By way of background, I’m an attorney working in the DeFi space and also a veCRV holder so I’m absolutely not biased (pulls tongue from cheek). I’ve worked as an attorney for multinationals in the tech sector for over 20 years so I know my way around this type of issue. Perhaps that makes me more inclined to look at this as a hard-nosed business choice.
I’ve voted in support of the proposal but this is obviously a complex issue that goes beyond the psycho-babble and Deleuzian fever dream that passes for legal analysis in this industry. Full disclosure: I frankly care less about the ideological purity of ETH or DeFi maxis or the laughable spoutings of their libertarian offspring - we’re not going to take on global behemoths and FI titans and win on their turf with that approach. That leaves us with 2 pragmatic options. We either:
desparately hold onto the idea that we are professional revolutionaries in the midst of perpetual revolution. (spoiler alert: Lenin is dead, along with a few others); or
try the more modest approach recommended by the Fabians - gradual, modest reform from within the structure being reformed. Still revolutionary but with a nice haircut and table manners.
If you’re concerned with my reference to far-left theorists to frame this discussion, you’d be well advised to ask why. Who knows, perhaps there are more than a few closet Marxists amongst us. In any case, we can learn something from these thinkers. Like, what really happens after the DeFi revolution is over and the blood has been hosed away? We’re basically left with the same power structures as before, mutated to adapt to the new historical reality. For a recent example, see: Arab Spring, Feb 2011.
Applying all of this to the OP, he accepts the basic tenets of intellectual property law and the traditional legal system. That’s a good start.
If one accepts intellectual property, and, a priori, property and ownership structures, then there is only one legitimate response that keeps an eye on the long-term ramifications. And that is to initiate legal actions to protect that property. Property-Violence: the necessary bedfellows. And if you are hoping for some natty software or smart contract to solve this problem? Nation-states will never allow smart contracts to replace their monopoly on the threat of violence that underpins all litigation and legal enforcement. There is no easy, bloodless, drone strike to solve this problem. We’ll need to get up close and risk having blood on our hands.
This isn’t just about protecting IP against start-ups or competing DeFi platforms - those minnows will die as soon as the pond dries up. It’s about installing boundaries and electric fences to slow down the greybacks who are about to enter this territory, predators who will patent and trademark the living crap out of everything they find, forcing existing DeFi teams to submit. Any aggressive litigation by Curve now will make them think twice. In fact, why not flex some muscle and take down several nonsensical copycats?
If you feel queasy about this, you’re in the wrong game. This isn’t personal - it’s business. While we’re at it, save some money to take on the regulators too. Want to know what shuts them up and makes them think twice? I good spanking in the appellate courts. They’re our regulators. We pay their wages. We scrutinise their actions and budgets. They have limits that are within our reach.
Meanwhile, let’s learn from the large FIs: start taking down some small offenders and build a rep that tells the market: mess with us at your peril. This tip-toeing and dancing around regulators and third parties that is endemic in crypto is not working. It’s time to step up the game.
en bref: We have a war-chest and should use it to protect Curve’s legitimate business interests. That includes IP. Let’s extend our horizons beyond bull and bear markets. It’s time now for some tough business logic to kick in before we get chewed up and spat out by something bigger up the food chain.