YouTube Seeks to Dismiss Ripple Lawsuit Over XRP Giveaway Scams

The video-sharing giant filed a motion to dismiss Ripple’s lawsuit that alleges YouTube did not do enough to stop free XRP giveaway scams, copyright infringement.

AccessTimeIconJul 23, 2020 at 4:38 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:35 a.m. UTC
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In a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Ripple, YouTube argues it isn’t liable for crypto scammers using its platform. 

The motion filed on Monday in the  U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, argues that under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, “interactive computer services,” like YouTube, cannot be treated as publishers of third-party content and hence aren’t liable for it. 

  • Ripple had sued YouTube in April, alleging the video-sharing platform did not sufficiently control XRP giveaway scams on its platform that caused monetary loss for users and hurt Ripple’s reputation. 
  • The crypto firm’s lawsuit alleged that scammers have defrauded “millions of XRP valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars” from victims and cited at least one instance where a scammer apparently received $15,000 in XRP from a victim.
  • In its motion to dismiss the lawsuit, YouTube argues Ripple's claims run up against  immunity provided against such lawsuits to online publishers under Section 230. The motion said Ripple has filed the lawsuit “even though YouTube itself is a victim of the scam,” since the attackers took over user accounts on the platform.
  • YouTube’s motion to dismiss the allegations boils down to the idea that the video-sharing giant did not willingly or knowingly engage in any of the scams or copyright infringement, and cannot be held liable for any third-party content on its website. The firm’s motion  also adds that it shut down such scams whenever it was alerted to them. 
  • Responding to allegations that YouTube also helped scammers advertise their schemes by running paid ads for them, the video sharing giant’s motion to dismiss maintained that it could not be held liable for third-party content. “And whether YouTube ‘approved’ or ‘endorsed’ the ads by allowing them to be published is immaterial,” the motion noted. 
  • YouTube argues that Section 230 protects the video-sharing giant from Ripple’s allegations and therefore the case should be dismissed. A Ripple representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on YouTube’s motion to dismiss. 
  • In another lawsuit filed against YouTube, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak alleged the firm had allowed bitcoin giveaway scams that use his likeness to thrive on its platform. Wozniak, along with 18 other plaintiffs, is seeking punitive damages and demanding that Youtube take down all such scams as well.

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