INTRO: Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, has sued YouTube and its parent company, Google, accusing them of not doing enough to get rid of content associated with bitcoin scams that use his likeness. Wozniak is one among the 18 plaintiffs who are seeking exemplary damages and therefore the removal of all scam videos that use his name and likeness.
The lawsuit, filed with the San Mateo court within the US state of California, accuses YouTube and Google of violating Wozniak’s right of publicity and misappropriating his name and likeness. It also accuses the search giant of aiding and abetting fraud, and negligent failure to warn users. Google is yet to issue a politician’s response to the lawsuit.
“YouTube has featured a gentle stream of scam videos and promotions that falsely use images and videos of Plaintiff Steve Wozniak, and other famous tech entrepreneurs, which have defrauded YouTube out of many dollars”, the lawsuit says. In the same breath, it also praises Twitter for “acting swiftly” following the huge bitcoin scam earlier in the week. “That same day, Twitter acted swiftly and decisively to pack up these accounts and to guard its users against the Bitcoins scam”, the lawsuit says.
The suit further alleged that Google and YouTube didn’t take these videos down even when intimated about the scam. “With full knowledge of this scam, YouTube resisted taking the Bitcoin scam videos down, allowed them to multiply. YouTube and Google took the further step of promoting and taking advantage of these scams by providing paid advertising that targeted users who were presumed to be harmed”, it claims