IOTA co-founder CFB has achieved a legal stage victory in his fight against the IOTA Foundation and other co-founders. A Norwegian court assumes copyright violations.
A storm is gathering over IOTA. Because in the court case in Norway initiated by the IOAT co-founder CFB (Sergey Ivancheglo) there is a first judgement. According to the translation, the court considers it likely that IOTA AS and the IOTA Foundation accessed code programmed by CFB without having the necessary copyrights for it. Therefore, the defendants are provisionally ordered to stop making the “IOTA computer program” and “IOTA AS computer program”, respectively, available in source code or other formats. By Sept. 1, 2021, CFB is to support its action in district court to keep the measures in effect, according to the ruling.
CFB criticized on Twitter the IOTA Foundation and co-founder David Sønstebø, who left there, for not making the court decision public on his own. He himself has obviously leaked the document to the IOTA enlightener Hund, who in turn is banging the drum via Twitter. There was no comment on the matter from the IOTA Foundation and its senior representatives as of Wednesday morning.
IOTA in court in Norway – what’s going on?
Earlier word from CFB had indicated that its legal efforts were targeting millions of dollars worth of IOTA, dating back to the early days of IOTA and generated at its predecessor IOTA AS. The current preliminary ruling from Norway, however, according to available information, relates to code that CFB brought with him when he was hired at IOTA AS in 2015 and has since been unchallenged as a co-founder of IOTA. The court finds it plausible that this code forms the basis of IOTA and was not first developed at IOTA AS. Accordingly, CFB is still entitled to the copyright. IOTA AS had never acquired rights for this and had therefore also unlawfully transferred the code to the IOTA Foundation in 2017.
Because of the fundamental importance, the case is to be heard further before the district court. For now, IOTA AS and the IOTA Foundation are condemned to pay CFB’s court costs and legal fees amounting to the equivalent of about 7,450 euros. In addition, there is the passage that temporarily prohibits the further distribution of IOTA code. To what extent today’s IOTA 1.5 still uses code that could have come from CFB is difficult to judge. The court declared Norway as a jurisdiction because the Norwegian company IOTA AS is involved.
Even if CFB and Hund interpret the first ruling from Norway as groundbreaking – a closer study gives a different impression. Because the references of the judge Liv Synnøve Taraldsrud in the reasoning are cautious and her verdict has explicitly only a provisional character.
Conclusion: IOTA Foundation in a tight spot
Those who have not invested in IOTA may observe the recurring disputes between IOTA founders as a spectacle. For IOTA investors, however, the dispute, which was already anchored in the early days of IOTA, is worrisome because it has not been resolved to this day. Instead, more and more unsavory details keep coming to light and none of the founders seem to shy away from mudslinging. CFB’s claiming of base code in IOTA could have the potential to upset the project or force it to pay generous damages.
For now, however, it should be emphasized: The legal assessment in effect now indicates only a trend; later confirmation by the district court is not a foregone conclusion. But why the IOTA Foundation and its boss Dominik Schiener remain ironically silent, they probably know best themselves. The transparency promised by them for IOTA in the sense of investors does not materialize in this way.
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