Originally published on November 17th, 2023.
It’s no secret that our YouTube channel was holocausted months ago. That put the kibosh on a series of videos I was planning on producing, based off the Traffic Soyboys series, and any larger video content ambition, since Odysee doesn’t have nearly the market share. However, I also used YouTube to upload numerous short videos that are relevant to whatever article that I’m working on. Luckily, Odysee videos embed properly, so I could use that site to fulfill the latter purpose.
That appears to be coming to an end. The Securities Exchange Commision (SEC) went after them and appears to have won in court.
LBRY, the company whose video-sharing technology and bespoke cryptocurrency once powered the extremist-friendly video platform Odysee, announced on Twitter this week that it would close its doors after a federal judge in New Hampshire fined the firm more than $111,000 for violating registration provision in securities laws.
The announcement saw the value of its LBRY Credit (LBC) cryptocurrency – which was at the center of the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) two-year prosecution of the company – sink to around 1/3000th of a cent by Thursday night.
I can’t stand reading the Giardian, so I looked up Odysee’s official statement on the matter, released late last month.
LBRY Inc. must die, there is no escaping this. It has lost a judgment to the federal government, has several million dollars in debts, and has pledged to shut down.
This will be our last post.
The Feds just can’t allow a competitor, however small, to JewTube.
I am so far beyond unimpressed with Weimerica that I find it difficult to provide commentary. I’m not sure I can do more than simply restate the facts, and it’s not like delving deep into the legalese matters.
Everyone knows that the feds are thoroughly corrupt, and that, however flawed Odysee’s leadership was, this was political persecution. Humouring the legal nonsense that the SEC used against LRBY only serves to legitimize it. When trillion dollar multinationals like Google get anti-trust charges, then I’ll consider taking the feds seriously when they engage in lawfare.
For the record. Yes, I am aware that some extremely minor anti-trust action has been taken against Google, and a few other multinationals. Minor inconveniences to these monopolies do not compare with the feds driving Odysee out of business.
But the LBRY network might die, too. Decentralization isn’t magic – it only works if enough people use it. Could LBRY still swallow all digital publishing like we intended? Could this be the beginning of a descent to obscurity? Who knows? It’s not like we’re LBRY experts.
The truth is that even writing this post fills us with anxiety. Everything we say is being scrutinized by people with immense resources that aren’t big fans of us, free speech, or any technology that enables dissent. And if we violate another one of the United States’ incredibly clear and easy-to-follow laws, we might end up in jail.
Is the LBRY token still a security?
Hahahahaha, we’re not falling for believing this question is answerable again.
In our case, the judge was clear that only LBRY Inc. broke the law, and only because it kept a significant premine of the LBRY token. Plus, there was the Ripple decision, and if you add those together, then
[sentence redacted by legal team].
Again, to humour the SEC’s lawfare is to legitimize it.
Our online freedom is increasingly threatened as it’s simultaneously become increasingly necessary. We’re proud to have played a role in the effort to keep the internet free, but also remorseful to have everything play out as it did.
Even harder than dealing with the federal government is the idea that we would have let people down who had faith in us. To creators, users, and investors (in that order), thank you for putting your confidence in us. We won’t apologize to the government, but we’re grateful and apologetic to you.
It’s still not exactly clear whether Odysee is sticking around or leaving. They don’t clarify in their own statement, and they might not know themselves, but their statement ends on a downer. The site’s owner, Jeremy Kauffman, seems resigned to Odysee going the way of the Dodo, and while they didn’t give a date, I’ve heard numerous sources say that Odysee will be no more as of March, 2024.
It really is amazing how utterly controlled and worthless the modern internet is, as well as the rest of society. I guess this is what living in a dystopian science fiction novel feels like.