SAN JOSE, Calif. (Diya TV) — Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has emerged victorious in a significant legal skirmish against YouTube, centered on the dissemination of manipulated videos promoting a Bitcoin scam. A San Jose appeals court’s recent ruling overturned a prior judgment that had absolved YouTube of responsibility, marking a pivotal moment in Wozniak’s pursuit of justice.

The genesis of this legal saga traces back to 2020 when Wozniak, alongside 17 other individuals including prominent figures like Bill Gates and Elon Musk, found themselves embroiled in a lawsuit against YouTube. Their grievance stemmed from the proliferation of fraudulent videos on the platform, which leveraged their likenesses to orchestrate cryptocurrency scams.

These deceptive videos, purporting to offer free Bitcoin in exchange for sending cryptocurrency to specified addresses, duped unsuspecting viewers out of substantial sums. Despite Wozniak’s repeated attempts to halt the unauthorized use of his name and likeness on YouTube, the platform allegedly remained unresponsive, exacerbating the damage to his reputation.

The crux of the legal dispute revolves around Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law that shields internet platforms from liability over content posted by third parties. However, the recent appeals court ruling challenged this immunity, contending that YouTube’s actions, such as bestowing verification badges on hijacked channels promoting scams, could potentially disqualify the platform from such protections.

Joe Cotchett, Wozniak’s legal representative, underscored the significance of this verdict, emphasizing the need for social media behemoths to be held accountable for their conduct. The ruling not only serves as a watershed moment for Wozniak and his co-plaintiffs but also carries broader implications for internet regulation and the responsibilities incumbent upon online platforms in combating fraudulent content.