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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is suing video-sharing large YouTube and its father or mother firm Google for allegedly permitting bitcoin giveaway scams that use his likeness to thrive on its platform.
Wozniak was one in every of 18 plaintiffs that filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, which seeks punitive damages, a trial by jury and calls for YouTube take away all bitcoin giveaway scams and promotions utilizing Wozniak’s identify and likeness.
The swimsuit praised Twitter for appearing “swiftly and decisively” to close down malicious accounts and “protect its users from the scam” referencing the platform’s response to final week’s coordinated cyberattack that gained entry to a bunch of verified Twitter accounts and posted a crypto giveaway message.
“In stark contrast, for months now, Defendant YOUTUBE has been unapologetically hosting, promoting, and directly profiting from similar scams,” the swimsuit mentioned.
Wozniak just isn’t the primary to take motion in opposition to YouTube over crypto scams. Earlier this yr, Ripple Labs, together with CEO Brad Garlinghouse, sued the platform for allegedly failing to successfully police faux XRP giveaway scams that have been inflicting financial and reputational hurt to the corporate.
In accordance with the brand new grievance filed with the Superior Court docket of the State of California within the county of San Mateo, YouTube has “featured a steady stream of scam videos and promotions that falsely use images and videos of Plaintiff Steve Wozniak, and other famous tech entrepreneurs, and that have defrauded YouTube users out of millions of dollars.”
The swimsuit alleged that the picture and likeness of different well-known entrepreneurs together with Invoice Gates, Elon Musk and Michael Dell have been additionally being exploited in these scams.
In accordance with screenshots connected within the grievance, the scams involving Wozniak makes use of photos and movies that inform customers that the entrepreneur is internet hosting a dwell bitcoin or “BTC” giveaway occasion. The swimsuit alleges that the posts “convince” customers to switch their cryptocurrency promising that, for a restricted time, they “will receive twice as much back”.
“YOUTUBE and GOOGLE took the further step of promoting and profiting from these scams by providing paid advertising that targeted users who were most likely to be harmed,” the swimsuit mentioned.
Wozniak is accusing defendants YouTube and Google of violating his proper of publicity, misappropriating his identify and likeness, in addition to aiding and abetting fraud, and negligent failure to warn customers.
“Defendants’ failure to warn was willful, malicious, oppressive, fraudulent, and/or in reckless disregard of the Plaintiffs’ rights, thereby entitling Plaintiffs to punitive damages,” the swimsuit mentioned.
The swimsuit calls for a trial by jury on all points triable, and damages that embody authorized bills, and any “gains, profits, or advantages wrongfully obtained by Defendants.”
The lawsuit was filed by Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP.
Learn the total grievance right here:
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