False DMCA takedown by reporter

Hi there,

I’ve reviewed a false DMCA takedown request that has blocked all access to the /watch path on my domain, for example: Piped

All my website does, is proxy content to YouTube, which is perfectly legal under US laws.

“Under United States copyright law 17 U.S.C. § 512(a), part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, content that “is transmitted through the system or network without modification of its content” is allowed, and legal.”

There’s no way to reply back to these abuse reports unfortunately, and unfortunately I can’t open a support ticket either. What can I do to prevent this in the future, and how do I get my website reinstated?


You’re serving their videos in a different way than they would be served at the original URL. That’s modification, no?

No, that’s not a modification in any way of the copyrighted works, they’re displayed as is, without modifications. The point here is that the “copyrighted content” is being served as-is.

Apparently, Cloudflare’s legal department disagrees with your opinion. Your choices are:

  1. Comply
  2. Get a lawyer and fight it
  3. Discuss with Trust & Safety (you should have received an email from them)

If he has a valid argument and prevails in court the immediate application of a TOS violation re: 2.8 would be ironical.


I don’t proxy video content, through Cloudflare, but rather through my own servers, so I should be good on 2.8

You’re breaking many laws actually with running these tools. YouTube intended for you to use their API and based on terms, you’re violating the first 3.

The following restrictions apply to your use of the Service. You are not allowed to:

  1. access, reproduce, download, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, alter, modify or otherwise use any part of the Service or any Content except: (a) as expressly authorized by the Service; or (b) with prior written permission from YouTube and, if applicable, the respective rights holders;
  2. circumvent, disable, fraudulently engage with, or otherwise interfere with any part of the Service (or attempt to do any of these things), including security-related features or features that (a) prevent or restrict the copying or other use of Content or (b) limit the use of the Service or Content;
  3. access the Service using any automated means (such as robots, botnets or scrapers) except (a) in the case of public search engines, in accordance with YouTube’s robots.txt file; or (b) with YouTube’s prior written permission;
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Are you saying whatever is behind that /watch path eventually loads data directly from your server and not via Cloudflare?

But be it as it be, as @sdayman already wrote you only have the three options he mentioned. The community can’t do anything here.

@cos, he may be in violation of Google’s terms of service, I can’t comment on that, but that is not the same as breaking the law. Anyhow, we enter the realm of legal advice and the forum most certainly is not intended for that, so → @sdayman’s advice


This is false, as Violating a service’s TOS doesn’t necessarily mean I’m breaking the law.

You can find more information about this at: Court: Violating Terms of Service Is Not a Crime, But Bypassing Technical Barriers Might Be | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Be that as it may, once Trust and Safety is involved, there is nothing the Community can do. The response you received from @sdayman covered the possibilities.


Thanks! I’m going to respond to Cloudflare’s abuse email.

My website is currently hosted on Cloudflare Pages, so everything is literally static. If things go sour, I’ll move over to another JamStack platform like Vercel, Netlify, or Deno. I really want to stick with Cloudflare, and I hope things go well!

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Hi Kavin,
I noticed the DMCA complaints by that streaming dude and noticed also that only my attempts to access any yt videos over your instance with my Firefox browser by clicking on a link on an external website lead me to the “blocked” message by Cloudflare. But at the same time I could always access the instances main page over piped.kavin.rocks and then select and watch one of the “trending” vids w/o being blocked.

When I used Google Chrome, no blocking at all happened and I could watch any video by clicking of external referrers w/o a problem over your instance.
From my mobile phone I never had a problem, no matter if I used Firefox or Chrome.
Now I am logged into a different Wifi and any browser works.
I suspected the DNS resolvers used by the browsers behind the situation but I’m not so deep into IT to be sure about it.
I just love Piped as it allows switching off the screen while listening to music videos.

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Some advice for everyone using this incredibly great and important service, which Kavin provides:

If you put the video ID (/watch?v=xyzabc) into the search on the main page you can still access the videos.

Thanks and good luck Kavin,

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