disorganized thoughts on youtube-dl

the riaa's dmca takedown of youtube-dl was farcical but also scary. for me and i
would guess other people my age it was this sudden reappearance of a nemesis we
had forgotten about - the riaa was a looming spectre for everyone who made use
of p2p apps to steal music online, who had been long forgotten after a number of
startups came into existence to sate the riaa by stealing from artists in a more
comfortable, bureaucratic way that gave the riaa more of the money they wanted

the common response to this is that the riaa is a bunch of dullards that don't
have a sense of how browsers work, or how digital distribution works, but i
think they do. a lot of albums are appearing on youtube with a certain format
that suggests that they are supposed to be there, increasingly obscure ones
(check out 'the loop ochestra') has always signalled to me that this is out of
some deal with the riaa as google has processed the archives it assume that 
people are more likely to give a shit about first. i haven't bothered to read
into this much because i don't really care

the nature of it obviously is that these videos are already downloaded by the
browser when you watch them. you can imagine a setup where you set up some 
audio recording device (in a "home taping is killing the record industry" sort
of way) but the reality is more farce: your browser is already effectively 
home-taping this data and then dutifully throwing it out afterwards. it's 
funny to think that the easiest way of listening to new music on a mobile 
device for most people is this endless cycle of recording and then dutifully
discarding the result. somehow it is more effective to endlessly re-ignite 
the processes of an unfathomably complicated machine, one that a given 
individual can only glimpse the larger skeleton of without being able to hold
the distinct components comprehensibly in their head, than to have a file stay
put on a hard drive

if it's not clear, this isn't default behavior. you can write your own
youtube-dl pretty trivially with a program that looks through the source data
and then saves it to your hard drive in a space that is sensible. this is the
guts of a web browser. it takes extra work to make sure that the saved files
are in some bureaucratically-acceptable subfolder you can never remember, and
then remove the results. this is just one of the administrative duties that
a "reasonable" browser will do for us and can thus be assumed as part of the
financial mechanism that drives things like youtube, etc.

the inanity of considering a web browser that only does "part of the job" as
a meanace significant enough to merit bursting through (afaik) new territory 
in copyright law is pretty interesting. i envision new corporate-mandated law
that makes partial implementation of a social contract we never agreed to a
cause for inspection by suited men. the sort of blow to archival efforts that
the chuck wendigos of the world can only have wet dreams about