A Liberated Version of Youtube-DL is Almost Here!

51 risposte [Ultimo contenuto]
Soon.to.be.Free
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Iscritto: 07/03/2016

Hi!

A while ago, it was discovered by user calher that Youtube-DL executes non-free Javascript as part of downloading some videos.

In order to remedy that, I've been working on removing this (anti)feature from the software, as well as a few others. The result- avideo /ævə'dɛjo:/- has just entered beta! This is an open invite to anybody who would like to join the effort to make avideo a viable replacement for youtube-dl.

I'll post any significant updates here.

SuperTramp83

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Iscritto: 10/31/2014

+1, mate. Keep it up!!

libreleah
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Iscritto: 04/03/2017

you can also stream youtube in vlc

ctrl+n, paste youtube url

also

this requires first running the javascript,b ut you can also hold shift and right click the video frame on the video page in youtube, and click "copy video location" and then wget it

or

install "unplug" plugin in firefox, then right click page (with librejs, or with javascript disabled) and click "unplug" and unplug will also give direct link to video

there are many ways to use youtube librely, without using youtube-dl. i use unplug and shift+rightclick method all the time

Soon.to.be.Free
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Iscritto: 07/03/2016

@SuperTramp83: Thank you! I'll do my best, although it's questionable whether it's particularly "good"...

@libreleah: Thank you for the information. I had heard of VLC, but never of unplug. I'd (at Stallman's advice) been planning to start implementing a browser plugin (after avideo was off the ground), so it'd definitely be good to have something to work from.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010
SuperTramp83

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Iscritto: 10/31/2014

>although it's questionable whether it's particularly "good"...

It's surely free software so I guess someone knowledgeable here will help you with it being this matter quite important I think, after all why would we want to accept loading nonfree js with out preciousss ytdl? Or you can get better and rock it on your own dedicating the right time to it..

Soon.to.be.Free
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Iscritto: 07/03/2016

Thank you! Also, just to note-

>why would we want to accept loading nonfree js with out
>preciousss ytdl

It's the only way to download most music videos (and probably movies). How could you live without Guns 'n' Roses' "November Rain"?

SuperTramp83

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Iscritto: 10/31/2014
bill-auger
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Iscritto: 09/01/2015

> It's the only way to download most music videos (and probably movies). How could you live without Guns 'n' Roses' "November Rain"?

.... said without a hint of irony - how noble to be concerned about the ethics of executing a little unlicensed javascript with the consent of it's author - while downloading copyrighted music without the consent of it's author - sorry, if i am not impressed :(

SuperTramp83

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Iscritto: 10/31/2014

>.... said without a hint of irony - how noble to be concerned about the ethics of executing a little unlicensed javascript with the consent of it's author - while downloading copyrighted music without the consent of it's author - sorry, if i am not impressed :(

Once again you miss the point - I'm impressed, how do you manage to do that?

bill-auger
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Iscritto: 09/01/2015

i only made one statement so saying "once again" is just pretentious - and as you did not bother to educate me as to what exactly is "the point" i allegedly missed, then one can only assume that you did not actually have one

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem

care to try again?

SuperTramp83

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Iscritto: 10/31/2014

bill mate, I did not for it seems obvious to me, I mean, rejecting non-free software has nothing to do with copyrighted music, or whatever non-free data for that matter. I don't like my youtube-dl to download or execute any kind of non-free software but I am very much ok with downloading guns n roses' discography. One thing has nothing to do with the other.
There, I tried again. It was not my intention to be pretentious, rather I wanted to point out the absurdity of your previous comment. And I even had a point, strange as it may seem.

Soon.to.be.Free
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Iscritto: 07/03/2016

You do have a fair point. Although my views align with SuperTramp's, I can understand how those who are less inclined to completely trample over copyright restrictions may not see that statement in such a positive light.

However, it seems questionable that the execution of JavaScript is *with* the author's consent and the downloading of the videos *without*. In regards to the JavaScript, it is stated in YouTube's TOS that "You agree not to access Content through any technology or means other than the video playback pages of the Service itself, the Embeddable Player, or other explicitly authorized means YouTube may designate." (from https://trisquel.info/en/forum/you-cannot-watch-youtube-libre-software-computer#comment-113304). This would seem to imply non-consent to use of the 'JavaScript engine' in YouTube-DL for the purpose of downloading videos- potentially there would be no objections to running the JavaScript for other purposes, but that is beside the point.

For downloading of videos, there is of course non-consent in some sense, highlighted in the TOS quote above. On the other hand, though, official music videos have been posted online, for free, in a public space under the auspices of the publishers themselves (or at least with their implicit consent). This to me suggests permission, or even encouragement, from the copyright holders to download a copy and have a look. They might not want you holding a copy on your hard drive, or using a third-party interface to YouTube, but that's a separate issue- the former can be administered at will with the delete key, and the latter is the only way to access *any* YouTube video without running 10 tonnes of full-strength JS.

J.B. Nicholson-Owens
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Iscritto: 06/09/2014

name at domain wrote:
> .... says Soon.to.be.Free - without a hint of irony - how noble you are to
> raise the ethical concerns of executing a little javascript that you do not
> have a license for - while you download a copyrighted music video ripping
> off your favorite band - sorry, i am not impressed :(

Quite a lot is said there which needs and deserves some unpacking.

While fully recognizing you did not use the word "theft" nor did you
conflate theft with copyright infringement, it's worth noting that laws
don't define ethics. I think
https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html#Theft says it well:

> Unauthorized copying is forbidden by copyright law in many circumstances
> (not all!), but being forbidden doesn't make it wrong. In general, laws
> don't define right and wrong. Laws, at their best, attempt to implement
> justice. If the laws (the implementation) don't fit our ideas of right
> and wrong (the spec), the laws are what should change.

Just because copyright is involved in both situations (the YouTube
Javascript program code and possibly the work hosted on YouTube) that does
not mean we need to draw the same conclusions about them because their
licenses don't have the same effect on us, and they could be of completely
different kinds of works (the Javascript code is functional, but the video
might be someone expressing their political views).

We should question whether we want copyright at all (in the US, at least,
copyright law is constitutionally allowed not constitutionally required),
and what power(s) and what we want copyright law to say. People discover
they can use computers to share and remix copyrighted works. We find that
people want to use computers to do these things. This means it is foolish
to trade away our natural right to copy anything to satisfy the power
desires of a few (greedy copyright holders). Richard Stallman talks about
this at some length in his earlier talks about "Copyright vs. Community".
You can find a copy of this and many other talks online at
https://audio-video.gnu.org/ in formats that favor free software.
https://audio-video.gnu.org/video/2016-04-11--rms--copyright-vs-community--athens.ogv
is one such recording. In that recording, he talks about this topic at
about 1 hour into the talk, but the whole talk is worth seeing and hearing.

Also, copyrighted works are not all licensed to forbid copying, sharing, or
building upon. Some works hosted on multimedia sharing sites are licensed
to share. For all we know, someone's favorite band licenses their works to
share.

Finally, regarding "executing a little javascript that you do not have a
license for": that's not the issue here. YouTube is giving you a copy of
the Javascript with a clear expectation for you to run that code in order
to use their service, so that's license enough to read that software but
insufficient to call that software free software. The question concerns
what rights you have under the relevant license: as with any other
software, if you lack the freedoms of free software in that program (and
the program is of copyrightable length) that program is non-free software.

SuperTramp83

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Iscritto: 10/31/2014

>We should question whether we want copyright at all (in the US, at least, copyright law is constitutionally allowed not constitutionally required), and what power(s) and what we want copyright law to say. People discover they can use computers to share and remix copyrighted works. We find that
people want to use computers to do these things. This means it is foolish to trade away our natural right to copy anything to satisfy the power desires of a few (greedy copyright holders).

Exactly, every word. You write very well, companero, both the form and the content.

>natural right

I'm more inclined to calling it 'natural instinct of copy', and that's what we as humans do ever since we start to walk and talk, we copy our parents, we copy out mates, we copy our poets and musicians and whatnot. It's one of the greatest and most powerful human instincts, the instinct of copy. And that's also what we do as humanity as a whole, it's all freaking copy, our knowledge in arts and science is progressive and each great thinker bases his ideas on the man that came before him.

When I was a kiddo for me sharing music, registering music (with the old radio on cassette ahhh nostalgia) or videocassettes was as natural as drinking water. It should be like that. We should find an alternative, decent way to copyright, one that:

A) takes away the power and the big money from the 'greedy corporations' to give it to the artist, but in a more rational, sober fashion, of course.

B) doesn't lead say a 20 yr old dood to jail (it might happen, what 'ya know..) because he downloaded 10 movies.

C) makes sure the artist can live decently with their work for the rest of their goddam artistic lives.

Anyone a solution?

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Stallman has two: listen to his "Copyright vs. Community" talk: http://audio-video.gnu.org

There are variants too. For example, a tax (e.g., on Internet connections) that the citizen distributes as she wishes (Flattr-like but anonymous).

loldier
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Iscritto: 02/17/2016

Youtube can be streamed to mpv.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mpv_(media_player)

https://mpv.io/

mpv https://youtu.be/aFnNCwTkYo8

It's safe. Don't worry, it's Astrum's channel, a video on Jupiter.

jupiter_mpv.png jupiter_mpv_2.png jupiter_mpv_3.png jupiter_mpv_4.png
ADFENO
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Iscritto: 12/31/2012

Unfortunatelly, mpv depends on youtube-dl to view videos in these free
software unfriendly websites.

I have created a topic in the gnu-linux-libre mailing list (Workgroup
for free system distributions, not just those running GNU Linux-libre)
about this issue
([[http://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/gnu-linux-libre/2017-04/msg00001.html]]). So
far, the people that participate and commented in the topic didn't make
their vote, and didn't provide other evidence of the issue and how it
could be solved --- besides the evidence that we have found so far about
the usage of JSInterpreter to parse some "signature". Also, there's no
consideration on what free/libre system distributions must do so far
(because there's no entry for youtube-dl in
[[https://libreplanet.org/wiki/List_of_software_that_does_not_respect_the_Free_System_Distribution_Guidelines]],
and the entry there can only be made if the gnu-linux-libre or RMS reach
a decision).

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loldier
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Iscritto: 02/17/2016

Here's the output from the terminal.

terminal_mpv.png
Soon.to.be.Free
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Iscritto: 07/03/2016

There's actually more information that's arisen in regards to the issue. My apologies for not adding it here earlier- I've mixed up what's been written in e-mails and what's on the forum, it seems.

The issue, which forces YouTube-DL to execute Javascript in order to capture full functionality, is 'signature encryption'. A very good summary can be found at https://superuser.com/questions/773719/how-do-all-of-these-save-video-from-youtube-services-work (read the answer starting with "YouTube Bookmarklet). Essentially, for some videos (such as music videos...), the URL of the video itself depends on a 'signature', which is obtained from the video ID through 'encryption'. This isn't really encryption, though, and that's the problem: it's some random set of mix-and-match functions contained in some off-site JS, which can be changes at YouTube's whim. At the bare minimum, then, this will require some low-level-but-above-me-for-now reverse engineering. At worst, this could require a daily effort from a group of 3-4 skilled hackers just to avoid falling too far behind.

In summary, this is DRM on YouTube which YouTube-DL carries out. I refrain from calling it that since it's so petty (all DRM is, but what does YouTube think this accomplishes?), but it in many ways is none other than a digital lock.

Soon.to.be.Free
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Iscritto: 07/03/2016

Also, just since I came across it reading the page for the workgroup you linked, it's now confirmed that nonfree JS is being run. In attempting to download the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SbUC-UaAxE (I have absolutely no idea what this video involves, so it could be NSFW), avideo reports an error "Youtube's DRM has prevented this software from obtaining the video URL". This error is only invoked in a very specific part of the code, the "if player_type" block I posted in the other thread, which was traced backwards in that post.

hack and hack
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Iscritto: 04/02/2015

I don't know about mpv, but vlc relies on some scripts.
I mean it's perfect for Youtube, but many other websites work only with Youtube-dl.

See here https://trisquel.info/en/forum/how-i-browse-and-watch-youtube#comment-113840

libreleah
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Iscritto: 04/03/2017

it makes sense that javascript would be executed, given how youtube works

it's possible in firefox to install greasemonkey and replace those scripts anyway. perhaps replace the JS and make youtube-dl use that instead?

Soon.to.be.Free
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Iscritto: 07/03/2016

Unfortunately, using a web extension wouldn't make replacing the JS any easier. I've written a full-length summary at https://trisquel.info/en/forum/liberated-version-youtube-dl-almost-here#comment-116286, but in short- it's used to implement DRM on some videos (most don't have it, but no JS is executed for them anyway).

libreleah
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Iscritto: 04/03/2017

soon to be free, do you have an IRC channel or some chatroom / mailing list for your project? i'm interested

Soon.to.be.Free
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Iscritto: 07/03/2016

Not yet, unfortunately-I admittedly didn't even consider that in setting up (I'm completely new to this whole thing). That said, I would like to.

Could anybody suggest a decent free (both senses) mailing list/forum/something host?

ADFENO
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Iscritto: 12/31/2012

GNU Savannah allows approved projects to have mailing lists in GNU
Savannah itself. :)

jules_verne
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Iscritto: 01/02/2017

I just arrived from travelling. This is the type of news I was hoping for!

hack and hack
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Iscritto: 04/02/2015

Having a fully free version being put aside just for the sake of understanding: with youtube-dl and vlc, what data am I giving up by using that tiny bit of JS used for making URLs readable?
Can't that be sandboxed, so that any extra JS execution would remain harmless and limited?
Like some kind of filter.

The non-free JS is needed, AFAIK. Either it's translated to a libre JS replacement and added to avideo, or used as-is, but in a sandbox (Firejail).

Sure it would not be fully free, but it should work regarding privacy. Obviously that's for a worst case scenario.

ADFENO
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Iscritto: 12/31/2012

I think it's better to forget virtualization whenever possible. We're
talking about potential end-users here. Virtualization of non-free
software usage is still non-free software usage. This kind of usage
should be reserved only for development purposes. :)

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- Pretende me enviar arquivos .doc, .ppt, .cdr, ou .mp3? OK, eu
aceito, mas não repasso. Entrego apenas em formatos favoráveis ao
/software/ livre. Favor entrar em contato em caso de dúvida.

hack and hack
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Iscritto: 04/02/2015

Or when you don't have a better option at the moment. Technically it's not running non-free software directly on my machine since it's in a sandbox.

Sure it doesn't strictly goes with full software freedom,
and I'm all for a better option.
But right now, this is a way to execute just a bit of non-free JS in a sandbox: I'm borrowing it without it influencing anything on my machine.
Hence acting like a filter, or a decontamination zone.

But I get your point. We can just disagree, it's fine.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Freedom and security are different. Free software is a prerequisite for security (against the developer, who cannot include malware and get by with it) but security does not entail freedom.

hack and hack
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Iscritto: 04/02/2015

I agree, and it's the best option.

Yet in this specific case, since it isn't available right now, no matter the malware, getting that URL is safe enough (any potential malware remains sandboxed).

But clearly, it's just a second-best fix.
Outsmarting those practices with fully free software would be awesome.

Soon.to.be.Free
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Iscritto: 07/03/2016

>with youtube-dl and vlc, what data am I giving up by using
>that tiny bit of JS used for making URLs readable?

What you've asked is an extremely good question, and the answer should be made absolutely clear:
At present, the JavaScript engine does not implement *any* functionality which threatens the privacy or security of the user.

As a member of the security/privacy camp of software freedom myself, this means I have no direct qualms with the current use of JS. However, there are still two reasons that it is important an alternative is developed:

*User choice. Stallman has unequivocally declared his dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs, and so I am sure there are at least a few others who must also be unwilling to accept it.

*The precedent set. Although the current state of affairs isn't too bad, the implication of "functionality over philosophy" made by this and other items of evidence published in the thread linked from the original post suggests it could get far worse if EME takes hold. Granted, that's still hypothetical thinking- but with all major browsers now aboard, how much of a fight do we expect from Alphabet when the never-content producers come knocking.

That said, please be aware external sandboxing is not (yet) needed- the limitations of the interpreter do that inherently.

>The non-free JS is needed, AFAIK.

Not quite. In general, the video signature can be obtained relatively easily just by downloading the page and applying some regular expressions. The exceptions only come from a subset of videos with 'signature encryption' (an unusual form of DRM). These appear to map quite nicely onto the types of media which come with DRM everywhere else- music videos and movies.

hack and hack
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Iscritto: 04/02/2015

I see, so it's like future-proofing, in a way. And independence.
Many thanks for your explanations!
And long live AVideo! I'll try it soon enough.

xdknight
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Iscritto: 05/31/2017

I work 15 year in web-development. Can say that JavaScript is a tool of evil, but we cannot live without it. Really crappy language. Today JS community wanted to fix it with kind of preprocessors and "compilers" thousands of them. Everything is crap. Usually people who write those frameworks absolutely doesn't understand how computer works and doesn't understand anything in algorithms. I dream when sometimes web will be JS free at all :)

hack and hack
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Iscritto: 04/02/2015

Not gonna happen any time soon, just like with PHP :/

J.B. Nicholson-Owens
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Iscritto: 06/09/2014

name at domain wrote:
> I work 15 year in web-development. Can say that JavaScript is a tool of
> evil, but we cannot live without it.

My experience is that website developers greatly overstate the need for
Javascript and most websites would work fine without Javascript use at all
because they're lazy in a bad way: they would rather put the burden on the
user than understand what the site's needs are and do more work
server-side. Web development existed prior to JS, and most sites do little
more than look stuff up in a DB or perhaps give you a way to play something
you download from the site (audio, movie, open a file of some kind). I also
find there are remarkable accessibility issues with JS dependent sites I
would not have experienced if the site were written to work without JS.

I prefer websites that rely only on HTTPS connections, CSS, images, fonts
(though this should not be needed; one should assume the user's fonts are
sufficient and legible to the user), and valid markup. So this is really a
desire for convenience instead of looking out for a more portable website
which works well on a wider set of displays and has fewer client-side
dependencies.

I don't need or want animated user interfaces, or client-side data
validation (particularly because it saves nothing: server-side validation
still has to be done as anything from any client is untrustworthy). I want
the information I came to the site to look for, and I want that information
quickly without loading extraneous info or executing anything.

JS-laden sites always load slowly. Amazon.com is a great example of this:
that site needlessly relies on JS and loads slowly and needlessly jacks up
the client's CPU load in the process. I can get queries into the search box
before the server-supplied search-as-you-type JS loads, thus that entire
feature is nothing but wasteful and load-raising. Loading images as one
scrolls is another annoying feature that never works well: youtube.com's
web interface tries to do this and always ends up being slower to scroll
through than if they had let the browser request all the thumbnails via
ordinary image HTML references. Sometimes youtube.com's site is completely
inoperative without JS making the entire site not really a website but a JS
site.

Some websites that were built to scale up don't need JS at all:
abebooks.com, for example, sells lots of books, has site searching, and one
can complete the entire purchasing sequence without JS turned on. It works
very well.

Soon.to.be.Free
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Iscritto: 07/03/2016

Yes! Although it would be unreasonable to expect perfection in reducing JS requirements, the amount some sites use is ridiculous. When entire sections of the page are missing because a web developer somewhere decided on compulsory accordion-boxes or some other 'design feature', or (even worse) the enable-JS popup actually prevents a site that would work reasonably WITHOUT JS from being usable, it shows just how much form is prioritized over function. It's depressing, to be honest.

ADFENO
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Iscritto: 12/31/2012

I agree entirely with you in the issues that JS usage arises for the
final/non-technical user. :)

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- Pretende me enviar arquivos .doc, .ppt, .cdr, ou .mp3? OK, eu
aceito, mas não repasso. Entrego apenas em formatos favoráveis ao
/software/ livre. Favor entrar em contato em caso de dúvida.

Soon.to.be.Free
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Iscritto: 07/03/2016

Just been released! NotABug Repository

SuperTramp83

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Iscritto: 10/31/2014

noice! \o/

marioxcc
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Iscritto: 08/13/2014

Hello.

What has been the functionality lost while liberating it? Is Soon.to.be.Free the same person as "Grace Past"?

YouTube is part of Google. Google supposedly has the motto "Don't be evil", but they are very evil, while pretending they're good and caring for people, which makes it even more nauseating.

calher

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Iscritto: 06/19/2015

Their new motto is "Do the right thing."

SuperTramp83

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Iscritto: 10/31/2014

Hehe, 'Do the right thing'

google.png NSA.jpg
SuperTramp83

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Iscritto: 10/31/2014

Also, reminded me of this great movie, which I highly recommend in case you missed it :)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097216/

Soon.to.be.Free
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Iscritto: 07/03/2016

>What has been the functionality lost while liberating it?

The main function lost has been the ability to download YouTube videos with 'encrypted signatures'. These videos have a scrambled (not even encrypted, really) ID used in place of the 'real' video ID in their video page, requiring a separate proprietary script be downloaded and run from YouTube; thus, these videos are 'off-limits' until it becomes feasible to reverse engineer the algorithm used. *HOWEVER*, this only affects those videos which use it- likely music videos/movies in most cases, which means most should work fine.

Also lost are the ability to log in to iQiyi, and the integrated update command. The former is for reasons of freedom also, as it requires executing some 'SDK' script downloaded from their site in order to authenticate the user. The latter, admittedly, isn't so much for reasons of liberty as convenience; frankly, I see no reason to add ANOTHER update utility rather than just allowing the user to use their main one (with a PPA/repository to offer up-to-date packages).

>Is Soon.to.be.Free the same person as "Grace Past"?

We are indeed the same sentient being. I can't confirm or deny that I'm a human being though :).

> Google supposedly has the motto "Don't be evil", but they
>are very evil, while pretending they're good and caring for
>people

It really is a pity that they've ended up like this. Although it might be naive to presume they were above corporate greed, they did show leadership in 'open-sourcing' Android- surely not being totally oblivious to what potential profits it could bring- and even acquiring YouTube, given the lack of copy protection in the service (in 2007, anyway). Perhaps I'm exaggerating the risk-taking and forward-thinking mindset exhibited. Even if so, though, it's sad to see how 'corporate' they are now, with the fabled '20% on work, 80% on your own projects' policy perhaps the last remaining monument to their innovation-prone startup origins.

Mangy Dog

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Iscritto: 03/15/2015

Good news & Thank you Soon to be Free ;-)

You may be interested in having a look Youtube-dl-gui (A cross platform front-end GUI of the popular youtube-dl written in wxPython.)
https://github.com/MrS0m30n3/youtube-dl-gui

Often some users turn away from yiutube-dl due to the fact that it's essentially terminal based, a gui offer like in Firejail would help many users on their path to freedom.

Have a nice weekend ;-)

Jabjabs
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Iscritto: 07/05/2014

That looks fantastic! I agree with you, as cool as Youtube-DL is - the terminal keeps a lot of people away from it.

Soon.to.be.Free
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Iscritto: 07/03/2016

Thanks for the link- looks good!

As a side note, it may be worth mentioning that avideo will automatically overwrite youtube-dl, so that any software which uses youtube-dl should (minus error messages) automatically be compatible. That said, it doesn't hurt to check- and it would definitely be good to point the terminal-averse to a GUI, so they too can be free.

jxself
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Iscritto: 09/13/2010

I'm posting this on behalf of the email's author, who appeared in #trisquel on Freenode.

http://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/gnu-linux-libre/2017-07/msg00003.html

There are also other interesting things in the thread. It might be good to consolidate discussion to that gnu-linux-libre mailing list.