Youtube, take the Lyoness propaganda down!

As reported earlier, Lyoness has successfully filed copyright infringement complaints against various users who have uploaded episodes of Dragons' Den Canada and ORF Report featuring Lyoness. These copyright claims are false, as Lyoness does not own any rights on these broadcasts. Respectively, the copyrights on the two shows are owned by CBC Television, which is a division of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) - the national Canadian public broadcaster, and the Austrian public television corporation ORF.

Youtube writes about copyright infringement in its general terms and conditions:

"Do not make false claims. Misuse of [the copyright infringement] process may result in the suspension of your account or other legal consequences".

Youtube has been notified of the false claims made by Lyoness. The same goes for ORF, who has also removed the episode from its website, even though it won a case filed to the Austrian Press Association by Lyoness. Lyoness wanted to stop the broadcast of the concerned episode of ORF Report, but the Association ruled that Lyoness had no legal ground to do so, whatsoever.

Youtube also writes in its terms and conditions:

"7.6 You agree that you will not post or upload any Content which contains material which is [unlawful] for you to possess in the country in which you are resident, or which it would be unlawful for YouTube to use or possess in connection with the provision of the service."

As in most countries in which Lyoness is active, pyramid schemes are explicitly prohibited by law, Lyoness has violated this term by uploading its blatant propaganda to Youtube. Furthermore, it has made Youtube an accomplice, as in most of those countries, it is also illegal to promote a pyramid scheme.

In its 'Community Guidelines', Youtube writes:

"We encourage free speech and defend everyone's right to express unpopular points of view".

Based on Youtube's current actions, this can be doubted.

From the same 'Guidelines':

"Everyone hates spam. Do not create misleading descriptions, tags, titles or thumbnails in order to increase views. It's not okay to post large amounts of untargeted, unwanted or repetitive content".

Indeed everyone hates spam, just like everyone hates advertisement for scams, including pyramid schemes. Lyoness also violates the 'misleading descriptions' guideline by describing its business model as a shopping community, in order to hide its true, fraudulous nature.

In conclusion, the Lyoness propaganda circulating on Youtube is in violation of the conditions of Youtube use. Additionally, the false copyright claims filed by Lyoness are breaking these terms too. In other words, not the truth-telling, exposing episodes on Lyoness should be removed, but the propaganda selling the Lyoness scam as an 'innocent shopping community' definitely is. This propaganda should therefore immediately be removed from Youtube and Lyoness should be forbidden from making any further copyright infringement claims, as they have violated the terms of Youtube in this area.

Therefore, whenever you run into the blatant and deceitful Lyoness propaganda, do not forget to flag it as 'inappropriate', on the grounds of it masking and selling an illegal pyramid scheme. Also, share this message!


  1. OK, so social media and marketing are big and very important to any organisation's future - or so I am told by some very knowledgeable people.

    A global network marketing company has different ideas. In fact in their hunger to control their message they ban, through their Ts&Cs just about everything other than face to face communication. Have a look at the following (edited for length) clause in their T&C's and tell me why someone might need to be so controlling and secretive?

    "The member is not authorized, without prior written permission from ABC... to prepare ... web content, ... websites, ... emails, ..., home pages ... or to distribute such materials in any manner ... or electronic form or .... on internet sites such as YouTube or Facebook);"

    So, a friend enrolled me as a member and after some investigation of the program I innocently (and I thought responsibly towards my potential sign-ups) posted my analysis on my personal website and on another topical website, and referred to it on my FB page. (Ooops, BIG mistake.) I get that a company wants to protect the use of branding and logos and IP, but just how much control do they expect to retain? This is a company that is desperate to take on South Africa.

    Today my account was summarily canceled (no problem to me) and then people in the line above me that had enrolled me were threatened by the organisation with their membership being cancelled and losing all of their invested money and/or payments due. Reason: they were held responsible for the fact that I used technology to spread the good news (and some caution) about their offering.

    Through my 'upline' the instruction came to remove ALL pages, links and even Facebook references to the company, or they would be terminated for my transgressions. 'Fascist' is the word that leapt to mind!

    A few things I think are wrong with this:

    What tools are they trawling the net with to discover even my FB reference? Beware Big Brother!!
    I had to remove the pages and links out of care for my friend and his mom who enrolled me and had something to lose (unlike me). So yes, here is my rant without divulging the company so that innocent people are not victimised.
    They don't want anyone to use the most commonly used social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and others you can think of, to expand their market and spread the word while they sleep. Why not?
    They don't allow any dissent amongst the members.
    They guard their business model very closely, and only their duly authorised representatives are allowed to explain it to people. (Nowhere on their website do they mention the part where I think they become near as anything to a pyramid scheme.)
    How do they seriously expect to control information about them in a connected world? Any kid can BBM or SMS or What'sApp or Skype or whatever about them - so are they going to terminate every downline with an errant communicator?
    Do they think I will now have good or bad things to say about them? Duh!
    When are they going to ask Google to block them from appearing in searches? And Bing, and Yahoo, and and and.... Think China.

  2. Interesting to read, as many Lyoness adherents seem to have attempted to spread their message through social media. Why do you suppose Lyoness objected to this in your particular case?

  3. The intimidation tactics being employed here, are clasic of 'income oppotunity' cults

    Readers should be interested to learn that 'Herbalife' is currently being exposed as a cultic 'income opportunity' fraud, in Israel.

    The predictable reaction of the 'Herbalife' bosses has been to deny all responsibility for the actions of persons under contract to their company, whilst the Israeli 'Herbalife' guru concerned, Tzachi Gozali, has huffed and puffed and threatened to sue anyone attempting to publish the truth about his hidden, abusive, criminal activities.

    David Brear (copyright 2013)