In the Lawsuit Against YouTube for Bitcoin scams, Apple Co-Founder Prevails

Due to the use of manipulated videos to spread a Bitcoin hoax, Steve Wozniak sued YouTube and its parent company, Google.

The most recent phase in a legal struggle between YouTube and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak on the use of doctored films with his picture used in a Bitcoin fraud in 2020 has been won by Wozniak. A previous ruling by a lower court that released YouTube from any liability was overturned by the most recent appeals court ruling.

According to Bloomberg, a San Jose appeals court said that YouTube cannot claim immunity from punishment for a fraudulent scheme that used a doctored video to deceive people and capitalized on the popularity of the Apple co-founder.

With this latest ruling, Wozniak would be able to pursue his claim against the video streaming platform and maybe amend the federal legislation that shields YouTube and other video streaming platforms from liabilities related to the videos they host.

In 2020, when doctored films advertising a bogus scheme became widespread on YouTube, the co-founder of Apple and 17 other people, including Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Michael Dell, launched a lawsuit against YouTube and its parent firm, Google.

The manipulated video invited viewers to donate Bitcoin to a certain address in order to receive twice as much money, and it included extra text and images that promised free Bitcoin.

Since a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge determined in 2022 that the businesses were shielded from responsibility under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the most recent appeals court decision is viewed as a major victory for Wozniak and others.

The judges of the appeals court noted that scams are frequently promoted by hacking into well-known YouTube channels. By “providing verification badges to hijacked YouTube channels,” Google and YouTube are held accountable for “materially contributing” to the scheme.

When the channels began to post fraud videos, the platform also neglected to take down these verification badges, even though one channel had already received the badge while the scam was in progress.

As a result, the appeal court noted that since the corporations verified, they might not be shielded by Section 230 immunity.

Social media companies like “Google and YouTube take responsibility for their actions and cannot use Section 230 as a total shield for their conduct,” according to Woznaik’s attorney Joe Cotchett, who highlighted this in the ruling.

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