While debating PtD (Pay the Developer) and PtP (Pay the Producer) which is having the SAFE network pay developers for apps and possible for content creators, I had a chilling thought on the possible legal ramifications of this feature.
PtD and PtP functionality is based solely on Puts and Gets. It pays out safecoin based on a set of put/get rules and does not distinguish nor discriminate on what gets created including illegal content. This is different from storing illegal content on SAFE which is not my issue – I understand there’s no way to know what a farmer has stored because it is encrypted and in pieces, spread among other farmers. But if an app is used to conduct illegal activity, then anyone funding that illegal activity will be liable. Let me explain with an example:
Example: Let’s say only these six apps are currently being run on the SAFE network.
The bad apps:
- A pedophile’s version of XHamster website/app that makes it easier to view and upload child porn.
- An ISIS version of Facebook with the purpose of recruiting terrorists directed at the EU and the US.
- A drug ring creates a personal business app that tracks illegal drug purchases and shipments.
The good apps:
- New game like Angry Birds but call Angry Buffalos.
- An app to quickly search cancer research documents.
- An decentralized Uber app.
I think most of us are in agreement that funding state-sponsored terrorists and child porn operations would be illegal and subject to arrest and prosecution in most, if not all, countries. If the SAFE network funds these activities, then some one is liable. A machine or a network cannot be liable. A person or group of persons must be held liable. Those persons are the participants on the SAFE network, holders of safecoin.
A prosecutor can argue that those who participate on the SAFE network are knowingly paying for such illegal activity because they have all agreed to the SAFE protocol to pay app devs regardless of what it does but based on the Put/Get algorithm. The SAFE protocol with PtD can be argued is a contract between the participants of the network and those performing the illegal activity via the app. Here is the definition of a contract (source: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/contract)
“The existence of a contract requires finding the following factual elements: a) an offer; b) an acceptance of that offer which results in a meeting of the minds; c) a promise to perform; d) a valuable consideration (which can be a promise or payment in some form); e) a time or event when performance must be made (meet commitments); f) terms and conditions for performance, including fulfilling promises; g) performance.”
Without going through each element for the sake of brevity, I believe many can see there is a strong case that the SAFE protocol can be construed as a contract. Which means all participants are on the network are willingly and knowingly funding apps that support both legal and illegal activity.
@dirvine I know a few legal issues have been addressed such as patenting SAFE to deter patent trolls, licensing agreements, etc. so issues such as this one may have been considered. Can you comment on this?