Extortionists target YouTubers with malicious copyright strike bribes


A YouTube channel that made malicious copyright strikes in an attempt to extort content creators has had its channel deleted.

According to a report by the BBC, Kenzo and ObbyRaidz - both of whom primarily upload Minecraft videos - allegedly received messages demanding money in exchange for dropping the spurious copyright claims lodged against them. The channel demanded payment of $75 to $400 (£60 to £310) be sent via Paypal or Bitcoin in exchange for not lodging a third copyright claim, which - according to Google's terms and conditions - would've seen the channel completely deleted.

Rather than give in to the demands, Kenzo took to social media saying "I have two false copyright strikes on my channel & someone out there is extorting me for my money to have the strikes removed. help", after which YouTube got in touch and said it would investigate. Later that same day, YouTube tweeted again, confirming that the takedown notice was "(obviously) abusive", removed the copyright strike, and reinstated the video.

"This is an example of a fraudulent legal request, which we have zero tolerance for, so we also terminated this channel," YouTube added.

Google, which owns YouTube, did not respond to a request from the BBC for information on how it hopes to prevent such extortion attempts in the future.

"Anybody can [make spurious copyright claims]. They made it so easy to take somebody's channel down - they strike a few videos and your channel is terminated," said ObbyRaidz in a video posted to his YouTube channel. "The way I look at it, YouTube just put a Band-Aid on a much bigger issue. This is something that can affect more channels in the future and they need to fix this right now."

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Jump to comments (29)

About the author

Vikki Blake

Vikki Blake

Contributor  |  _vixx

When​ ​her friends​ ​were falling in love with soap stars, Vikki was falling in love with​ ​video games. She's a survival horror survivalist​ ​with a penchant for​ ​Yorkshire Tea, men dressed up as doctors and sweary words. She struggles to juggle a fair-to-middling Destiny/Halo addiction​ ​and her kill/death ratio is terrible.


You may also enjoy...

Comments (29)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Eurogamer Merch