Demonetized YouTuber Loses Lawsuit–Daniels v. Alphabet

Daniels is a YouTuber apparently of the #MAGA persuasion. Represented by Maria Cristina Armenta and Credence Elizabeth Sol, best known for litigating an ultimately unsuccessful censorial “Innocence of Muslims” lawsuit against YouTube, Daniels brought a routine “YouTube-is-censorsing-me” lawsuit seeking to impose must-carry obligations on YouTube. The suit was easily rejected by the court. As I blogged last time:

The plaintiff can replead the contract breach claim for failure-to-pay, but the case has lost all of its ideological implications about must-carry obligations and instead has devolved into a routine collections case (that will likely fail anyways).

We’ve now reached the part where the collections claim predictably failed.

The “YouTube Partner Program overview & eligibility” document says: “YouTube may disable monetization for channels that haven’t uploaded a video or posted to the Community tab for 6 months or more.” Daniels argued this announcement articulated YouTube’s only self-permitted basis for demonetization, so he shouldn’t have been demonetized because he didn’t satisfy that criterion. The court gently responds that his interpretation was “simply implausible.”

Next, I presume the case will head to the Ninth Circuit. [I fixed this sentence. Apparently the magistrate’s decision is final and not subject to review by a supervising judge.]

Case citation: Daniels v. Alphabet Inc., 2021 WL 2865147 (N.D. Cal. July 8, 2021)