Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak Wins Lawsuit against YouTube over Fake Bitcoin Videos

The co-founder of the American IT giant Apple has won a lawsuit that he launched against the YouTube video hosting service, outraged by videos about bitcoins using the image of a businessman.

Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak Wins Lawsuit against YouTube over Fake Bitcoin Videos

The San Jose Court of Appeals overturned the decision of the court of first instance, which exempted YouTube from liability for user losses due to published content.
The Court of Appeal ruled: YouTube cannot rely on the law on communications (the "Law on Decency in the Media") and as a video hosting service is obliged to be responsible for posting fake videos where attackers use to deceive people, in particular, the image of Steve Wozniak.

Wozniak filed a lawsuit in 2020, shortly after viral videos began to appear on the Internet where the businessman allegedly advertised the distribution of bitcoins on his behalf. Users were required to send BTC to a specific address, and in return they were promised double the amount. In 2021, the court rejected Wozniak's claim due to the lack of sufficient arguments on the part of the plaintiff.

Many popular YouTube channels are often hacked to promote fraudulent schemes, the appeals court noted. Google and YouTube directly contribute to the spread of fraud by providing hacked channels with verification badges. Even when fake videos are detected, the platform does not always remove these icons, the court explained.

The lawyer for Apple co-founder Joe Cotchett announced that the court's decision will allow his client to continue the lawsuit against YouTube. This could set a precedent for amending the "Law on Decency in the Media", which exempts search engines, social networks and similar online platforms from liability for materials posted by third parties. According to the lawyer, now platforms will not be able to hide behind the law for their negligent actions.


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