GitHub has issued a warning to users saying that accounts that continue to upload content that was removed due to DMCA removal notifications could be blocked.
On October 23, 2020, GitHub removed the source code repositories for the popular video capture tool called YouTube-dl following a DMCA infringement notice filed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
This removal was controversial, as the notice was not issued because YouTube-dl contained copyrighted material or source code, but because it allows users to download copyrighted content.
Since then, angry users have been waging war on GitHub by creating new repositories that contain YouTube-dl source code.
Some of these uploads have been done in creative ways to ridicule GitHub, such as exploiting a bug that allows users to attach commits to GitHub repositories that they do not control. One of these newly created commits that contained the YouTube-dl source code was attached to GitHub's DMCA repository.
Uploading deleted repositories can lead to bans
As first reported by TorrentFreak, GitHub's Jesse Geraci updated the DMCA repository's README.md file last week to state that sending banned content could lead to your account being blocked.
"Please note that republishing the exact same content that was subject to notice of cancellation without following the proper procedure is a violation of the DMCA Policy and the GitHub Terms of Service. If you block or publish content in this repository that violates the Terms of Service, we will delete this content and we may also suspend it access to your account, ”now reports the new GitHub DMCA README.md.
This message does not specifically mention that YouTube-dl is the reason for the warning, but the timeline coincides with GitHub's battle to remove the new YouTube-dl repositories - shortly after it was removed.
As activists, journalists and educators often use YouTube-dl to archive for free and in public video, GitHub CEO Nat Friedman is actively working to help restore the repository.
Friedman even reached out to YouTube-dl's IRC channel to offer suggestions on how to reintegrate, such as removing the "cipher circumvention code" and examples on how to download material spiritually protected royalties.
While this is commendable, all this chaos could have been avoided if GitHub had not acted on the DMCA infringement notification that had nothing to do with the use of copyrighted material.
Source of information: bleepingcomputer.com