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After Restoring YouTube-dl, GitHub Revamps Its Copyright Takedown Policy

On October 23rd GitHub initially complied with a takedown request for the open-source project youtube-dl — and then after 24 days, reinstated it.

“If there’s a silver lining to the episode, it’s that GitHub is implementing new policies to avoid a repeat of a repeat situation moving forward,” reports Engadget:

First, it says a team of both technical and legal experts will manually evaluate every single section 1201 claim. In instances where there’s any ambiguity to a claim, the company says it will err on the side of developers and leave their repository online. If the company’s technical and legal teams ultimately find any issues with a project, GitHub will give its owners the chance to address those problems before it takes down their work. Following a takedown, it will continue to give people the chance to recover their data — provided it doesn’t include any offending code.

GitHub is also establishing a $1 million defense fund to provide legal aid to developers against suspect section 1201 claims, as well as doubling down on its lobbying work to amend the DMCA and other similar copyright laws across the world.

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