In a predictable twist, attorneys for Kanye West have filed cease-and-desist papers against the anonymous creators of the Coinye West virtual currency.
“Given Mr. West’s wide-ranging entrepreneurial accomplishments, consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that Mr. West is the source of your services or is, at the very least, affiliated with, or has sponsored or endorsed the cryptocurrency,” those attorneys wrote in the papers. “The likelihood that consumers will be confused is heightened by the unauthorized use of an image of Mr. West on the coin.” (Hat tip to The Wall Street Journal for providing the link to those documents.)
West’s attorneys want the Coinye West creators to stop everything related to the cryptocurrency, immediately, or face the legal consequences. “If you fail to comply with these demands, we will notify the cryptocurrency community at large of your infringing actions and pursue all legal remedies against any business that accepts the purported Coinye West currency,” the papers concluded. “Specifically, Mr. West will pursue claims of contributory trademark infringement and contributory unfair competition, among others, against any entity that accepts or exchanges the Coinye West currency.”
Coinye West sparked a bit of online buzz when its backing Website (coinyewest.com) made its debut. “No premine, no screwed up fake “fair” launches, shyster devs, muted channels, and f**ked up wallets,” is how the Website described the project. “We will be releasing password protected, encrypted archives containing binaries and source for the wallet and daemon BEFORE LAUNCH, with the passwords to be released at the specified time.”
Technical details for the crypto-currency include:
Max Coins: 133,333,333,333
Block time: 90 seconds
Difficulty Re-Target Time: 12 hours
Block Rewards: 666,666 COYE
Every 100k blocks, the payout halves
And how are the cryptocurrency’s anonymous founders taking the cease-and-desist order?
“Due to legal pressure, we will be launching today,” the Website boasted as of 11 A.M. EST. “At 7:00 PM, Pacific Standard Time.”
Well, good luck with that.
The recent spike in Bitcoin value has initiated a much broader discussion about the validity of crypto-currencies as a medium of exchange. Because Bitcoin is based on an open-source protocol, and operates peer-to-peer without a central server or bank, it’s encouraged people with the right combination of tools and knowhow to use the underlying code as the foundation for their own crypto-currency. Some of those people are really irritating Kanye West’s attorneys.