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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] youtube-dl might be running non-free software from

From: J.B. Nicholson
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] youtube-dl might be running non-free software from
Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2017 21:05:12 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.8.0

address@hidden wrote:
I haved audited the JSInterpreter class in youtube-dl. Here are my

Thanks for doing this research and publishing the results.

So, while youtube-dl is an invaluable tool.. it is not exactly clear to me
whether it can be considered free libre software.
* The source code is available and it is permissively licensed [per]

This makes youtube-dl free software. The FSF's review of The Unlicense (youtube-dl's public domain dedication) notes that works under this dedication are GNU GPL compatible. The FSF recommends using the CC0 Creative Commons license to dedicate copyrightable works to the public domain because CC0 contains "a fallback license, and is more thorough and mature than the Unlicense". After reading (particularly the rationale section) I concur with the FSF's assessment.

* The program munges nonfree javascript, allowing the user to accomplish a
task without executing it.
* The program is used to violate TOS, but software freedom 0 says we have
the right to use a program for any purpose.

I don't see how either of these points renders youtube-dl non-free.

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