Tolkien-themed cryptocurrency shut down over copyright infringement

Originally published at: Tolkien-themed cryptocurrency shut down over copyright infringement | Boing Boing

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Another innovative currency goes by the wayside. Struck down by Big Fantasy! /s

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You misspelled “trademark infringement” in the subject. @doctorow is probably shaking his head somewhere.

Also, does the fact that they used trademark to enforce this mean that there will be an official Tolkien cryptocoin? I mean, trademark’s only purpose is to prevent customer confusion, so I imagine they’d have to be in a competing market. Right?

Right??

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Ack, good point. I’ll be honest: I DID have “trademark infringement” in the headline, but the Wordpress CMS has this “headline assistant” tool thing that told me that “copyright infringement” was somehow more “clickable.” I don’t always take the AI’s advice on such things — like if it’s intentionally misleading — but in this case, I neglected to consider the differences.

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Not necessarily; trademark law is also used to protect brand reputation and integrity.

If I tried to launch a line of My Little Pony®-themed sexual health products and got shut down by Hasbro that doesn’t imply that Hasbro was secretly planning to sell their own version of Applejack Ass-Lube.™

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lord of the rings no GIF

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Then I guess Palantir probably shouldn’t exist (but also for other reasons, as well).

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Sort of. The ostensible purpose of trademarks is to indicate the source of a good or service. So if you buy a LOTR licensed game, merchandise, etc., you have a reasonable expectation that it’s been created, or at least signed off on, by a particular organization. In other words, it’s not going to be Ratatoing. While the Tolkien estate isn’t involved in crypto, a reasonable consumer wouldn’t know this, and would make a reasonable assumption that the JRR Token is, in fact, associated with Tolkien and LOTR, especially as the similarity in branding is the main draw.

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I was thinking more:

(Also, “JRR Token” is pretty cheap pun— I would think the obvious name for it would be “mithril” or some variant.)

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… I know more than a few bronies that would buy the hell out of that.

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Indeed. There’s been a running gag in the computer network industry for a long time mis-labeling “token ring” as “tolkien ring”, for obvious reasons.

Maybe an enterprising entrepreneur could launch a competing brand called “My Big Stallion.”

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Ummm… Nope. not going there. Besides, others already have. (and OMG NSFW.)

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“Bad Dragon” already has the market pretty covered when it comes to horse themed sex toys.

That’s the name of my new band!

That’s our first single!

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Thiel already has that one. Mithril Capital.

Also:

and
https://www.mithrilore.io/

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Coming soon, Banana-Token. Just look at it!

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