A request made by Hollywood film studios led to the withdrawal of Widevine Dump, a set of scripts that allowed you to download movies and series from streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and others. The software was hosted on GitHub, which complied with the producers’ court order, based on the DMCA, an act that regulates copyright in the United States and tries to combat piracy.
The project was focused on breaking Widevine protection, aimed precisely at protecting content from streaming direct copies. According to the Torrent Freak website, it was not necessarily a new creation, but a collection of tools that were already circulating in private groups aimed at making such materials publicly available; with their arrival on GitHub, however, they became more popular and, of course, attracted more attention from the studios.
The request made by the MPA, the association of US film production companies, cites the breach of proprietary Widevine protection software, in addition to the copyright of works available on streaming services, as the reason. The allegation is that the tool would be used to make publicly available content that is available on paid services, in a GitHub request that was filed on December 31, just four days after the set was published.
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The software was removed on the same day, as was the user account responsible for the post. However, there are doubts as to whether the withdrawal is actually related to the request, since the person responsible for Widevinedump had already stated that the availability of the tools was temporary, with a few days for interested parties to work with them.
Speaking to Torrent Freak on condition of anonymity, the person responsible for the publication said the act is retaliation for members of a closed group on Discord. At the same time, the sets were also not fully available, as modules responsible for breaking the encryption of the materials had to be purchased so that the files could be effectively downloaded from streaming and shared in a common video format.
As always happens, even after the tools were removed, other projects based on the original codes began to emerge. Between improvements or simple copies, the flurry of forks led to yet another request by the MPA, listing 934 software repositories and asking to take them all down under the same allegations used for the original Widevinedump.
In this case, there was no voluntary withdrawal, and in publishing the film studios’ request, GitHub confirmed that it had complied. Projects now display a copyright takedown notice, while slowly other options begin to appear on the platform itself, a sign that, as in most cases involving piracy, takedowns do not prevent the practice.