YouTube’s copyright strikes have become a tool for extortion

An anonymous blackmailer has caught at least two YouTube creators in a scheme involving cash ransoms and esoteric copyright laws.

Last week, both creators shared stories of how their channels were being threatened with a third copyright strike — and the possible termination of their channels — from an anonymous extortionist. The scammer offered to reverse the strikes in return for payment to a bitcoin wallet (which, as of this writing, remains empty) or to an adjoining Paypal account (that has since been deleted).

“Once we receive our payment, we will cancel both strikes on your channel,â€� the blackmailer wrote in a Telegram message to one creator — ObbyRaidz — who runs a small channel dedicated to Minecraft walkthroughs. “You are free…

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