Creator DaShay Hall Live Streams Himself Suing YouTube

youtuber dashay hall live streaming himself holding papers showing he's suing youtube next to federal courthouse building and youtube logos
DaShay Hall Live Stream Lawsuit Anastasiia Gevko/Shutterstock YouTube/Wikimedia Commons The Real Late Night Crew/YouTube Remix by Caterina Rose Cox

DaShay “Shay” Hall, a popular YouTuber known for his channel The Real Late Night Crew, transformed a routine lawsuit filing against YouTube into a live-streamed spectacle.

The lawsuit accuses YouTube of mishandling DMCA takedowns, channel suspensions, and harassment. On July 5, Hall broadcast himself entering a federal courthouse in San Jose, California, interacting with security and the court clerk. He even engaged with his live chat audience as he waited for his filing to be processed.

It’s unclear whether the decision to live stream from inside the courthouse was legal, given court rules indicate permission is required to film or photograph inside the building. (Hall says he believes that he was within his rights to record himself.)

But even more important is whether Hall actually has a valid lawsuit against YouTube, or if it’s an ill-advised move designed to garner attention.

“YouTube has allowed trolls to false flag channels with their friends, perform false DMCA claims, and threats,” Hall told Passionfruit. “It’s time for people to stand up against the toxicity that YouTube is harboring through the lack of any real support or enforcement of their own rules.”

DaShay Hall’s Lawsuit, Explained

In the lawsuit, DaShay Hall alleges a pattern of racially motivated harassment by another user, MONEYBOY TR3Y. He also alleges unfair treatment by YouTube in response to reporting such behavior.

The complaint details a series of events beginning in April 2024, when Hall claims he was targeted by MONEYBOY TR3Y with racially charged attacks, doxxing, and copyright strikes. In the complaint, Hall asserts that despite numerous reports and evidence provided, YouTube failed to adequately address the alleged harassment.

Emails included with the court filing show that the series of copyright strikes resulted in the abrupt suspension of all of Hall’s YouTube channels, which he notes are his primary source of income.

Although two channels were later reinstated, Hall claims to have suffered significant financial and reputational damage. 

Additionally, Hall included a claim of copyright infringement against YouTube over MONEYBOY TR3Y’s reposting of a video Hall posted to TikTok. (YouTube did not respond to a request for comment before publication.)

The lawsuit filed by Hall without an attorney is referred to as a pro se litigant. However, Hall shared during a subsequent live stream on July 7 that an attorney was hired as an advisor while Hall himself managed the bulk of the work.

“All we need [are] eyes,” Hall explained to viewers during a follow-up live stream where he breaks down some of the intent behind filing the lawsuit. “Because eyes [are] what makes Google look around.”

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a complex law that lives within the U.S. Copyright Act. The DMCA aims to balance the interests of copyright holders by mandating the removal of infringing content from the internet.

The DMCA also protects internet service providers, with broad immunity for hosting allegedly infringing content, so long as they make an effort to take that content down in a timely manner.

However, YouTube has built an equally complex system that operates partially outside of the formalized process required by the DMCA. YouTube’s Copyright Management Suite offers manual and automated tools, allowing virtually anyone to take down videos. 

Most of the time, after a copyright notice is submitted, the channel receiving the takedown can respond with a counter-notice requiring their full legal name and address to have the video reinstated.

Once a counternotice is filed, the person who sent in the takedown must either file in federal court (which requires a copyright registration) or begin proceedings through the voluntary Copyright Claims Board process with the U.S. Copyright Office. 

But YouTubers have often weaponized these automated DMCA takedown processes during heated feuds. For YouTubers, the fear of temporarily losing channel monetization or even termination due to multiple strikes can create a chilling effect. 

Intensifying the Feud

As detailed in both the complaint filed by DaShay Hall and a public video and YouTube Community post by MONEYBOY TR3Y, who operates a backup channel under the name Petty Goat, the two YouTubers have been going back and forth with various attempts at silencing the other under the guise of copyright law and privacy law.

Hall has also filed two separate proceedings against MONEYBOY TR3Y with the Copyright Claims Board, alleging that the use of Hall’s videos during a livestream amounted to copyright infringement.

In an interview with Passionfruit, MONEYBOY TR3Y said that there is not an ongoing dispute, but rather a series of incidents that happened in early 2024.

“I sent [YouTube] copyright strikes because we were playing an immature game,” MONEYBOY TR3Y explained. “He sent me strikes. I sent him strikes.”

As for Hall, YouTube’s actions regarding account termination were apparently a step too far. Hall believes MONEYBOY TR3Y wrongly submitted DMCA takedown notices, referring to audio that Hall claims was rightfully obtained from the YouTube Audio Library.

“There is no way YouTube can claim they didn’t knowingly help the person,” Hall told Passionfruit. “They let them claim their songs.”

Does DaShay Hall Have a Strong Case?

Creators suing YouTube isn’t without precedent. Numerous attempts to hold YouTube, and other social media platforms, liable for the editorial decisions they make or their responses to copyright-driven DMCA takedown requests have failed.

Earlier this month, for example, the Supreme Court released a decision that said platforms have a First Amendment right to make their content moderation decisions.

This isn’t the first time YouTube has been sued over its content moderation decisions with a creator using copyright infringement as the basis for the lawsuit.

In the case of Kifle v. YouTube LLC, Elias Kifle, who operated a YouTube channel, sued YouTube for breach of contract, copyright infringement, and trademark infringement after YouTube terminated his channel and removed his videos.

In 2022, the court dismissed Kifle’s claims multiple times due to YouTube’s immunity under Section 230 and related laws that prevent service providers from being held liable for the content shared by users.

Similarly, in 2020, a federal district court in California dismissed the case of Mishiyev v. Alphabet, Inc., because YouTube’s Terms of Service expressly authorized the platform to remove videos, cut off AdSense revenue, and terminate channels for repeated copyright violations. Mishiyev was unable to provide sufficient evidence to the court that the videos were not infringing.

Last year, YouTube also defeated claims that it was liable for copyright infringement for hosting content that had been re-uploaded to one channel from another. The channel Business Casual lost its attempts to hold YouTube liable under three different levels of copyright infringement.

The court stated that YouTube’s only obligations under the DMCA were to process the notice and any counter-notices as required by the statute, and timely remove flagged content.

Overall, the courts have consistently ruled in favor of YouTube, primarily due to the platform’s adherence to its Terms of Service and prompt action in response to copyright infringement notices.

What’s Next For Hall?

Now that the lawsuit is filed, DaShay Hall’s next step would be to serve YouTube with a notice of the filing and similar procedural notice actions that are required by the court rules. The litigation docket for the case does not indicate, as of publication time, that YouTube has been served.

YouTube’s most likely response will be to file a motion to dismiss that demonstrates the company’s right to take action against Hall’s channel under its Terms of Service, continued compliance with the DMCA, and immunity under Section 230 as an internet service provider. 

Given the history of cases similar to Hall’s, YouTube’s track record of filing motions to dismiss suggests a high likelihood of its success in this instance. Hall declined to comment on whether he plans any additional lawsuits.

DaShay Hall’s lawsuit joins others that have come before it that attempt to raise awareness of the issue with content moderation by service providers that serve as gatekeepers of the internet. Decisions on content moderation, unfortunately, often mix with complex situations that involve online bullying and harassment. 

“We want our lives, reputation, and money lost returned,” Hall explained when asked about what he hopes to gain from this lawsuit. “It’s time for people to stand up against the toxicity that YouTube is harboring through the lack of any real support or enforcement of their own rules.”

Want more coverage of the creator ecosystem? Sign up for Passionfruit’s newsletter.

Further reading:

Content for Creators.

News, tips, and tricks delivered to your inbox twice a week.

Newsletter Signup

Top Stories