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Author Topic: The Legal Fiction Perpetuated by BitcoinTalk  (Read 4940 times)
Kouye
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January 29, 2014, 12:58:53 PM
 #21

If anyone still disagrees, please look up the words official, legal and fiction, in a dictionary before responding.
So basically, what you're saying is that you're very angry at:

- Merchants accepting bitcoins
- Journalists writing about bitcoin
- Anyone talking about bitcoin in the street
- etc.

For not mentioning which fork of which blockchain they're referring to? Roll Eyes

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bloods-n-cryptos
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January 29, 2014, 07:20:55 PM
 #22

First, thanks for the informed response as I cannot get into Satoshi's mind to learn his intent for using the MIT/X11 license.

That said, I read the thread and am confused when I reread your response (or think you may be confused).

Are you claiming that Satoshi chose the MIT/X11 License (over GPL) so people would not create alt-coins by rewriting the main Bitcoin client?  That's what your response in the context of my quote seems to imply.  I could find nothing of the sort in the Satoshi thread you quoted as he seemed to be discussing the creation of another Bitcoin client that would utilize the same Bitcoin blockchain and makes no mention of alternate blockchains.

Aside from Satoshi's intent re MIT/X11 license, do you believe that there does in fact exist only one (1) official Bitcoin?

The point of the quote I posted is to disprove your claim that Bitcoin is MIT-licensed because Satoshi wanted altcoins. He gave his real reason there: he didn't see any point in forcing people to duplicate his effort in creating a Bitcoin client. (If you read many more of his posts, you'll see that he also wanted Bitcoin-Qt to remain the main Bitcoin client for the foreseeable future. He didn't want competing clients destabilizing the network.)  He didn't say anything about promoting competition, decentralization, etc.

Satoshi was not a huge champion of decentralization. He viewed the Bitcoin network as being equal to his Bitcoin software, and he tightly controlled all code changes to this software. In several cases, he secretly changed some of the core Bitcoin rules in ways that would nowadays cause absolute outrage. For example, the 1 MB block size limit didn't always exist. He snuck that in along with some other changes without announcing it or asking anyone's opinion. Don't get me wrong: Bitcoin itself is very decentralized due to Satoshi's work, but if Satoshi returned, everyone complaining about current centralization issues would find him to be much worse. So your "appeals to Satoshi" are ridiculous.

On this forum, there is only one Bitcoin. Elsewhere, you can define things however you wish.

To be fair, I just wanted clarification on whether it was your position that Satoshi utilized the MIT/X11 license so people would not create alternate blockchain clients, which, contrary to your post, you clarified was not your actual position.  Correct?

Other than that, I think you are correct that my romanticizing Satoshi's intent regarding his choice of MIT/X11 open-source may have been misplaced.  That said, that statement was dicta to my original point that this forum perpetuates the legal falsehood/legal myth/legal fiction that there is indeed one official Bitcoin in the legal sense.   If you take out the statement re Satoshi, the rest of my post holds true.

To be clear, this site has the right to perpetuate whatever it wants and to protect its interest it may even have a duty to do so.  I was just making a point that this forum perpetuates a legal falsehood that there is an official Bitcoin in the legal sense.  Similarly, this site could ban all users that use alt-coins "as scammers for copying the original Bitcoin source-code."  Again, this forum can perpetuate whatever it wants but that is a separate issue from whether the forum is perpetuating a fiction in the legal sense.

Once more, your point is well taken and I concede that I may have misspoke concerning Satoshi's intent, dicta or not.  Thanks for the thought-out response theymos.

On a side note, I went through Satoshi's post here on Bitcointalk but I couldn't find anything from him against the creation of alternate blockchains.
I checked here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=3;sa=showPosts.
Is there a way to access the archives of the old forums which used to be here: http://bitcoin.sourceforge.net/boards/index.php


Any information provided in my posts is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice, but you already knew that.
bloods-n-cryptos
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January 29, 2014, 08:33:50 PM
 #23

Quote
r3wt has it right. The text at the top of your screen says "Bitcoin Forum", which very obviously means to most people what the OP calls "Bitcoin SHA-256". Why should a private forum devoted to a particular thing allow something harmful to that particular thing? To use your Linux example, do you think that going to a Debian forum and trying to convince people to use some hacked up version based off of the Windows NT kernel would be allowed?

I am not arguing against that and actually generally agree, especially in the context of a private forum like this.

All I am stating is that it is a fiction to state that Bitcoin SHA256 is the official Bitcoin in a legal sense.  Ergo, it is a legal fiction perpetuated by the mods of this forum which goes against the spirit of the MIT/X11 License.

Stated differently, legally it is not true (a fiction) that Bitcoin SHA256 is the official Bitcoin because legally there is no official Bitcoin in any legal jurisdiction (e.g., no one has the power to take any legal action against anyone claiming to be the official Bitcoin anywhere in the world).

I appreciate your arguments and generally don't disagree, but all I have been saying is that it is a legal fiction that Bitcoin SHA256 is the one official Bitcoin, as per my title.

If anyone still disagrees, please look up the words official, legal and fiction, in a dictionary before responding.

Try advertising your Bitcoin scrypt or Bitcoin Skein or Bitcoin whatever as Bitcoin, sell them to people for dollars, and try your argument before a court when some very unhappy customers decide to take action. Many courts have already made legal recognition of Bitcoin and the idea of different Bitcoins (as opposed to different altcoins) was not found in their opinions, nor in any legislative hearings. You are wrong in both a factual and legal sense.

Hold up there legal eagle.  You wouldn't be misrepresenting the law just to win a silly online argument would you?

To make sure we are on the same page, are you arguing that because some courts have recognized Bitcoin but made no mention of other Bitcoins, that use of the name Bitcoin by anyone but the official Bitcoin is illegal and will lead to liability in court?  Keep in mind that fraudulently misrepresenting oneself to be "Bitcoin SHA256" is an entirely different matter than representing oneself to be "Bitcoin Prime" or "Bitcoin Scrypt" or "Bitcoin SHA512."  Are you claiming that the latter is illegal and would lead to liability in court because of the unnamed cases you allude to?

If so, it's obvious you do not fully appreciate the MIT/X11 license attached to the original Bitcoin so I have included it below (with emphasis added):
http://opensource.org/licenses/MIT

Quote
The MIT License (MIT)

Copyright (c) <year> <copyright holders>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy
of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal
in the Software without restriction
, including without limitation
the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell
copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
furnished to do so
, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in
all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM,
OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN
THE SOFTWARE.

Thus, if another cryptocoin modifies the original Bitcoin source-code and represents itself as "Bitcoin Scrypt" or "Bitcoin Prime" or "Bitcoin SHA512" they have a legal license to do so, so long as the modified Bitcoin source-code includes this MIT/X11 notice and they do not restrict others from doing the same.   Do you disagree with this statement?

How about the converse?  Could it be argued that the current successors to Satoshi's original Bitcoin source-code do not own the source-code, but rather, have a license to use the source-code  so long as they allow others, "without restriction, including without limitation" to freely use, modify and distribute it?  The million dollar question then becomes:  Would the successors to the original Bitcoin lose their license to use the original Bitcoin source-code if they placed restrictions or limitations on anyone else's ability to freely use, modify or distribute a modified version of Satoshi's Bitcoin source-code, as per the MIT/X11 license?

Taking this to its logical extreme, because the original Bitcoin client is licensed under the MIT/X11 regime and is not purely public domain, I would argue that you, anti-scam, as a licensee of the original Bitcoin would lose said license to use the Bitcoin client by taking any actions intended to limit or restrict someone else's ability to freely use, modify or distribute a modified version of the Bitcoin source-code meeting the MIT/X11 notice requirements.  Wink

<Head explodes in 3...2...1...>

Finally, to prove me legally and factually incorrect, I challenge you to cite the cases for which you base your argument.  Otherwise, you are being dishonest and simply misrepresenting the law to win an online argument, truth-be-damned.  I've backed up everyone one of my assertions in this thread with independently verifiable facts and conceded where I was wrong.  

Are you honest enough to do the same?

Any information provided in my posts is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice, but you already knew that.
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January 29, 2014, 09:02:23 PM
 #24

If anyone still disagrees, please look up the words official, legal and fiction, in a dictionary before responding.
So basically, what you're saying is that you're very angry at:

- Merchants accepting bitcoins
- Journalists writing about bitcoin
- Anyone talking about bitcoin in the street
- etc.

For not mentioning which fork of which blockchain they're referring to? Roll Eyes


lol.  If you read the posts, a commentor does seem to be angry but it's not me.   Grin

But what I'm basically saying is the opposite of what you posted.

Where use of the unmodified term Bitcoin is inherently clear (e.g., the original Bitcoin SHA256 blockchain referred to as simply Bitcoin) I don't think anyone has a problem. As long as people are clear as to which blockchain any Bitcoin fork refers to, the use of the original Bitcoin, Bitcoin 2.0, Bitcoin Prime, Bitcoin Scypt, etc..., is legally permissible outside the forum and is generally subject to the forum's private-property rights inside the forum.

Additionally, restricting or limiting the use of the Bitcoin source-code, name included, is a violation of the MIT/X11 License and an attempt to create a legal trademark where legally there isn't one; ergo, a legal fiction.  This forum can and should do whatever is in their best interest, but those actions do not create legal property rights where none exist to begin with.

The term Bitcoin should be used freely to describe the protocol and should legally be available for use by any fork of said protocol meeting the requirements of the MIT/X11 license so long as they do not fraudulently misrepresent themselves to be the original Bitcoin on the Bitcoin SHA256 blockchain.  


Fair?


And my apologies for any confusion.

Any information provided in my posts is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice, but you already knew that.
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January 29, 2014, 09:44:22 PM
 #25

And that is the rub.  How does one "protect" the name Bitcoin where the name is not trademarked, the protocol is not centralized and the code is not closed-source?
Privately, using whatever resources one has at one's disposal.

Quote
I'm not arguing that the current blockchain is not the official blockchain of Bitcoin SHA256, but rather, that any fork of the Bitcoin blockchain can still be considered Bitcoin notwithstanding what any forum moderators may say otherwise.
Sure, it could be, but that would be harmful to the goals of this forum and the vast majority of its users.

If a merchant says, "you can pay me with Bitcoins", we all know what that means. Creating confusion over that would be harmful for Bitcoin.

It is extremely important for everyone who cares about Bitcoin to keep the word "Bitcoin" unambiguously associated with a single block chain.

I am an employee of Ripple. Follow me on Twitter @JoelKatz
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bloods-n-cryptos
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January 29, 2014, 10:03:19 PM
 #26

Quote
Privately, using whatever resources one has at one's disposal.

I agree, so long as they do not violate the terms of the MIT/X11 License.


Quote
Sure, it could be, but that would be harmful to the goals of this forum and the vast majority of its users.

If a merchant says, "you can pay me with Bitcoins", we all know what that means. Creating confusion over that would be harmful for Bitcoin.

It is extremely important for everyone who cares about Bitcoin to keep the word "Bitcoin" unambiguously associated with a single block chain.

Believe it or not, I agree with you here too.  

Confusion between the original Bitcoin and other iterations of the Bitcoin source-code is a very real problem and any other versions of Bitcoin should clearly differentiate themselves for the sake of those genuine concerns you mention.

My point is simply that, as per the MIT/X11 License, this forum perpetuates a legal falsehood that there is legally one official Bitcoin.

Fully appreciating and addressing this point, I believe, will provide a better framework to deal with the very real problems you mention.  On the other hand, ignoring this point is denying the legal reality and  equivalent to simply punting the issue to deal with it later when it inevitably comes back in another form since it's permitted under the MIT/X11 Opensource License Regime.

Any information provided in my posts is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice, but you already knew that.
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January 29, 2014, 10:30:27 PM
 #27

If anyone still disagrees, please look up the words official, legal and fiction, in a dictionary before responding.
So basically, what you're saying is that you're very angry at:

- Merchants accepting bitcoins
- Journalists writing about bitcoin
- Anyone talking about bitcoin in the street
- etc.

For not mentioning which fork of which blockchain they're referring to? Roll Eyes

lol.  If you read the posts, a commentor does seem to be angry but it's not me.   Grin

But what I'm basically saying is the opposite of what you posted.

I'm clueless. Care to explain again why I'm on the opposite side of where your beleifs stand, please?

[OVER] RIDDLES 2nd edition --- this was claimed. Look out for 3rd edition!
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January 29, 2014, 10:33:30 PM
 #28

If anyone still disagrees, please look up the words official, legal and fiction, in a dictionary before responding.
So basically, what you're saying is that you're very angry at:

- Merchants accepting bitcoins
- Journalists writing about bitcoin
- Anyone talking about bitcoin in the street
- etc.

For not mentioning which fork of which blockchain they're referring to? Roll Eyes

lol.  If you read the posts, a commentor does seem to be angry but it's not me.   Grin

But what I'm basically saying is the opposite of what you posted.

I'm clueless. Care to explain again why I'm on the opposite side of where your beleifs stand, please?

He's almost as delusional the Astrocoin Dev Team. Almost

My negative trust rating is reflective of a personal vendetta by someone on default trust.
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January 29, 2014, 11:21:54 PM
 #29

If we are strictly talking about legal definitions, and no longer discussing anything to do with the forum, you may be incorrect there. Assuming we are talking about Common Law jurisdiction, with Crypto Currencies being a thing that could not be precidented based on previous cases, a judge would try to draw connections to somewhat similar cases, in other words Software name and branding cases.

If a software comes out under a MIT/X11 License called "Duck" obviously they cannot patent or trademark the word "Duck" they can trademark logos, but that is unimportant for this example. Under the MIT/X11 license as you posted, people are free to make whatever modifications they wish. However! If someone decides to make another competing software that performs the same task as "Duck" and then they name it "Duck" the creators of the original "Duck" could indeed sue. If they decided to name it "Duck2.0" they could also sue, claiming that the name infringes on their software and confuses brand confusion. Now if they decide to name it "Goose" techincally if the software is close enough, "Duck" may still have a case against it, however that would depend on other circumstances and how good one's lawyers are.

Bitcoin is a SHA based Crypto Currency created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. If a coin has any other description other than that, it is not Bitcoin. It can be a Bitcoin derivative, but you could not claim under any jurisdiction, that another coin is also Bitcoin. The MIT/X11 License gives people the rights to edit the Bitcoin source and create their own coins under other names, but should someone make Bitcoin2.0, Satoshi could techincally sue them over it, again not that he would.

None of that applies to the forum in anyway, but if Satoshi decided to indentify themself or themselves, while they would not have legal authority over Litecoin, Namecoin, etc etc, they would have legal authority over anyone who tried to misrepresent themselves as Bitcoin, in a way that infringes on his/her/their intellectual property. Satoshi designed Bitcoin for everyone, but everyone did not create Bitcoin.


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augustocroppo
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January 29, 2014, 11:24:19 PM
 #30


Bitcoin forum
, people donated for a Bitcoin forum. Many of those people want Alt Coins gone entirely from Bitcointalk. The Altcoin section was made essentially as an off topic section, to group all non bitcoin crypto currencies in one place that is out of the way from the Bitcoin discussion. The spam is overwhelming the entire forum.

I did not donated a considerable amount of money exactly for that. Why are you speaking for something you were not asked for? Who are the donators and VIP which are against the "alt coins"?
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January 29, 2014, 11:29:03 PM
 #31


Bitcoin forum
, people donated for a Bitcoin forum. Many of those people want Alt Coins gone entirely from Bitcointalk. The Altcoin section was made essentially as an off topic section, to group all non bitcoin crypto currencies in one place that is out of the way from the Bitcoin discussion. The spam is overwhelming the entire forum.

I did not donated a considerable amount of money exactly for that. Why are you speaking for something you were not asked for? Who are the donators and VIP which are against the "alt coins"?

I use the term donated loosely, be it time or money, people came here for Bitcoins. The Alt Coin section was added later with the invention of the early Alt Coins, just as a place to move threads from Bitcoin mining discussion to their own section.

The point is, the people that actually come here for Bitcoin info, or to discuss Bitcoin are being negatively effected by the Alt Coin section. Obviously, we don't want to remove the Alt Coin section as a whole, because then we will have the problem of people posting Alt Coin stuff back in with Bitcoin discussion. However the issue as of late is how Giveaway threads have far outspammed anything else, and leak out to the rest of the forum in a variety of ways. Although I'm not entirely sure if this thread is about that or not.

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January 29, 2014, 11:53:31 PM
 #32

I use the term donated loosely, be it time or money, people came here for Bitcoins.

They come for the idea and not exactly for the software.

Quote
The Alt Coin section was added later with the invention of the early Alt Coins, just as a place to move threads from Bitcoin mining discussion to their own section.

The point is, the people that actually come here for Bitcoin info, or to discuss Bitcoin are being negatively effected by the Alt Coin section.

Please, show some examples of "negatively effected" forum users.

Quote
Obviously, we don't want to remove the Alt Coin section as a whole, because then we will have the problem of people posting Alt Coin stuff back in with Bitcoin discussion. However the issue as of late is how Giveaway threads have far outspammed anything else, and leak out to the rest of the forum in a variety of ways. Although I'm not entirely sure if this thread is about that or not.

I am still want to know who are this donators and VIP forum participants which have been "negatively effected" by a mere section of the forum...
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January 29, 2014, 11:55:57 PM
 #33


I am still want to know who are this donators and VIP forum participants which have been "negatively effected" by a mere section of the forum...

You may need a new pair of glasses then. The entire board has went to altcoin hell.

My negative trust rating is reflective of a personal vendetta by someone on default trust.
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January 30, 2014, 12:00:44 AM
 #34

You may need a new pair of glasses then. The entire board has went to altcoin hell.
This looks like an incoming "pair of glasses" war. Grin

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January 30, 2014, 12:03:17 AM
 #35


I am still want to know who are this donators and VIP forum participants which have been "negatively effected" by a mere section of the forum...

You may need a new pair of glasses then. The entire board has went to altcoin hell.

Ok, assume I agree with you. What should be done?
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January 30, 2014, 02:22:13 AM
 #36

Quote
and people keep looking for alterior motives such as why the admins are threatened by alt coins,

Now that is what I call coining a phrase - or maybe alt-coining a phrase.


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TooDumbForBitcoin
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January 30, 2014, 02:24:48 AM
 #37

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Satoshi Nakamura, the original creator of the Bitcoin project,

I thought Satoshi Nakamura played third base for the '78 Nippon Giants. 

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anti-scam
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January 30, 2014, 02:33:45 AM
 #38

Hold up there legal eagle.  You wouldn't be misrepresenting the law just to win a silly online argument would you?

To make sure we are on the same page, are you arguing that because some courts have recognized Bitcoin but made no mention of other Bitcoins, that use of the name Bitcoin by anyone but the official Bitcoin is illegal and will lead to liability in court?  Keep in mind that fraudulently misrepresenting oneself to be "Bitcoin SHA256" is an entirely different matter than representing oneself to be "Bitcoin Prime" or "Bitcoin Scrypt" or "Bitcoin SHA512."  Are you claiming that the latter is illegal and would lead to liability in court because of the unnamed cases you allude to?

If so, it's obvious you do not fully appreciate the MIT/X11 license attached to the original Bitcoin so I have included it below (with emphasis added):
http://opensource.org/licenses/MIT

Quote
The MIT License (MIT)

Copyright (c) <year> <copyright holders>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy
of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal
in the Software without restriction
, including without limitation
the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell
copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
furnished to do so
, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in
all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM,
OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN
THE SOFTWARE.

Thus, if another cryptocoin modifies the original Bitcoin source-code and represents itself as "Bitcoin Scrypt" or "Bitcoin Prime" or "Bitcoin SHA512" they have a legal license to do so, so long as the modified Bitcoin source-code includes this MIT/X11 notice and they do not restrict others from doing the same.   Do you disagree with this statement?

How about the converse?  Could it be argued that the current successors to Satoshi's original Bitcoin source-code do not own the source-code, but rather, have a license to use the source-code  so long as they allow others, "without restriction, including without limitation" to freely use, modify and distribute it?  The million dollar question then becomes:  Would the successors to the original Bitcoin lose their license to use the original Bitcoin source-code if they placed restrictions or limitations on anyone else's ability to freely use, modify or distribute a modified version of Satoshi's Bitcoin source-code, as per the MIT/X11 license?

Taking this to its logical extreme, because the original Bitcoin client is licensed under the MIT/X11 regime and is not purely public domain, I would argue that you, anti-scam, as a licensee of the original Bitcoin would lose said license to use the Bitcoin client by taking any actions intended to limit or restrict someone else's ability to freely use, modify or distribute a modified version of the Bitcoin source-code meeting the MIT/X11 notice requirements.  Wink

<Head explodes in 3...2...1...>

Finally, to prove me legally and factually incorrect, I challenge you to cite the cases for which you base your argument.  Otherwise, you are being dishonest and simply misrepresenting the law to win an online argument, truth-be-damned.  I've backed up everyone one of my assertions in this thread with independently verifiable facts and conceded where I was wrong.  

Are you honest enough to do the same?

For somebody who claims to be so well-versed in law, I don't think you understand that a software license is not the law. If I make a software license that entitles me to your first born child's kidney for use of some software then that would not be enforceable. Similarly a software license cannot permit its licensees to commit fraud. Bitcoin is not merely a piece of software, but a particular monetary asset. If you were to advertise anything using the common name of this particular monetary asset, claiming it to be this particular monetary asset or an equivalent of it, and then provide something that is not like it at all in that is not accepted as a valid substitute for the original thing, then that is fraud. "Bitcoin" scrypt would therefore not be legally recognized as Bitcoin in any court of law.

As for my source, have a look at the pirate case. No ideas about alternate Bitcoins have come up. If the legality of "Bitcoin SHA-256"  as the only Bitcoin implied when people say the word "Bitcoin" is in question then why doesn't Mr. Shavers offer to pay his victims millions of "Bitcoin" scrypt and solve the whole issue? That's because they're not Bitcoin.

That's the point you seem to be missing. Intellectual property laws don't necessarily have to do with fraud. If I were selling horse meat as beef then I'd be investigated even though nobody can trademark the word beef. Saying that "Bitcoin" scrypt is Bitcoin is the same.

If you feel so confident in your claim then I assume that you should be more than ready to make tons of cash by offering "Bitcoin" for sale (with no need to specify the hashing algorithm, since the idea of there being only one Bitcoin is a legal fiction) for real dollars and giving people easily mined "Bitcoin" scrypt. If you refuse such an easy money-making opportunity then we can only conclude that you recognize its fraudulence and therefore the fraudulence of your claim.

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COINECT
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bloods-n-cryptos
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January 30, 2014, 04:49:47 AM
 #39

If anyone still disagrees, please look up the words official, legal and fiction, in a dictionary before responding.
So basically, what you're saying is that you're very angry at:

- Merchants accepting bitcoins
- Journalists writing about bitcoin
- Anyone talking about bitcoin in the street
- etc.

For not mentioning which fork of which blockchain they're referring to? Roll Eyes

lol.  If you read the posts, a commentor does seem to be angry but it's not me.   Grin

But what I'm basically saying is the opposite of what you posted.

I'm clueless. Care to explain again why I'm on the opposite side of where your beleifs stand, please?

Because I do not mind whether merchants accept, journalists write or anyone talks about the original Bitcoin.  My problem lies with the opposite: posts advocating against the acceptance, writing or talking about other versions of Bitcoin.  

See how your statement is on the opposite side of my beliefs?

Any information provided in my posts is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice, but you already knew that.
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January 30, 2014, 06:14:48 AM
 #40

If we are strictly talking about legal definitions, and no longer discussing anything to do with the forum, you may be incorrect there. Assuming we are talking about Common Law jurisdiction, with Crypto Currencies being a thing that could not be precidented based on previous cases, a judge would try to draw connections to somewhat similar cases, in other words Software name and branding cases.

If a software comes out under a MIT/X11 License called "Duck" obviously they cannot patent or trademark the word "Duck" they can trademark logos, but that is unimportant for this example. Under the MIT/X11 license as you posted, people are free to make whatever modifications they wish. However! If someone decides to make another competing software that performs the same task as "Duck" and then they name it "Duck" the creators of the original "Duck" could indeed sue. If they decided to name it "Duck2.0" they could also sue, claiming that the name infringes on their software and confuses brand confusion. Now if they decide to name it "Goose" techincally if the software is close enough, "Duck" may still have a case against it, however that would depend on other circumstances and how good one's lawyers are.

Bitcoin is a SHA based Crypto Currency created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. If a coin has any other description other than that, it is not Bitcoin. It can be a Bitcoin derivative, but you could not claim under any jurisdiction, that another coin is also Bitcoin. The MIT/X11 License gives people the rights to edit the Bitcoin source and create their own coins under other names, but should someone make Bitcoin2.0, Satoshi could techincally sue them over it, again not that he would.

None of that applies to the forum in anyway, but if Satoshi decided to indentify themself or themselves, while they would not have legal authority over Litecoin, Namecoin, etc etc, they would have legal authority over anyone who tried to misrepresent themselves as Bitcoin, in a way that infringes on his/her/their intellectual property. Satoshi designed Bitcoin for everyone, but everyone did not create Bitcoin.



While I previously gave you the benefit of the doubt when catching you in multiple misstatements and untruths in this thread, it's now obvious you have no idea what you're talking about.  Your armchair legal analysis would be considered legal malpractice if you made these statements up for a client.  

A few things first:

1.  There is established case law on open-source that is applicable to the situation at hand, notwithstanding your claims otherwise.
2.  You confuse copyright law with trademark law when asserting your branding claims, but they are two distinct bodies of law and the latter is inapplicable here.

I'de wager that you have never heard of the seminal Open-source case in the biggest common law jurisdiction in the world entitled Jacobsen v. Katzer, 535 F.3d 1373 (Fed. Cir. 2008) available online at http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/08-1001.pdf.

I'll briefly explain it to you since you obviously have never read this case, as evidenced by your Matlock-esque post.  

This was an appeal to the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., from a Federal District court concerning the extent of rights held by a licensor and licensee of software distributed under an open-source license; here, the Artistic License but the analysis is the same.

Here are some pertinent quotes from the case:

Quote
We consider here the ability of a copyright holder to dedicate certain work to free
public use and yet enforce an "open source" copyright license to control the future
distribution and modification of that work. (page 1)

Quote
Public licenses, often referred to as Open Source licenses, are used by artists,
authors, educators, software developers, and scientists who wish to create collaborative
projects and to dedicate certain works to the public. (page 6)

Quote
Open source licensing has become a widely used method of creative collaboration
that serves to advance the arts and sciences in a manner and at a pace that few could
have imagined just a few decades ago. For example, the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology ("MIT")
uses a Creative Commons public license for an OpenCourseWare
project that licenses all 1800 MIT courses. Other public licenses support the GNU/Linux
operating system, the Perl programming language, the Apache web server programs, the
Firefox web browser, and a collaborative web-based encyclopedia called
Wikipedia.  (pages 6-7) (emphasis added).

Quote
Generally, a "copyright owner who grants a nonexclusive license to use his copyrighted material waives
his right to sue the licensee for copyright infringement" and can sue only for breach of
contract
. Sun Microsystems, Inc., v. Microsoft Corp., 188 F.3d 1115, 1121 (9th Cir. 1999);
Graham v. James, 144 F.3d 229, 236 (2d Cir. 1998). If, however, a license is limited in
scope and the licensee acts outside the scope, the licensor can bring an action for copyright infringement.

See S.O.S., Inc. v. Payday, Inc., 886 F.2d 1081, 1087 (9th Cir.1989); Nimmer on Copyright, ' 1015[A] (1999). (pages 9-10) (emphasis added).

The Appeals court ended up holding that violations of open-source and public licenses are enforceable through copyright infringement and that the appellee was infringing the appellant's open-source copyright by not following the terms of the open-source license (i.e., failing to include the copyright notice, not following terms re attribution, not noting changed files, etc...) and remanded the case back to the District court where it was later dismissed as a result of an out of court settlement between the parties.

Besides demonstrating that you don't know what you're taking about, this case when applied to our facts demonstrates that the copyright owner who grants a nonexclusive license to use his open-source copyrighted material waives his right to sue the licensee for copyright infringement if the licensee does not act outside the scope of the license.  See Jacobsen, pgs 9-10. Here, since Satoshi's MIT/X11 license contains no conditions limiting or restricting the use of the name Bitcoin (and the name Bitcoin is not trademarked), a licensee is not infringing upon Satoshi's copyright by including the name Bitcoin if none of the express conditions in the MIT/X11 License are violated.

I'm not trying to be rude but please reconcile this with your last post before you make up anymore nonsense.

Accordingly, I stand by my statement that this forum perpetuates the legal falsehood that there is an official Bitcoin in the legal sense.



Any information provided in my posts is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice, but you already knew that.
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