Lesser Law Group

Content creator sues YouTube for breach of contract

A lawsuit filed in a California federal district court on Aug. 28 alleges that the online video platform YouTube retaliated against a popular content creator by deleting his channels and removing all of his videos. YouTube is accused of doing this after the content creator threatened legal action when his videos stopped being recommended by the platform and his subscribers stopped receiving notifications about new ones.

According to the breach of contract lawsuit, the content creator began uploading videos to YouTube in 2007 and built a following of more than 250,000 subscribers. In early 2016, the man says that his videos began to receive an unusually large number of copyright claims. He maintains that these claims were groundless. The lawsuit claims that YouTube agreed with this assessment and continued to monetize the man's two channels and allowed his videos to remain on the platform. YouTube's monetization program allows content creators to earn money from advertising that appears before their videos begin to play.

The man says that YouTube stopped recommending his videos and notifying his subscribers about new uploads even though his channels remained in good standing and he violated none of the platform's terms of service. The lawsuit seeks damages of at least $720,000, which is what the man says he would have earned if YouTube had not breached their agreement with him. Legal observers will likely follow the case as it is the first of its kind against a major social media platform.

Contract disputes often take years to work their way through the courts. Attorneys with experience in this area may seek to settle business litigation amicably whenever possible to avoid protracted lawsuits that offer no guarantee of a successful outcome. The defendants in cases like this one may be receptive to a swift settlement that includes a nondisclosure agreement when there are thousands or even millions of potential plaintiffs watching the developments closely.

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