Daily Crunch: GitHub reinstates YouTube downloading project

GitHub defies a takedown order, Strava raises a big round and Moderna reports promising COVID-19 vaccine results. This is your Daily Crunch for November 16, 2020.

The big story: GitHub reinstates YouTube downloading project

Back in October, the Recording Industry Association of America sent a DMCA complaint to GitHub over a project called YouTube-dl, which allows viewers to download YouTube videos for offline viewing. According to the trade group, YouTube-dl both circumvented DRM and, in its documentation, promoted the piracy of several popular songs.

However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation sent GitHub a letter criticizing the RIAA’s argument and suggesting that, among other things, it mischaracterizes how YouTube-dl’s code actually works.

In response, GitHub has restored the project’s code. It also says it’s rethinking how it will handle takedown notices in the future, with a new $1 million developer defense fund and the response of technical and legal review of any future claims filed under section 1201 of the DMCA.

The tech giants

You can now embed Apple Podcasts on the web — Apple is making it easier to discover and listen to podcasts via the web.

Apple’s IDFA gets targeted in strategic EU privacy complaints — The complaints, lodged with German and Spanish data protection authorities, contend that Apple’s setting of the IDFA breaches regional privacy laws.

Spotify adds a built-in podcast playlist creation tool, ‘Your Episodes’ — The feature lets you bookmark individual episodes from any podcast, which are then added to a new “Your Episodes” playlist.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Strava raises $110M, touts growth rate of 2 million new users per month in 2020 — Strava has 70 million members already according to the company, with presence in 195 countries globally.

Squarespace adds support for memberships and paywalled content — Squarespace’s new Member Areas allow businesses to charge for access to exclusive content.

Computer vision startup Chooch.ai scores $20M Series A — Chooch.ai hopes to help companies adopt computer vision more broadly.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Will edtech empower or erase the need for higher education? — Campuses are closed, sports have been paused and, understandably, students don’t want to pay the same tuition for a fraction of the services.

Three growth tactics that helped us surpass Noom and Weight Watchers — Over the past year, nutrition app Lifesum has acquired users at nearly twice the rate of both Noom and Weight Watchers.

Unpacking the C3.ai IPO filing — C3 is actually in pretty good financial shape, generating both growing recurring software revenues and cash in some quarters.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Moderna reports its COVID-19 vaccine is 94.5% effective in first data from Phase 3 trial — Following fast on the heels of Pfizer’s announcement of its COVID-19 vaccine efficacy, Moderna is also sharing positive results from its Phase 3 trial.

HBO Max arrives on Amazon Fire TV devices — As a part of the new deal, existing HBO subscribers on Amazon will be able to use the HBO Max app at no additional cost.

Original Content podcast: ‘The Vow’ offers a muddled look at the NXIVM cult — It’s a fascinating documentary hampered by some unfortunate storytelling choices.

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