Steve Wozniak suing YouTube over Bitcoin scams

  • Steve Wozniak suing YouTube over Bitcoin scams

Steve Wozniak suing YouTube over Bitcoin scams

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has made a decision to file a lawsuit against Google-owned YouTube, claiming that the site failed to remove a series of scam videos that used his name in an attempt to trick people into sending Bitcoin to a specific wallet.

Fake Bitcoin giveaways are a growing threat in the cryptocurrency industry.

Wozniak's history as a co-founder of one of the world's leading tech companies and beloved reputation within the tech and philanthropic worlds gives his name and likeness "significant value", the complaint argues, "a unique and compelling personal brand that is highly sought-after and of tremendous commercial value".

Wozniak, though, said he has been trying to get Google and YouTube to prevent videos peddling the scam with his name and picture in it since May 10.

Both Wozniak and one of his lawyers, Joseph Cotchett, urged US lawmakers to confront Google CEO Sundar Pichai about why YouTube hasn't done more to stop fraudulent activity on his site when he testifies before Congress in a hearing scheduled for Monday, July 27.

"If a crime is being committed, you must be able to reach humans capable of stopping it".

"YouTube, like Google, seems to rely on algorithms and no special effort requiring custom software employed quickly in these cases of criminal activity", he added. "What human would see posts like these and not ban them as criminal immediately?"

The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court for San Mateo County, California (the location for YouTube's headquarters), alleges that YouTube "has been unapologetically hosting, promoting, and directly profiting from...a steady stream of scam videos and promotions that falsely use images and videos of [Wozniak] and other famous tech entrepreneurs, and that have defrauded [YouTube] users out of millions of dollars".

© Provided by Associated Press Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak gestures during a zoom media conference on Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Burlingame, Calif. Wozniak is joining a legal fight taking aim at the flimsy controls on Google's YouTube video site that have turned him into a unwilling pawn in a scam that has stolen millions of dollars from people around the world.

Furthermore, Wozniak and the rest of victims try to obtain compensatory and punitive damages.

At the time of this writing, YouTube hasn't offered an official response to the lawsuit.

The company behind the fourth-largest cryptocurrency XRP filed a lawsuit against YouTube in April this year. Similarly to Wozniak, Ripple blamed the platform for not taking the necessary actions to confront the scammers and halt the deceitful videos.

The cryptocurrency scam has appeared on major platforms over the past few weeks.