W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > September 2013

Re: Tradehill Bitcoin exchange shut down for 2nd time in 2 years

From: Joseph Potvin <jpotvin@opman.ca>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2013 05:46:04 -0400
Message-ID: <CAKcXiSoN=k0GV5bp_R-JZfsg+bRSj_pChBZktxyt7KV6AJjWqA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Web Payments CG <public-webpayments@w3.org>
RE: "concerns need to extend beyond what might actually be contrary to
existing laws/regulation, to include what may simply be
perceived/portrayed to be so even if technically sound."
and
RE: "what other 'civil code'-base might be worth exploring"

I didn't think I still would have had to add the caveat: "...plus the
usual FUD around free/libre/open source". For the most part, I thought
that was passé.

But then...

EFF: [US] Federal Courts Still Scaremongering About RECAP and Spooky
"Open Source" Software
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/09/federal-courts-still-scaremongering-about-recap-and-spooky-open-source-software

" 'The court would like to make CM/ECF filers aware of certain
security concerns relating to a software application or .plug-in.
called RECAP … Please be aware that RECAP is “open-source” software,
which can be freely obtained by anyone with Internet access and
modified for benign or malicious purposes … .' "

Ah yes, "The Butterknife Problem". Butterknives can be freely obtained
by anyone with kitchen access and used for benign or malicious
purposes"

Anyways, the level of difficulty and cost of trying to find out about
a legal "operating system" before trying to run an app varies a great
deal across jurisdictions. Here's the community that's trying to
liberate "these manuals":
http://www.worldlii.org/
http://www.fatlm.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Access_to_Law_Movement

In Canada, for example, I routinely use http://www.canlii.org.

But for W3C's Webpayments and other global free/libre/open source
solutions to succeed globally, the requirement is for business and
individual USERS to be able to engage them routinely. It's not at all
sufficient to plunk the server rack into a jurisdiction with laws that
are friendly to what that app is doing. In any case, the proportion of
the solution that would be in browsers, even temporarily, in addition
to the actions of the users themselves, will require "multi-platform"
compatibility with the set of "legal operating systems" that the
intended user community inhabits.

In that sense, the complicated and hostile US jumble of legal
jurisdictions is actually be useful as a test bed, for the same
reasons that significant biological adaptations seem to emerge from
places like caustic hot sea vents.

Joseph Potvin

On Sun, Sep 8, 2013 at 10:14 PM, pindar wong <pindar.wong@gmail.com> wrote:
> consensus by exhaustion.
>
> Not a technical issue, but I wonder what other 'civil code'-base might be
> worth exploring...perhaps something in the EU/Asia?
>
> p.
>
>
>
> On Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 9:56 AM, Joseph Potvin <jpotvin@opman.ca> wrote:
>>
>> [snip]
>>
>> Our concerns need to extend beyond what might actually be contrary to
>> existing laws/regulation, to include what may simply be
>> perceived/portrayed to be so even if technically sound. In general,
>> one needs to assume that well-funded yet frivolous and/or vexatious
>> legal challenges can be extremely "successful" when the complaintant's
>> objective is just to waste the target's resources for a decade, never
>> to actually "win" in the end on substantive merit.
>
>
> [snip]
>
Received on Thursday, 12 September 2013 09:46:53 UTC

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