In fact, youtube-dl is a powerful general purpose media tool that allows users to make local copies of media from a very broad range of sites. That versatility has secured it a place in the toolkits of many reporters, newsroom developers, and archivists. For now, the code remains available to download through youtube-dl's own site, but the disruption of its development hub and the RIAA saber-rattling jeopardizes both the future of the software and the myriad journalistic workflows that depend on it.
youtube-dl is an invaluable tool. I actually use it mostly to pull thumbnails for videos I feature in my newsletter, and sometimes to make a personal archive of some videos that I would be very sad if they dropped off YouTube for any reason (not illicit uploads, mind you, things like noclip video game documentaries and the like).