More legal threats from the Chia Network

After my previous post, I made a number of small changes to the site in order to ensure that there is no confusion created for my visitors. After making these changes I sent the following email the Chia Network’s Head of IP that had previously emailed me.

Hi ,
 
I have added “unofficial” to the tag line of my blog to ensure that there is no confusion. Can you please confirm that this acceptable and that we are able to move on from here?
 
Chris Dupres
The Chia Plot

When i finally did get a response to this I was shocked at the content, with the Chia Network legal team making more baseless legal threats, this time trying to stick me with GDPR violations. It appears due to the very young age of the site (the domain was only purchased around a week ago) it appears that this site is registered in Europe. It is not, it is in Canada and thus not subject to GDPR regulations. That fact did not stop The Chia Network’s legal team from threatening me with that law.

Dear Mr. Dupres,
It has come to our attention that your EU-registered website <thechiaplot.net> has recently engaged in a series of privacy violations under the General Data Protection Regulation Act (the “GDPR”) involving a Chia Network employee. To date, you have revealed our employee’s personal data, including their Name and Location, and aided in doxing behaviors of others directed toward this individual through your blog.
Despite this unbecoming behavior, you have reached out to us with the following inquiry regarding permissions to use the CHIA marks on your website:
 
I have added “unofficial” to the tag line of my blog to ensure that there is no confusion. Can you please confirm that this acceptable and that we are able to move on from here?
 
Unfortunately, adding the word “unofficial” is not enough to obviate the likelihood of confusion. Moreover, Chia Network cannot support violations of privacy laws, and cannot condone behaviors that target or endanger any member of the Chia community. This is precisely the reason for Chia Network’s vigilance in enforcing its trademark rights; the Chia Network guidelines make it easy for the community to remain connected, while maintaining a respectful and professional relationship with each other.
That said, Chia Network stands by its mission to support the Chia community, and is still willing to consider a relationship with your blog. Understandably, this can only happen if you remove all Protected Personal Information (“PPI”), including the doxing comments or references to any Chia Network employee, whether made by you or by others via your platform.
Once you have removed the doxing and PPI content from your platform, we can “move on from” there, with you obtaining a free license from Chia Network.
Sincerely,
The Chia Network Legal Team

To be perfectly clear, publishing the name of the employee that originally threatened me is not a privacy violation, not in Canada and not in Europe. If Chia Networks does not want their employee’s name in the news they should prohibit her from sending ridiculous legal threats. They should definitely not double down on those threats.

This was my response to the ridiculous claims. I did remove all references to the employee, since I would have done so with a simple request absent threats as well. My response below.

Hello,
 
My website is not registered in the EU but in Canada using a Canadian registrar, the Whois information showing is incorrect, likely due to how new the site is. I have no employees or users in the EU (no employees or users whatsoever) or any connection to the EU.
 
I have, however, removed all reference to your employee from my website. Although to prevent that in the future, I recommend not sending threats to personal blogs. They might write about it.
 
I am not going to address any of the legal points here, I am certain I did not have to remove her name but I did anyway because I am not the one being unfriendly here and I do not have any hard feelings towards your employee.
 
But, as a friend to the Chia project and on a personal note, I highly recommend you stop this behaviour. This is going to destroy the investment you have created if you continue to harass your community with legal threats, regardless of your purported reasons. I am a 6 day old blog and have generated no revenue. Do you honestly expect to build a community like this?
 
Your friend,
Chris Dupres

After the initial legal threats yesterday I reached out to as many lawyers as I could, and the universal advice I received was that as long as I was clear about being unaffiliated with Chia Networks Inc, I was free to name my blog however I wanted. That they could not prevent a site about their product being named after their product. However, it appears they are using MY name to demonstrate their idea of an “inappropriate domain name”.

I want to re-iterate that a website about a product does not need a license in order to discuss that product. Not in the USA, where Chia Networks is located. Not in Canada where I am located. And not in Europe, where no one is located but somehow Chia’s excellent lawyers have decided has jurisdiction. This legal theory they are pushing is dangerous and clearly designed to empower Chia Networks to stifle criticism of them should they desire.

5 thoughts on “More legal threats from the Chia Network

    1. Chris Dupres Post author

      I wanted to discuss the coin and the technology, I had and have no interest in a relationship with the company itself. And I definitely don’t want to contribute to an environment where they can dictate who writes about them and how.

      They are trying to bully any blog they cant control off the internet, which is unacceptable to me.

      Reply
  1. S

    Hi Chris,

    very sorry to read that and for your overall Chia experience.
    I am/was writing a Chia blog as well, basically since Mainnet started and I never received any help, support or even Feedback from the Chia team, though I know for sure they (and with they I mean that guy always standing in front using old pictures of him, so on every livestream you are like – who is this guy) saw it.

    To keep it short, the Chia Project isn’t giving a single tiny shit about the community. There are very few people (kissing their asses) getting support from them. For example I found a bug in the GUI, reported it and didn’t even get an reply. This bug was existing for weeks if not months.

    So what I wanted to say is, to what you like to do. If you have fun doing this blog, keep doing it and never ever let someone threat you! I will cover your story in my blog as well.

    Chia lives with Bram, because he is a genius. Thats it. Without him, it would be nothing. They like to compare themselves with Bitcoin and I have good news for you, Chia staff, you are getting closer to Bitcoin everyday. Because BTC maxis have the same behaviour. They even managed to screw Satoshis vision of a P2P payment services and still think “Bitcoin” should change their name, whereas Satoshis vision is still alive, but at some point people will stop listening and educate themselves.

    Keep your head up, don’t let you bring down.
    Have a good one

    Cheers,
    S.

    Reply
  2. cassol

    wow this is crazy! keep it up man…. I’m glad you’re publicly documenting this! imagine a world where a company could dictate who could talk about their product…

    I feel like they’re in the wrong space if they’re working from a totalitarianism mindset.

    Reply

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