Microsoft has been accused of causing bloggers “real and actual harm” after sending out a series of copyright notices on YouTube videos containing content about Windows.

The company apologised for “inadvertently” targeting videos for removal from YouTube, saying in a statement sent to i100 “it appears some of these videos were inadvertently targeted for removal because there were stolen product keys embedded in the comments section of the videos. Our intention was not to target legitimate YouTube content and we are sorry for the impact this has had".

The statement came after a series of copyright requests were sent under the DMCA (digital millennium copyright act) to video bloggers on YouTube which forced their content to be taken down, in an incident which quickly became referred to as #microstopped.

Many of the videos were critical of Windows 8, including one vlog from ‘Eli the Computer Guy’ which said free was too dear a price for windows 8. However several were video guides about how to use Windows.

Eli the Computer Guy, who makes his livelihood from YouTube, said "Microsoft is causing me real and actual harm”.

He went on: “If I can't upload the types of videos that I create that's going to start biting into the YouTube revenue I get."

He added that the effect of the copyright strikes meant “we have to be concerned about even mentioning Microsoft in our videos”, saying it had a “chilling effect”.

If a YouTuber get three copyright strikes, their entire channel can be shut down. A spokesperson for Microsoft said it had nothing further to add to the original statement when asked about the claims in Eli’s video and about the “chilling effect” of copyright notices.

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