Web hosting company Uberspace has announced an appeal against a Hamburg district court ruling that banned it from hosting an information page for the “Youtube-DL” software. This was reported by the Freedom Rights Society (GFF), which supports Uberspace in the processes initiated by the music industry.
“Youtube-DL” is a software library published on Github that can be used to download videos or audio tracks from Youtube and some other video websites via the command line. The official home page of the project on the youtube-dl.org domain is hosted by Uberspace.
The music industry vs. hosting
In early 2022, the German subsidiaries of international music multinationals Universal Music, Warner Music Group and Sony Entertainment sued Uberspace on behalf of three artists for “complicity” in copyright infringement and “liability to interfere”. The companies previously tried unsuccessfully to obtain a cease and desist declaration from Uberspace (Az.: 310 O 316/21).
At the end of last week, the regional court of Hamburg banned the Mainz provider from continuing to host the site. According to the ruling, Uberspace must also refrain from helping third parties circumvent “effective technical safeguards” for recordings made by artists represented by labels.
The GFF sees this as another attempt by the music industry to make legitimate online activities such as download tools illegal under the pretext of copyright. The download tool is legitimate because it does not bypass any effective copy protection measures. The GFF now wants to enforce this in an appeal to the Higher Regional Court.
“This decision is a threat to the freedom and remix culture on the Internet,” says GFF lawyer Yoshka Selinger. “According to the district court, downloading videos from YouTube should always be illegal, regardless of the purpose. This is against the interests of users and prevents legitimate and desirable use.”