March 11, 2014 1:32pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Kanye West Reveals Names Behind 'Coinye' Cryptocurrency
This week, the digerati went nuts over Newsweek's controversial claims to have identified and located the creator of Bitcoin, Dorian Nakamoto.
Meanwhile, Kanye West has been doing his own hunting.
In January, the hip-hop superstar sued those allegedly responsible for the cryptocurrency "Coinye West," which is claimed to be a violation of West's publicity rights and trademarks. At the time of the lawsuit, West could only target anonymous defendants and those providing web-hosting services like Amazon.com.
West has now amended his lawsuit with the names and email addresses of those who allegedly perpetrated the digital money trading on his name. Here's the new complaint, which, among other things, is a showcase of the amazing geographic spread of the cryptocurrency phenomenon. The defendants come from the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Slovakia and China.
"Defendants have cowardly sought to remain anonymous by using Registry privacy services and other means to shield their identities," says the amended lawsuit. "The expedited discovery ordered by the Court, however, has allowed Plaintiffs to ascertain the identities of many of the previous Doe Defendants."
The amended lawsuit no longer targets Amazon, but West continues to claim that his reputation is being irreparably harmed with each day that passes. It also details conversations between the parties. For example, there's Ian Craig, aka Jonny Bravo, alleged to have launched coinyecasino.com.
In response to a West demand letter, Craig is said to have emailed the plaintiff's attorneys that "no further actions will be taken until a personal video on behalf of Kanye West is published in which he kindly asks us to remove the roulette wheel based on his geopolitical, religious or any other possible insults, personality damages or any sort or inconveniences this roulette wheel has provided." Craig also allegedly offered the lawyers "some house credit for free roulette spins."
The battle over cryptocurrency figures to spark some unusual fussing over publicity and privacy. Some in the entertainment industry are embracing the advent of digital money mined by computers and kept away from government regulators. The lawsuit notes that former Spice Girl Mel B. is accepting bitcoin for the purchase of her new single, and that Snoop Dogg recently tweeted that he wants his "next record available in bitcoin."