Coinye West, a whimsical addition to the cryptocurrency craze, whose founders hitched its name and logo to the wagon of one of the biggest stars in hip-hop, has officially died. In documents filed July 22 in New York, a U.S. District Court declared Kanye West the victor over most of Coinye's makers, some of them John-and-Jane Does, by default because they never bothered to respond to his complaints.
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The parody electronic currency was announced in January but quickly shut down after West filed a cease-and-desist order and sued the large group of defendants for unspecified damages. The lawsuit complained that the defendants "usurped West's name and likeness for the sole purpose of propping up the perceived 'value' of the defendants' 'digital coin mine' and its 'crypto currency.'"
The coin's first logo was of West's face wearing his trademark windowshade sunglasses. Following the lawsuit, the logo was altered to make West a cartoon fish (ala "South Park"). The Coinye site, coinyecoin.org, still invites people to "Start using CoinyeCoin today."
In March, two months after Coinye was abandoned, a frustrated West amended his lawsuit to include names, background and even emails of some of the defendants, who "cowardly sought to remain anonymous by using Registry privacy services and other means" to stay hidden," he alleged. The suit claimed defendants came from a wide range of places, including the United States, China, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Slovakia.
In the end, only three of the defendants, Richard McCord, David McEnery and Harry Willis, settled with West. In court papers, McCord, of California, denied being involved in the coin's creation. According to a report by coindesk.com, McCord's lawyer called it "unfortunate that a parody turned into such an expensive endeavor."