Kanye Sends Cease-And-Desist Letter To The Anonymous Makers Of “Coinye West” Digital Currency

January 8, 2014  |  

Seven anonymous web developers launched the “Coinye West” on Tuesday, a digital currency that is named after and bears the likeness of Kanye West. They were trying to slide by Kanye and his lawyers, who have made immediate moves to shut down this whole operation.

“The digital currency is designed to rival bitcoin and uses Kanye’s name and image as a parody in a bid to help it become more mainstream,” reports the New York Post. Kanye is not flattered. His attorneys have sent a cease-and-desist letter charging trademark infringement, piracy, and unfair competition. (He probably doesn’t like the fact that he looks like a drunk puffer fish on the coin either.)

“Given Mr. West’s wide-ranging entrepreneurial accomplishments, consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that Mr. West is the source of your services,” the letter says.

The Coinye West makers, undeterred, have changed the name of the currency to just “Coinye” and moved their site to India to keep from shutting down.

Brad Rose, a partner at Pryor Cashman LLP, says if the developers don’t comply, Kanye and his lawyers 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 Wall Street Journal reports. We’ll make a prediction and say this sort of threat will all but shut down the currency before it gets started. No one in their right mind is going to risk legal action by accepting sketchy digital money.

But, as Time reports, the value of these digital currencies increases when more people use them. So if there are a few folks and a couple of brave companies willing to trade on it, there’s a possibility of staying power. So who wants a pocket full of Coinye?

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