This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

On November 16, code-sharing and hosting service GitHub re-enabled the public access to youtube-dl repository, a software which can download videos from the internet via the command-line. This move comes after Mitchell Stoltz, a Senior Staff Attorney of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), sent a letter to GitHub on the behalf of youtube-dl’s maintainers. The repository was previously blocked on October 23, after GitHub received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) take-down notice from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Started in July 2008, youtube-dl is a free/libré open source software written in Python which can download videos from various websites. Citing alleged violation of 17 U.S. Code § 1201 Circumvention of copyright protection systems, RIAA’s takedown notice had alleged youtube-dl was intended to circumvent the technological protection measures of streaming services and to redistribute music videos without authorisation. youtube-dl’s source code had a number of unit tests to check if the software works in different circumstances or not. Some of the test cases included URLs of some copyrighted songs.

In the letter to GitHub, EFF’s attorney Stoltz said “This file contains series of automated tests that verify the functionality of youtube-dl for streaming various types of video. The youtube-dl source code does not, of course, contain copies of these songs or any others […] the unit tests do not cause a permanent download or distribution of the songs they reference; they merely stream a few seconds of each song to verify the operation of youtube-dl. Streaming a small portion of a song in a non-permanent fashion to test the operation of an independently created software program is a fair use.” The letter stressed “youtube-dl does not decrypt video streams that are encrypted with commercial DRM technologies”.

The URLs to copyrighted songs were removed from the source code on November 16, and replaced with a test video that uploaded on YouTube by Philipp Hagemeister, former maintainer of youtube-dl. Philipp Hagemeister had previously spoken about the takedown with Wikinews.

youtube-dl comes with a small JavaScript interpreter where it acts as a web-browser would behave while receiving video data from the server. The script has “extractors” for various websites to handle videos from different sources. “Any software capable of running JavaScript code can derive the URL of the video stream and access the stream, regardless of whether the software has been approved by YouTube”, the letter read. It borrowed an analogy of Doors of Durin from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings for explanation: travelers come upon a door that has writing in a foreign language. When translated, the writing says “say ‘friend’ and enter.” The travelers say “friend” and the door opens. As with the writing on that door, YouTube presents instructions on accessing video streams to everyone who comes asking for it.

Hours after the public access was restored, Sergey M, one of the maintainers of youtube-dl wrote on GitHub, “We would like to thank @github for standing up for youtube-dl and making it possible to continue development without dropping any features. We appreciate [GitHub] for taking potential legal risks in this regard. We would also like to thank [EFF] and personally [Mitch Stoltz] for invaluable legal help. We would also like to heartily thank our main website hoster Uberspace who is currently being sued in Germany for hosting our essentially business card website and who have already spent thousands of Euros in their legal defense.”

Hours after GitHub restored the public access to the repository, Stoltz tweeted “I think of youtube-dl as a successor to the videocassette recorder. The VCR empowered people to take control of their personal use of free-to-air video, but it had to be saved from the copyright cartel. The same goes for youtube-dl. GitHub did the right thing here.”

youtube-dl is used by thousands of people around the world. Multiple Creative Commons-licensed and public domain videos on Wikimedia Commons are uploaded via a tool called video2commons, which relies on youtube-dl to download media. youtube-dl also lets users download videos from LiveLeak — a video-sharing platform for citizen journalism. Videos downloaded using youtube-dl are also used for the purpose of fair use, or for evidence.

When a copyright holder chooses to release their work, be it a photograph, a video, or audio, under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, they allow everyone to freely own, share or modify the work as long as the reusers properly attribute the author of the work. YouTube also hosts many audio and video recordings in the public domain which can be used for any purpose without any restrictions.

In the blog post announcing “youtube-dl is back”, GitHub said, “Although we did initially take the project down, we understand that just because code can be used to access copyrighted works doesn’t mean it can’t also be used to access works in non-infringing ways. We also understood that this project’s code has many legitimate purposes, including changing playback speeds for accessibility, preserving evidence in the fight for human rights, aiding journalists in fact-checking, and downloading Creative Commons-licensed or public domain videos.”

GitHub also announced any new 1201 takedown notices will be “carefully scrutinised by legal experts” to reject “unwarranted claims”, and said it will side with software developers if the claims are ambiguous. The announcement also mentioned GitHub Trust and Safety team would treat developer’s tickets as a “top priority”. GitHub also pledged donation of USD 1 million for developer defense fund “to help protect open source developers on GitHub from unwarranted DMCA Section 1201 takedown claims”.

GitHub had blocked public access to many forks of youtube-dl upon receiving the DMCA notice in October. At that time, Wikinews noted public access was not yet restored for the forked repositories listed in RIAA’s copyright notice and was still displays “Repository unavailable due to DMCA takedown”.

During the period when GitHub had disabled public access for the repository, Sergey M had been developing youtube-dl and hosting it on GitLab, another code-sharing and hosting site. However, since GitHub has restored public access of youtube-dl, Sergey M has made the GitLab repository private.

After this, Wikinews reached out to Richard Stallman, the founder of Free Software Foundation, who has been highly critical of DRM (digital rights management, the subject of the DMCA) for many years now, to discuss the harms of DRM and DMCA 1201.

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Monday, October 1, 2007

Tyler Currie is running as an Progressive Conservative candidate in the Ontario provincial election, in the riding of Trinity-Spadina. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Submitted by: Marilyn Reid

Essential oils, also known as volatile or ethereal oils are complex hydrophobic liquids with strong aroma. They are very volatile and complex in nature. Essential oils are concentrated extracts of flowers, spices, roots, fruits and leaves. Mostly, essential oils can be obtained by distillation. Besides you can also use expression or solvent extraction. They are used in cosmetics, perfumes and cosmetics. In order to get the maximum benefit from essential oils, it is important to use pure essential oils.

Some of the following tips will help you shop for the best quality essential oils:

Try to purchase essential oils from a reputable source: It is important to buy essential oils from a well known source, so that you do not get poor quality. Unfortunately, they are often diluted, cut, extended or altered in one form or the other that leads to impurity in the quality of essential oils. It is advisable to use pure, natural essential oils for health purposes. Make sure you ask the seller if he has the oils that are tested by an independent lab using Gas Chromatography or Mass Spectrometry. This test helps to identify the purity of oil and authenticity. It is observed that sellers who believe in communicating with their suppliers and maintain a close connection tend to get the oils tested. It helps them obtain pure products. Buying oils from a place of repute saves you from major disappointment regarding quality.

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Never buy oils that are stored in plastic or transparent containers: Essential oils tend to lower the quality of the plastic material. Therefore, it should be sold and stored in glass containers only. Moreover, the glass container in which you wish to store essential oils should be dark in color, as light tends to affect the quality fo the essential oils.

Always enquire about the purity of the oil and the place from where the seller bought it. Besides you should also ask about the botanical plant names for the essential oil. Try to get answer for all such questions. If the seller happens to answer them correctly then you can be sure that he has clear knowledge about essential oils.

Always be on the lookout for synthetic essential oils. Many such oils are lilac, rain, carnation, strawberry or cucumber. As these oils are synthetic, it could mean that rest of the oils will also be synthetic.

Try to check for purity: It is important to identify pure essential oils. In order to do so put a drop of essential oil on a paper and check if it evaporates immediately or not. Ideally, it should evaporate without leaving any oily mark, as soon as it is put on paper. If it leaves a mark it means it is made with vegetable oil.

Fragrance oils, synthetic oils or perfume oils do not belong to the category of essential oils. These oils should not be substituted for essential oils, particularly when they are used for health related purposes. Fragrance oils do not have any therapeutic value and can often lead to sensitization and adverse reactions in many people.

About the Author: For 10 years, Marilyn has been active as an advocate for Alternative Health Therapies, specializing in

Essential Oils



to increase wellness. Marilyn also writes

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wikinews reporter Iain Macdonald has performed an interview with Dr Isabella Margara, a London-based member of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). In the interview Margara sets out the communist response to current events in Greece as well as discussing the viability of a communist economy for the nation. She also hit back at Petros Tzomakas, a member of another Greek far-left party which criticised KKE in a previous interview.

The interview comes amid tensions in cash-strapped Greece, where the government is introducing controversial austerity measures to try to ease the nation’s debt-problem. An international rescue package has been prepared by European Union member states and the International Monetary Fund – should Greece require a bailout; protests have been held against government attempts to manage the economic situation.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Following its recent loss to South Africa, the Australian Cricket team has replaced player Jason Krejza for Nathan Hauritz in the traditional Boxing Day test to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in front of an expected crowd of 70,000. Australia lost the first test of the three game series by six wickets after South Africa chased down an almost world record 414 in their second innings. Only West Indies have done better making 7-418 in Antigua during the 2002-03 tour.

All rounder Andrew Symonds kept his place despite being restricted in training with knee-soreness. Victorian speed bowler Peter Siddle was also thought to be on the verge of replacement yet managed to retain his place in the team. There has been rumour that the injury would keep Symonds out and Queenslands team mate Shane Watson would be returned after time on the sidelines. quotes Australian Captain Ricky Ponting “We have only made the one change in the side and that’s Nathan Hauritz will come in for Jason Krejza. Otherwise we are pretty happy with what most of the rest of the guys did in Perth.”

Australia, currently leading the work test team rankings must avoid a 3-0 loss to South Africa if they are to retain their current rankings. If they do loose the series, it will be the first time they have done so on home soil since they lost the West Indies in 1993.

Following their emphatic win, South Africa has named an unchanged side putting aside doubt over vice-captain Ashwell Prince making a comeback as he continues to suffer with a thumb injury. South Africa will train before joining family and friends in the traditional Christmas Day luncheon for both teams.

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By Seomul Evans

Taxes generate money. Everybody thinks of ways to avoid or perhaps lessen the burden of paying due taxes. But do we ever wonder where our taxes go and who are benefited from our diminutive expenses at the end of the year?

There are infinite benefits of paying taxes. We pay taxes to take advantage of all facilities and amenities around us. We dig deep into our pockets to enjoy all the good things we see everyday. We pay taxes because we want our children to attain the best education. We pay taxes because we want to have the best health care for our families. These are just among the countless benefits we obtain from paying taxes. In short, we pay taxes because we care.

Government Allowance

We need to pay taxes to run the government. Like any other institution, government is embodied by employees running to serve the whole populace. It has its own administrators, personnel, and facilities. Thus, the entire machinery needs financial assistance to govern the community. Our taxes are used to finance the administrators and employees. Generally, the taxes we pay are directed towards the government. It consequently distributes allowances for each and every sector of the government. Can you ever imagine the nation without the government?

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Construction and Maintenance of Public Facilities

We drive smoothly on highways. We travel a lot because we want to enjoy public amenities like museums, parks and other recreational facilities. Remember, we all contribute to build up roads, bridges and highways. These are not merely projects of the elected officials. The money used to build each and every public facility comes from our own pockets through the taxes we pay. In fact, we should be proud that we have contributed towards the construction and maintenance of all amenities enjoyed by the community.

Health Care Assistance and Education

We pay taxes because we care for the less privileged community. Not all of us can afford the best medical care and attain the highest education. Part of the taxes we pay will benefit the less fortunate ones to get free healthcare assistance and free education.

Social and National Security

Do not ever attempt to call 911 when you don’t pay your due taxes responsibly. We pay for the services of the policemen and firefighters in our society. Although created by the government, we sustain the services of these social guardians through the taxes we pay. Furthermore, we sleep in comfort knowing that our nation is protected from external enemies by our tough soldiers.

If You Don’t Pay Taxes, DO NOT

Send your children to public schools and state universities Expect for Medicare assistance when you get older Attempt to seek help from 911 hotlines Aware yourself with weather forecast Utilize public transportation Expect that you are protected from violence Use the US post office Apply for government grants Look at the public safety signs Use any public amenities, EVER!

In conclusion, we pay taxes to create social responsibility within the society. We sponsor all public facilities that are being enjoyed by the entire community. Tax payers must not whine about having to dig deep into their pockets instead they must understand the real essence of paying taxes. Because we contribute to the existence of these public amenities, we must be proud citizens.

About the Author: Seomul Evans is


consultant specializing in Attorney Marketing. Visit the sites to learn more about

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton regained the IBF light welterweight title belt he relinquished less than 12 months ago when he defeated Juan Urango in Las Vegas, Nevada tonight.

“The Hitman” won by unanimous decision, as the fight went to 12 rounds. Despite early match odds suggesting Hatton would dominate the fight, this was not the case. Each round was close, but most pundits and judges alike agreed that Urango only won 1 of the 12 rounds, with Hatton taking the other 11.

Despite the unfamiliar confines of Las Vegas, Hatton looked touched by the ringing of football fan-like chants, familiar in British boxing, that rang around the arena, as more than half of it was filled by traveling support from across the atlantic.

Many in the UK will hope Hatton has ended the “curse” that has seen names such as Frank Bruno, Naseem Hamed, Barry McGuigan and others fall short while headlining fights on “The Strip”.

From here, it is widely believed “The Hitman” will move on to fight Jose Luis Castillo in June, again likely in Vegas.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and three other men were indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy related to a dog fighting operation. The charges included buying, breeding and training pit bull dogs, transporting the dogs across state lines to illegally participate in fights, and gambling on the fights.

The indictments stemmed from a search of Vick’s Smithfield, Virginia home in April, in which 54 pit bulls were removed, along with equipment used in dog fighting.

The indictment said that Vick had bought the property in Smithfield for US$34,000 to run the dog fighting under the name “Bad Newz Kennels” with two other people named in the indictment. Purnell Peace, Quanis Phillips, and Tony Taylor were all named in the indictment along with Vick.

The indictment stated that Vick took part in the killing of eight dogs that didn’t pass test fights, called “rolling”. The pit bulls were allegedly killed by hanging, drowning and slamming at least one dog onto the ground.

If convicted of both portions of the conspiracy charge, Vick could face six years in prison and a $350,000 fine. His property, located in Surry County, would be subject to forfeiture under U.S. laws dealing with illegal activities that are carried out at an interstate level. The indictment alleges that the dog fighting operation, involving American Pit Bull Terriers, spilled over into Alabama, North Carolina and New York.

Vick has a court date on July 26 for a bond hearing and to hear the charges. Vick has said that he had a kennel operation on the property, but had no involvement or knowledge of a dog fighting ring.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Carbon monoxide poisoning is thought to have been the cause of the deaths of three people and one Jack Russell dog in a caravan park in Cornwall in South West England. Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) were alerted to the incident in Tremarle Home Park in the town of Camborne at 12:56 UTC on Saturday.

We have seen a big increase in the number of carbon monoxide incidents in Cornwall over recent years

Inspector David Eldridge said Devon and Cornwall Police were alerted to the caravan park incident after “a helper had been unable to get a reply from an elderly couple who lived in the caravan”. He said that upon their arrival, “We were able to see that there was a figure sat in a chair but they were unresponsive to knocks at the door.” CFRS workers called to the area “forced entry into the property and found that the three occupants were all dead”, Inspector Eldridge said. A hazardous material advisor was also present at the scene in North Roskear. The Health and Safety Executive is now investigating the incident but the deaths are not considered as being of a suspicious nature.

The three fatalities have been identified as Audrey Cook, aged 86, her husband Alfred, aged 90, and Maureen, their 46-year-old daughter. David Biggs, a member of Camborne Town Council, said the incident came as “a shock” to him; Tremarle Home Park is “a well established facility and is very well run”, according to him. Biggs described the loss of three lives as an “appalling tragedy”.

The incident came five days after Cornwall Council announced its Family Placement Service would launch a joint venture with Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service to place carbon monoxide detectors in the houses of foster carers. The programme, entitled ‘Be Gas Safe’, has seen 200 carbon monoxide detectors and 2000 leaflets to raise awareness about carbon monoxide being given to CFRS. Mark Blatchford, Group Manager of CFRS, said: “We have seen a big increase in the number of carbon monoxide incidents in Cornwall over recent years”. He described carbon monoxide detectors as being “as important as a smoke alarm as it provides a valuable early warning”.

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, colourless, tasteless and odourless gas which is created when such carbon-based fuels as oil, gas, coal and wood are not completely incinerated. The human body’s capacity to hold oxygen in the blood can be reduced by inhalation of the gas, which in turn may cause death. The Gas Safe Register has said dizziness, headaches, queasiness, lack of ability to breathe, fainting and losing consciousness are all symptoms of a person experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Submitted by: Danica Reynes

You can take care of your skin by small regular skin care routines like hydrating yourself, eating a healthy diet, buying the right facial cleanser, using an alcohol-free balm, protecting your skin from the sun, moisturize, protecting your lips, and taking care of your hands.

All people, whether male or female, need to feel good about themselves; skincare is not limited to women! Men should follow their own unique skincare routine. There are many products similar to Argan oil skin products that are natural and beneficial for both men and women. Some extra advice for guys:Stay hydrated.

Hydrating yourself daily is one of the simplest and most fundamental ways to have healthy skin. Try drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day. You are advised to increase your water consumption if you regularly drink coffee, alcohol, soda, and other dehydrating beverages.

Take advantage of eating a healthy diet

The food you eat affects your skin’s health. To prevent skin aging and damage rely on a balanced diet that includes vegetables and fruits. Also, start eliminating, or at least reducing junk foods and alcoholic drinks.

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Buy the right facial cleanser

Although it is usually not recommended, still most of the men just go in for the use of a soap cake for washing and cleaning of their faces. Harsh soaps will rob your facial skin of moisture. Select a facial cleanser specifically matched to your skin type rather than using the same bar soap that you use to cleanse your body.

People should use balm without alcohol

Alcohol-based aftershaves can irritate your skin, and if you use them, you probably feel a burning sensation after application. Check the label of the shaving balm always before you buy, and opt for an alcohol-free balm instead of the general harsh aftershave. There are also balms that have the added benefits of being a moisturizer and can soothe and calm your skin.

Your skin should be protected from any harmful effects caused by the sun

Overexposure to the sun will hurt your skin and dry it out. Staying out of the sun is the most effective way to shield your skin from sun damage. If this situation is inevitable, you should always be sure to apply sunscreen with enough SPF before exposing yourself outside


The early development of lines and wrinkles can be avoided by moisturizing the skin. Luckily, there are various different moisturizers that are made specifically for men. You can either opt for Fragrance-Free Moisturizers or ones that have Fragrances too.

Protect your lips

Your lips can be very painful when chapped or dry. Extreme weather conditions are one of many causes for them. Be sure to purchase lip balm with some level of SPF; this allows you to hydrate your skin while protecting it from sun damage.

Make sure to care for your hands

Don’t forget about your hands. Hand lotion or a moisturizer can be a great idea for dry and rough hands. Some skincare lines specialize in products for men.

Invest time and the right products in your skincare as it affects your self confidence.

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