YouTube on iPhone XSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Steve Wozniak is suing YouTube.
  • It's over prevalent Bitcoin scams using his name and likeness.
  • YouTube has reportedly been unresponsive to requests they are taken down.

Founding father of Apple Steve Wozniak is suing Apple over claims the company has allowed scammers to use his name and likeness to market Bitcoin giveaways.

As reported by Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak says YouTube has for months allowed scammers to use his name and likeness as part of a phony bitcoin giveaway similar to the one that was quickly extinguished by Twitter Inc. last week.

Scammers used images and video of Wozniak, who left Apple in 1985, 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 a lawsuit filed Tuesday in state court in San Mateo County, California. "But when users transfer their cryptocurrency, in an irreversible transaction, they receive nothing back."

Wozniak isn't alone, as the report notes, scams using the names and faces of other prevalent tech figures including Bill Gates and Elon Musk have been seen. According to the report, YouTube has been "unresponsive" to repeated requests that the fraudulent videos be removed. The suit contrasts the response of Twitter to a recent hack in which several high profile accounts tweeted out Bitcoin scams.

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Wozniak joins 17 other victims in the lawsuit. The litigation demands that YouTube and parent company Alphabet "immediately remove" the videos, and further warn users about the dangers of Bitcoin scams. They are also seeking compensation and punitive damages.