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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak wins latest battle involving a YouTube scam

Steve Wozniak has won the latest round in a legal battle of Silicon Valley titans after a San Jose appeals court ruled YouTube can’t count on a controversial communications law to shield itself from responsibility for a scam that used the Apple’s co-founders’ likeness, reports

In 2020 Wozniak led a lawsuit against YouTube and its parent company Google, accusing the companies of allowing the spread of a scam that has fleeced Bitcoin investors by using Wozniak’s image to convince them to send cryptocurrency to online crooks. Scammers used images and video of Wozniak to convince YouTube users that he was hosting a live giveaway and anyone who sent him bitcoins will get double the number back, according to the lawsuit. 

However, when users transferred their cryptocurrency, in an irreversible transaction, they receive nothing back, it alleged. The scam also used the names and images of other tech celebrities, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, according to the suit.

However, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge ruled in 2022 that the companies were protected from liability by a controversial federal law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Now Wozniak’s lawsuit has received a second chance, reports A panel of appeals-court judges on Friday reversed the lower court’s ruling, finding that Google and YouTube may not be completely shielded after all.

The three judges in the California Court of Appeal’s Sixth District said the scam was common. Popular YouTube channels, they said in their decision, “are hijacked to show fake videos depicting a tech celebrity hosting a live event, during which anyone who sends cryptocurrency to a specified account will receive twice as much in return.” However, the judges added, “Users who send their cryptocurrency in response actually receive nothing in return.”

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today
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