Plaintiff whose channel was deleted from video-sharing site cannot establish entitlement to damages, specific performance

In this case, the plaintiff had a channel with the video-sharing site YouTube, which she used to share videos and engage with the YouTube community.  YouTube deleted her channel.  After communications between the plaintiff and YouTube, YouTube restored the plaintiff’s channel, though her videos, plus those videos’ view counts and comments, were not restored.  The plaintiff sued for breach of contract, seeking damages and specific performance for restoration of her channel exactly as it was before its deletion.  YouTube filed a demurrer.  The trial court sustained the demurrer.  The Sixth Appellate District affirmed, holding that the plaintiff could not establish that she was entitled to either damages or specific performance.  As to the damages, YouTube’s Terms of Use include a limitation of liability clause that exempts YouTube from liability for “ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN ANY CONTENT OR FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND INCURRED AS A RESULT OF YOUR USE OF…THE SERVICES.”  Since the plaintiff’s videos are “content” and YouTube’s deletion of the plaintiff’s videos is an “omission,” YouTube cannot be held liable for damages.  As to the specific performance, the court held that since YouTube’s Terms of Service do not include any provision for maintenance of video content or for the display of view counts and comments, the plaintiff cannot establish that she is entitled to such relief. [Lewis v. YouTube, LLC, (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) 16 C.D.O.S. 982]

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