Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, achieved an important legal breakthrough against YouTube. The controversy began with the misuse of Wozniak’s image in YouTube videos promoting Bitcoin scams in 2020. The San Jose appeals court rejected YouTube’s initial defense, which was based on a controversial communications law, ruling that it does not absolve the platform of responsibility for the fraudulent use of Wozniak’s image.

This case marks a pivotal point in the battle against fraudulent content online, challenging Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This law has been a shield for many digital platforms, protecting them from liabilities linked to content created by users. However, the lawsuit led by Wozniak and supported by 17 other prominent figures, including Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Michael Dell, argues that YouTube failed to monitor and control the spread of misleading videos.

The scams, which promised to double the cryptocurrencies sent by viewers, used the image of trusted industry figures to deceive victims. The appeals court ruling emphasized how YouTube and Google “materially contributed” to the scam by failing to unverify channels that promoted these frauds, even after they had been hijacked.

This situation raises important questions about the responsibility of social media platforms to police their content and protect users from fraud. Wozniak’s lawyer, Joe Cotchett, hailed the ruling as a significant step toward holding tech giants accountable for their actions.

This judgment not only represents a victory for Steve Wozniak, but could also influence how online protection laws are interpreted and applied, especially with regards to digital fraud and content management. The fight against the deceptive use of platforms to promote cryptocurrency scams takes on a new chapter with this decision, promising lasting impacts on the sector.


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or anyone mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment or other advice. Investing or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.


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