Despite being the subject of a DMCA takedown notice at SourceForge.net, rtmpdump has been short-listed for ‘Best Project for Multimedia’ in the SourceForge.net Community Choice Awards 2009.
Please show your support now by voting for this project if you value the contribution it has made to free software and if you want to see the continuance of the project. Voting ends on 20th July 2009 so get clicking!
This is the reason adobe have issued the DMCA removal request for rtmpdump – the tool which allows saving of downloaded rtmp streams from sites that use the rtmp streaming protocol. I’ve had some more clarification. The DMCA removal request by adobe does not claim that rtmpdump infringes any copyright of adobe, but it claims rtmpdump can be used to infringe copyrights of others. It says in the letter:
The rtmpdump utility hosted on SourceForge.net (see URL below) can be used to download copyrighted works, such as those on www.channel4.com.
Well isn’t this kind of like saying that web browsers can be used to download copyrighted works – and almost all web site content is copyrighted; Maybe adobe should issue a DMCA removal request on mozilla.org? Does the fact that rtmp is used necessarily mean that the user cannot save the stream for time-shifting, fair-use or legitimate archiving purposes? The content could even quite possibly come under a creative commons license which can allow indefinite storage, copying and distribution with the right attribution.
As ever, I wonder what adobe’s motivations are here. Maybe adobe just don’t want their highly obfuscated protocols to become widely implemented in open source projects? Or maybe their protocol is sold on the basis of rtmp streams being secure and non-downloadable and now they must face the fact that it was not the case? Who knows? Is this just another example of the Emperor’s New clothes?
It would appear that the rtmp and rtmpe protocols have now been documented in detail according a story that just broke on slashdot.
I’d like to encourage readers who value such tools to nominate rtmpdump for Best Multimedia Project on Sourceforge. Just click the icon.
Update 24th May 2009: The entire letter can be now be viewed at chillingeffects.org
get_iplayer 1.87 now supports the new flvstreamer tool. This tool is a drop-in replacement for rtmpdump except that it has no support for RTMPE. This will not affect the operation of get_iplayer as it does not use that functionality to stream or record rtmp programmes.
flvstreamer is a fork of rtmpdump v1.6 which was censored by adobe who issued a DMCA removal request to the rtmpdump author and got the project taken down in the USA.
Search for flvstreamer on the download page.
I’ve just found out today that the author of rtmpdump has received a DMCA removal request via Sourceforge for rtmpdump which
is was hosted by them. This is rather curious since Adobe publicly and officially announced earlier this year that they will be releasing the specification of the RTMP protocol on its public developers site.
Get your copy now from the very many downloads available on the internet. Looks like Adobe will have their work cut out for them given the sheer number of sites that host this software globally. There is no doubt that this highly dangerous piece of code will also turn up on many bittorrent trackers and file download sites.
Maybe Adobe should try to understand that if you publicly hand out the decryption keys for the streamed media that you have encrypted then trying to prevent the decryption of such data is somewhat futile. This is really just an elaborate obfuscation technique that the big media bosses clearly believe works.
Adobe, as you probably know, has a history of restricting open interoperability and free speech. Remember the Dimitri Sklyarov case?.
Update see this post for more info…
Update 6th May 2009: You might want to read this first…
You are now able to search, index, record and watch Channel4′s 4oD without Adobe flash on most platforms using the latest release of the open source get_iplayer. And, best of all – it is DRM free…
This is possible thanks to today’s release of rtmpdump v1.5 by Andrej Stepanchuk which now supports adobe’s obfuscated RTMPE protocol.
To get this working do the following:
- Use the download page to get a new version of rtmpdump and update get_iplayer to the latest version (1.73). (use get_iplayer –update)
- Re-install the new Windows Automated Installer from here – it will then update to a working ffmpeg and rtmpdump v1.5.
- Search for a programme:
get_iplayer –type=ch4 Shameless
- Record the programme that is number 40123 in the resulting index:
get_iplayer –type=ch4 –get 40123
You can also record a programme if you suplly a 4oD url:
- Find the programme on the Channel4 4oD web site and copy the link location of the programme.
- Run get_iplayer as follows:
- Or just: get_iplayer –pid=ch4:2872545
Today I managed to get access to a Windows XP desktop and thought I’d try out the latest get_iplayer Windows Automated Installer. I have to say I am really quite impressed. The Installer is maintained and put together by Simon Dible. I just downloaded it, ran it and it automatically downloaded and installed all of the get_iplayer support packages such as rtmpdump, mplayer, lame, ffmpeg and Strawberry Perl (an open source perl for Windows that is not broken like ActivePerl!).
This really takes all the pain out of using get_iplayer on Windows. I just had to fire up get_iplayer from the Start menu and I had a shell with get_iplayer primed and ready.
The even better part about the new installer is that it now supports get_iplayer updates from the menu, which is good news because the release frequency is higher than the average. The update only usually takes a second or two because you are no longer forced to re-download the whole installer again – only the perl script. I suppose it might be worth looking for installer updates now and then in case you want updated support packages.
Lots of new features have been added to get_iplayer since the New Year. Notably Hulu TV and Film indexing and download support have been added for US based users. This can add up to 9000 additional TV programmes and 200+ films!! Although I have now limited it to the most popular 2000 TV programmes to save on indexing speed.
To list all the programmes available on Hulu you can simply type:
to get the index. Unfortunately, Hulu do not provide a very extensive XML feed so the indexing can take a few minutes. You can download a programme using the usual syntax, or, if you don’t wish to index the Hulu.com site, you can specify a pid or URL directly. e.g.:
get_iplayer --type=hulu --pid http://www.hulu.com/watch/20727
You will need rtmpdump (see the get_iplayer download page) to be able to download any Hulu programmes.
As usual, this feature is rather new and will have bugs so please let me know if you find any.
Just one other note: If you wish to see all of the options available on get_iplayer you now need to use the –help-long option.