Greasemonkey/Userscripts – Browser Add-on

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    Since it hasn’t been mentioned here yet, a very useful tool for web browsers is userscripts. These are bits of javascript that change the way a website looks or functions. For example, this one adds a download button to YouTube. There are thousands of scripts available. In order to use them, you need to install the Greasemonkey Firefox add-on. For Chrome/Chromium you need the Tampermonkey add-on. Opera has built-in support for userscripts.

    More information here:



    Someone on today’s show pondered about the legality of using tools such as the YouTube downloading script linked to above, since YouTube’s terms require their own player be used when accessing videos.

    According the the US Court of Appeals in Specht v. Netscape, users are not bound by a website’s terms if they only appear in an inconspicuous corner of the page and require no action by the user to indicate assent (such as clicking “I Agree”).

    In another case, In re, Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, the court found that if a clause exists allowing the website owner to change the terms at any time, without notifying users, those terms would be unenforceable.

    YouTube’s website suffers from both these flaws.

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