, and it's stupid.

In Russia everyone pays a penny for each medium that may store music. Not sure if any penny goes to musicians

Same in Portugal.

Yep. Youtube's de facto monopoly on video hosting has rules heavily tilted in favor of corporations and organizations like the RIAA and MPAA.

They want the revenue from hosting the content.

You can use thepiratebay to download legal videos too, but the RIAA still cares.

Not saying that I agree with them, but "I use it for a legit purpose" doesn't mean they are going to act sensibly.

Just to clarify, do you mean a few videos or many videos? Thanks


The opposite of "quite a few" would be "quite few".

This is not correct. "Quite few" is not correct English.

EDIT: on reading some of the linked sources I realise I was wrong about this.

Hi! English speaker here. It's not common, but it is perfectly acceptable. Here is some data to back this up: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=quite+few%2C+q...


> "Quite few" is not correct English.

I take it you don't speak English yourself? You can apply "quite" to any adjective, including "few".

While one could, it's not an idiom I (native speaker) have ever heard. I've heard "very few", but never "quite few", and I can see why hearing the latter might cause the listener/reader to mistakenly auto-correct it as "quite _a_ few".

But we don't only speak in idioms. "Quite" and "few" are some the least ambiguous words you can come across in English, "quite few" should be clear so long as you don't add words and substitute in your own meaning as the reader.

I think the idiom "quite a few" is arguably worse to use in a diverse audience since it means the opposite of "a few" and is one of the only times "quite a" is used to negate the meaning of what follows.

Using 'quite few' to mean the opposite of 'quite a few' as a non-native speaker is a terrible idea. It doesn't matter how correct it is, a large portion of native speakers are going to assume you mean 'quite a few' and have misheard or mispronounced it.

It's not like either phrase is wanting for totally unambiguous synonyms.

I am a native English speaker and yes quite few is a thing that I have heard and said.

It works, but it's awkward. Same with "quite many" which doesn't get as much use

Perhaps so. But it certainly sounds distinctly odd to me. Fairly confident I have never used or heard the construction myself. (Native speaker, 43, southern UK.)

Non-idiomatic is not the same as incorrect. There’s no semantic or syntactic issue with the phrase.

there are quite few ducks where I live

Not the GP but they mean very many videos, ie the vast, vast majority.
mdoms 12 days ago [flagged] | | | | [–]

You know what he means. Stop it.

Don't assume. Not everybody is a native English speaker and able to pick up nuances such as when "quite a few" means "super many, lol" and when it means "a few" or "a bit more than a few".

(EDIT: TIL from the sibling comments that it always means "super many, lol" which surprised me) (I'm not a native English speaker)

To me, it sounds like music industry execs are not familiar with the Streisand effect. The first time I became familiar with Youtube-dl, it was during the Github DMCA PR fiasco. The number of stars for Youtube-dl increased sharply as soon as MS reviewed the decision and let them back online.

> music industry execs are not familiar with the Streisand effect

The Streisand Effect didn't save Napster or Popcorn Time. It could only save these people from the RIAA if they actually made enough money to fight the lawsuits and win.

True... but Soulseek lives on.

I personally appreciate the regular reminders to update my local copy of youtube-dl.

Here's a reminder to upgrade to yt-dlp

For anyone wondering why: it is not consistently maintained anymore. I think I remember something about the owner of the repo steppung down? yt-dlp is an actively maintained, direct fork, with the same features and then some. It also solves an issue that has been lingering for months now where videos download painfully slow on youtube-dl.

Yup. This is the move.

Will the music industry sue the 1978 me, with the tape recorder right next to the radio, and me holding the "record" button to catch my favorite songs (along with the banter leading right up to the first lyrics)?

They already did: "...A royalty on blank audio tape and tape recorders..."


They should also get a royalty on cameras, because someone might take a photo of copyrighted cover art. Oh, and also a royalty on pens and paper, because someone might use them to write down copyrighted lyrics

I believe than in Portugal one pays a tax with every hdd or any device that might be used to ilegally store copyrighted content. So I pay a tax for the eventuality of doing the thing I cannot legally do but at the same time if I already paid for it how can it still be ilegal?

Pretty much all over Europe but it's not for illegal copies: it's for legal copies as in "copy an LP you own to a cassette for use in a car" (that's the original use case).

Of course everybody knows that it's practically covering missed royalties from illegally copied content, but according to the letter of the law it isn't.

This is correct. Source: Portuguese man with a deep hatred for copyright protection institutions, motivated in large part by the introduction of that law.

Maybe impose a tax on our brains as well since it stores copyrighted data in our memories. Complete with mandatory brain chips that detect when you remember their data and charge your bank account automatically.

How much more absurd can this become?

They come after bars sometimes for hosting cover bands. True story.

In Spain they get a royalty from everything you can store data on, from hard disks to mobile phones.

They also do in Germany, where they are suing. It's mentioned in the article I think - they try to get the money twice.

Does it scale with storage size lol

It scales with price :)

That is called the Microsoft tax. As you pay extra for your OEM hardware even if dont plan to use Windows.

Isn't it the case that you can order from some of the more popular OEMs with Linux pre-installed, and they won't charge you the Microsoft licensing fee? I think Dell and Lenovo do this?

Maybe they do charge the Microsoft fee anyway, but I'd be a bit surprised if they didn't fix that issue.

Its still the case that if you are an OEM vendor, you need to make sure your hardware plays nice with the new versions of Windows. You better "cooperate".

Its difficult to describe all the behaviors they were engaged in.

"...The Complaint alleges that Microsoft has used its monopoly power to induce PC manufacturers to enter into anticompetitive, long-term licenses under which they must pay Microsoft not only when they sell PCs containing Microsoft's operating systems, but also when they sell PCs containing non-Microsoft operating systems..." https://www.justice.gov/atr/competitive-impact-statement-us-...

As a reminder...They lost their case "United States v. Microsoft Corp." and June 7, 2000, the court ordered a breakup of Microsoft. They would have to be broken into two separate units, one to produce the operating system, and one to produce other software components. This was overturned on appeal on what can be only described as technicalities...

The Judge said: "...Microsoft proved, time and time again, to be inaccurate, misleading, evasive, and transparently false. ... Microsoft is a company with an institutional disdain for both the truth and for rules of law that lesser entities must respect. It is also a company whose senior management is not averse to offering specious testimony to support spurious defenses to claims of its wrongdoing."

Politics changes in the US and the power of lobbying made everything to end up in a settlement that for most Microsoft has been ignoring or forgetting about.That is how much it took to make them open "some" API's

This one from the EU is one of the best overviews:

"Microsoft: A History of Anticompetitive Behavior and Consumer Harm" http://www.ecis.eu/documents/Finalversion_Consumerchoicepape...

I heard their ex-CEO is into vaccines now ;-)

Didn't they also do that with recordable CD's (CD-R) early on?

Yes. To this day. You pay extra tax on cdc-r. (Interesting not on DVD -r)

I don't know about CD-R media, but DAT media was that way.

And the bullshit tax on blank CDs, which came later.

The article makes a critical point: We already PAID for the right to download this material, and have been paying for decades.

Also, I've known several friends in bands. So far I've never heard of any of them receiving a check for blank-media taxes collected "on their behalf."

Honestly I'm surprised there still is a music industry, considering how many albums I downloaded on Napster in my teens and early twenties.

Short answer: yes, the music industry (and similar media industries) has historically fought tooth and nail against any technology that allows anyone to consume content in any way not directly controlled and monetized by the music industry. There's a well-documented history of media industries fighting against "time shifting."

That's right, back in the day, music publishers were up in arms about that outrageous new invention, the phonograph!

You don't remember the 'home taping is killing music' campaign?

I'm fairly certain record companies have been a decade behind evolving technology since the late 70s, probably earlier.

If their claims were valid they should have all collapsed in ruin 20 years ago.

No because that is not a loss-less copy. The quality is severely affect and that amount of damage you can potentially do to sales is minimal. EDIT: Completely forgot about the "tax" on blank media and tape records.

Anyway, if they didn't want people to be able to copy their stuff, then they shouldn't have put it on YouTube. The music industry is being as dumb as they ever where, it's fascinating that they've learned NOTHING in the past twenty years. How much money can they possibly lose on youtube-dl vs. how much money they continue the scam out of artists.

At this point who doesn't have a subscription to a streaming service? Those who don't where never going to pay anyway. They aren't losing money.

The funny thing is they did this to themselves. Consumers were perfectly happy with their regular HiFi stuff and records. But the recording companies and the big hardware manufacturers (notably: Philips, Sony, both owners of enormous music catalogs) would love to sell everybody an upgraded HiFi system and get them to buy all their music again. In a format so dense that no computer would ever be able to store that much information on a writable medium so pushing large numbers of lossless copies of music into the world was a no brainer. We all know how that ended.

Everything available on Youtube is not a lossless copy. Especially music is lossy-compressed and loudness-optimized, so lossless vs lossy isn't a valid argument here.

My point was that it won't degree further as you make copies of the file you got with YouTube-dl

YouTube is just another streaming service, they make money by delivering their copyrighted material on it just like every other delivery method and people pirate via it just like every other delivery method. Choosing to put their content on YouTube isn't a dumb choice at all, it's one of the few sane things about the situation.

The music industry (in collusion with Congress) killed DAT with this same specious argument, when everyone knew that "perfect digital copies" were the LEAST-likely vector of attack on their industry.

The obvious and dominant form of music copying was with double-cassette boom boxes in dorm rooms and bedrooms around the world.

And in the end, the media publishers' lies about "perfect digital copies" were proven to be just that, as profoundly IMperfect MP3s became the real threat.

Those tape recorders with a built-in radio that are capable of recording it directly should be illegal


Soon we'll have self rotting audio files to emulate analog longevity.

They don't even really need to do that since most people don't touch raw music files any more.

Trusted computing and DRM could make it happen

I love how "trusted" in this context basically means "against the will of the end user, enforced by the technological supremacy of hardware manufacturers".

I would've preferred submitting the article by netzpolitik.org [1] where I first encountered these news but as far as I am aware HN submission are required to be in english.

[1]: https://netzpolitik.org/2022/urheberrecht-musikindustrie-ver...

Just another example of "Netzpolitik" ;D

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Not absolutely required, but very strongly preferred.

English is the Lingua Franca of the tech world.

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