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Art, DAOs, and Pandora papers

Legit. | Legal News
Legit. | Legal News
Happy Monday! I’ve been gravitating towards the eccentricities of law, rather than the classic ‘Big Tech ruins the world’ stories I usually write about.
Some news that’s a little weirder than usual:
  • CEO threatens to dox his own user base
  • Artist takes money for creating a blank canvas
Also below: a link to the Pandora papers everyone is talking about.

CEO sends customers $90 million, asks for it back
"Follow the Stars" NFT - @yazid
"Follow the Stars" NFT - @yazid
I think this is the funniest thing I’ve ever written about.
To give you some context, Compound is a blockchain-based bank, allowing users to borrow money and take out loans without the bureaucracy of traditional banking. In turn, Compound rewards lenders with COMP tokens.
But what happens when you reward lenders a little too much?
On Wednesday, after releasing what should’ve been a pretty standard upgrade, Compound’s founder tweeted:
“The new Comptroller contract contains a bug, causing some users to receive far too much COMP.”
That “far too much COMP” came out to $90 million.
An honest mistake. Happens to everybody. So Compound tried to correct its mistake - by threatening to dox users to the IRS if they didn’t send back their free money.
Only problem (aside from trying to dox your own user base - worst PR move ever):
Due to the way blockchain works (immutable ledgers) and the fact that Compound operates along a democratic setup that decentralizes authority - there’s really no way for Compound to get its money back, other than to beg.
I’ve been thinking about the legal implications of Web3 for a while - the metaverse and DeFi protocols in particular - and this. is. why.
We’re in a stage of exploration, where the law doesn’t really have a predefined role to play in a landscape that’s using decentralization to eliminate masses of red tape.
In many ways, law and Web3 are propped up by conflicting principles and stand in opposite corners of the ring. It’s only when they spar and decentralized organisations like Compound mess up, that can we begin to understand how laws and Web3 can coexist in harmony.
Until then, though, many more mistakes will happen. I hope they’ll all be this funny.
Tabula rasa
"Take the Money and Run" - Jens Haaning
"Take the Money and Run" - Jens Haaning
A Danish museum gave $83,000 to an artist to reproduce two pieces of works displaying the cash to reflect the nature of work in the modern world.
Instead the artist, Jens Haaning, pocketed the money and created nothing, delivering two blank canvases titled “Take the Money and Run.”
The director of the museum is playing it cool for now (“the work is interesting to me”) but expects Haaning to return the money by January.
Haaning isn’t planning to meet those expectations any time soon.
“The work is that I have taken their money,” he told “This is only a piece of art if I don’t return the money. I encourage other people who have just as miserable working conditions as me to do the same.“
Haaning is the ultimate provocateur. He has a history of using art to upset ”our notion of what is fair and just in our society, especially when it comes to marginalized communities.“
The museum, though, has threatened Haaning with legal action if he refuses to return the money by early next year.
I love fringe stories like this, where law interacts with more than just money, crossing into the world of literature and art and culture. On the one hand, in the most literal sense, Haaning did nothing, produced nothing, created nothing. How can zero effort be said to fulfil a contract where some sort of action - produce two pieces of art in exchange for money - is required?
On the other hand, does art have to be something physical that we can touch or see, or does making a mere statement suffice? In a sense, Haaning’s work does reflect, albeit very bleakly, the nature of work in the modern world.
If so, perhaps Haaning has created a moment of art within the act of nothing.
(Is legal philosophy a thing? This entire story is giving me throwbacks to studying jurisprudence).
Legit One Liners
  • Pandora papers: leaked documents reveal the secret deals and assets of over 100 billionaires, 30 world leaders and 300 public officials.
  • Chile becomes first country to pass neuro-rights law.
  • 131 federal judges break law by hearing cases where they had a financial interest.
  • South Korea internet service provider sues Netflix for increased traffic costs.
  • Google and DeepMind face lawsuit over deal with the NHS.
  • Britney Spears’s father is suspended from the conservatorship.
  • Rudy Giuliani admits under oath that he got some of his ‘evidence’ of alleged election fraud from Facebook.
Non legal link
This 89-year-old article transcends time, painting a picture of work that is foolishly similar to today’s hustle culture, a symptom of a mindset that attaches too much importance to production and not enough to consumption.
In Praise of Idleness, by Bertrand Russell | Harper's Magazine
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Legit. | Legal News
Legit. | Legal News @anniamirza

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