I like invidious.snopyta.org because its parent website seems to be a privacy focused organization, but is it actually good for privacy, and are there any other Invidious instances with good privacy track records?

Avoid Cloudflared instances, rest are just fine.


Other than Cloudflare instances (while we’re at it, AWS/Azure/Google Cloud hosted instances are also no-go’s), a major concern of mine is the instance maintainers themselves using it to collect data to sell.

Yes, I did not mean just CF. Other instances should also be certainly avoided, but CF is taken lightly compared to Big Tech.

Best way to view videos, honestly, is mpv + youtube-dl.

Check format ID code using youtube-dl -F <VIDEO_URL>, and play using mpv --ytdl-format=<FORMAT_ID> <VIDEO_URL>. You can even Torify this if you like, or just download using youtube-dl like I do.


Would be great to know. It’s hard to imagine an established, reputable organisation getting behind a service that circumvents youtube tos.

Without such guarantees it does ease the mind a little to see the community takes GPL violations seriously ( https://github.com/iv-org/invidious/issues/1456) but your point remains that what goes on over the fence on server with so much data is opaque to us and could be malicious.

It’s hard to imagine an established, reputable organisation getting behind a service that circumvents youtube tos.

Youtube ToS are not law. Any non-profit organization can infringe on their Terms of Service as long as they respect the law. Invidious is arguably in many places a tool for interoperability and accessibility of Youtube so nothing illegal at all.


Whether or not it’s legal in various jurisdictions I don’t know, but I have a hard time imagining an organisation like Debian for example, who already has “Team Social” (https://wiki.debian.org/Teams/DebianSocial) with Pleroma, Pixelfed, Peertube and others, creating an invidious instance. It would be great but I imagine they would come under fire and as in the case of yt-dl, I could imagine yt tos being ammunition.

Well Debian wouldn’t make so much sense to host something like this, because they have a worldwide community but only a handful of local servers. It’s more useful if the proxy is closer to you on the network. A local/self-organized ISP is a perfect candidate for that.

But apart from that i could see Debian getting into it. Like more and more free-software orgs are running Peertube to share their videos. In the case of youtube-dl, the takedown (however shameful it is) had nothing to do with Youtube ToS, it was entirely motivated by a copyright holder noticing their song was used in one of the unit tests… so really ToS have exactly 0 legal value (especially when you haven’t read/signed them). The only thing YT could do with their ToS is ban your IP from their service, which i’m not aware Youtube is doing (yet).


Maybe on Debian, I don’t have any specific knowledge of their view of such things. I don’t think they have network or technological barriers to running it if they want.

In terms of youtube, the takedown specifically calls (bogusly) out tos violations.

As there, the youtube-dl source code available on Github (which is the subject of this notice) circumvents YouTube’s rolling cipher to gain unauthorized access to copyrighted audio files, in violation of YouTube’s express terms of service,3 and in plain violation of Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §1201.


Well like your quote says, the problem is infringing on DMCA legislation, not Youtube ToS (though Youtube ToS forbidding such use is what triggers DMCA arguably). DMCA is not a problem at all in Europe, where we have stronger exceptions to copyright (private copy, accessibility, education, etc…) but youtube-dl was hosted on Github which is an american company owned by Microsoft, so where US law applies. That’s why we need decentralized forging to redistribute the digital means of production.

Further extract from the DMCA request:

For example, as shown on Exhibit A, the source code expressly suggests its use to copy and/or distribute the following copyrighted works owned by our member companies

Looks like we were both right :)


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