Kanye West's Lawyers File Cease-And-Desist Documents Against Coinye
Posted by Joseph Lee on 01.07.2014
They want it stopped...
The Wall Street Journal reports that Kanye West's lawyers have filed cease-and-desist papers against the seven anonymous coders who created Coinye West, a virtual currency that started as a chat room joke but now seems to be very real. The document was filed on January 6 and includes an image of "Coinye", a cartoon of West on a gold medallion. West's lawyer is arguing trademark infringement.
His lawyer, Brad Rose (a partner at Pryor Cashman LLP), said: "Given Mr. West's wide-ranging entrepreneurial accomplishments, consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that Mr. West is the source of your services."
Instead of relenting, the coders have declared that they will release the coins as early as tonight. They changed the name from Coinye West to just Coinye and moved their website from a .com domain to one registered in India.
One coder said on Skype: "We want to release this to the public before the man can try to crush it. They'll still come after us, but that's OK."
Virtual currencies like bitcoin and litecoin are popular now, with copycats arriving all the time. Some offer tweaks to the code in case of frauds or just to improve transactions. Others (BBQcoin, dogecoin) are jokes.
Another coder said: "We said Coinye West and we were like, ‘Holy… we gotta make that'."
West, a "musical artist, songwriter, producer, film director and fashion designer," hasn't actually commented and will not comment according to his lawyer. Rose requested that the people behind the brand stop using the name or any version of it, turn over the website and deactivate the Facebook and Twitter accounts. Rose said if they didn't, he 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."
There is a chance the brand could take off if Internet users decide they like it. This altercation with West will give it more publicity.