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YouTube's 9th Birthday: 9 Weird Ways It's Led to Legal Fallout

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on February 14, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

YouTube turns 9 years old today. To commemorate this joyous occasion, it only makes sense to share some of the most ridiculous YouTube videos that have led to legal action.

From the mom who used YouTube for a home circumcision to a man's fake grenade launcher video, YouTube is a legal disaster gift that keeps on giving.

Here are nine wacky ways YouTube videos have led to legal action:

  1. "Chick Bank Robber." Self-proclaimed "Chick Bank Robber" Hannah Sabata successfully robbed a bank and bragged about it on YouTube. Who was surprised when the teenager was busted soon after? (Answer: No one.)
  2. "The Fabulous Bus Ride." Not to be out-dumbed by the "Chick Bank Robber," a man stole his ex-employer's bus, took it for a joyride, and posted the footage in a YouTube titled "The Fabulous Bus Ride" for all to enjoy -- including the cops.
  3. Secret ingredient. Speaking of ex-employee hijinks, let's not forget the two Domino's Pizza employees who faced criminal charges after posting a YouTube video that showed one of them putting cheese up his nose and waving salami slices near his rump while making a sandwich. Rump roast, anyone?
  4. Sex abuse scandal. After a California woman's YouTube video alleging childhood sexual abuse by a teacher went viral, the former teacher resigned from her job as a high school vice principal and is currently facing criminal charges.
  5. The "YouTube DUI confessor." Also using YouTube for its cathartic powers, Matthew Cordle, dubbed the "YouTube DUI confessor," was sentenced to six years in prison after accepting full responsibility for a fatal DUI crash in a video confession that drew millions of hits on the video-sharing service.
  6. Kimye proposal bust. Taking a turn for the YouTube meta, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West sued YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley for allegedly posting a video of their proposal online to MixBit, his new video app venture, as a promotional stunt. Since it involved MixBit, at least the legal snafu won't give Hurley the YouTube birthday blues.
  7. Soulja Boy's lies. Celebrities aren't immune from legal trouble for YouTube snafus. Soulja Boy was sued for defamation after he lied about a car crash in a YouTube video.
  8. "Datbull 4 Life." Aspiring celebrities get into YouTube legal trouble, too. Take it from Jay Harris, an aspiring college athlete. Michigan State University yanked the incoming freshman's cushy football scholarship because of his YouTube rap video titled "Datbull 4 Life," which prominently featured weed and profanity.
  9. Poor "Fountain Lady." At the other end of the spectrum are the people desperately trying to avoid fame (or infamy...). Mall employees posted a YouTube video of a woman who fell into an indoor fountain while texting-and-walking. The embarrassed "Fountain Lady" then threatened to sue the mall after the video went viral, garnering nearly 2 million views.

Happy Birthday, YouTube! Here's to many more years of legally peculiar video gems.

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