Mike Stone

Mostly The Lonely Howls Of Mike Baying His Ideological Purity At The Moon

I Don't Trust GitHub

30 Oct 2020

A week ago, GitHub received a DMCA takedown notice regarding a program called youtube-dl. Their response has shattered the tiny amount of trust that I’d started to have in them.

I used to have no issues with GitHub. I even liked them. Sometimes I felt like putting so much stuff on GitHub was putting too many eggs in one basket but, all in all, it was fine.

Then 2018 happened.

On June 4th, 2018 Microsoft purchased GitHub. They’d been using GitHub quite a bit, and had integrated it into many of its tools. I suppose the purchase wasn’t a surprise to everybody considering.

What it did for me was to put a company that I had trusted under the umbrella of a company that I had no trust in at all. Putting all that source code in Microsoft’s hands just seemed like a horrible idea. The King of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish? No way I’d trust them.

Well, that was two years ago, and while I still don’t trust Microsoft even a little, things with GitHub hadn’t changed significantly. I was starting to think that maybe it wouldn’t. Maybe things would continue to be the same way they were before the acquisition?

This DMCA takedown notice destroyed that modicum of hope that I’d built up in the last two years. The takedown notice is garbage. Completely without merit. Despite that Microsoft didn’t hesitate a second to pull youtube-dl down.

I’m sure that has nothing to do with the fact that Microsoft sits on the board of the RIAA. “Nothing” to do with it at all.

Now, I know that GitHub CEO Nat Friedman has said that he’s doing anything and everything he can to make it all better, but even if they put the source code back up and put everything back to the way it was, I won’t put anything I write there. I didn’t think Microsoft could be trusted and by extension GitHub couldn’t be trusted. This incident has confirmed that for me, and I don’t think that’s going to go away any time soon.

Day 93 of the #100DaysToOffload Series.

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