SPS Proposal [Updated] - Class Action Lawsuit against Facebook, Google & Twitter's Crypto Ad Ban

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SPS Proposal [Updated] - Class Action Lawsuit against Facebook, Google & Twitter's Crypto Ad Ban

Proposer: JPB Liberty Pty Ltd, an Australian company with offices in Sydney & Tel Aviv (@jpbliberty)
Authors: Andrew Hamilton (@apshamilton) & Dr Brian Bishko (@brianoflondon)
Token: Steem-Engine token: SUFB
Start Date: 27 August 2019
End Date: 31 December 2021
Daily Funding Request: 200 SBD

Vote for this proposal via Peakd

Executive Summary

The almost absolute power of Facebook, Google & Twitter is a huge threat to freedom and liberty. Extensive abuse of this power, including censorship, anti-competitive behaviour, privacy and security breaches, is accelerating.

For more than 18 months JPB Liberty has been preparing a global class action lawsuit against Facebook, Google & Twitter's Crypto Ad Ban for breach of Australian competition law (anti-trust). The Tech Giants' ban of all cryptocurrency related advertising in early 2018 had a devastating effect on all cryptocurrency investors and projects and particularly harmed Steem and all Steemians, by blocking the acquisition of new users and crushing the Steem price (Steem was $5.73 the day before Facebook's Ad Ban was announced).

Everyone worldwide who was hurt by the Ad Ban can join the Crypto Class Action as a class member plaintiff on a no-win no-fee basis.

The case is now ready to move forward into Court but we require funding for advice from the best barrister in the country to unlock big institutional funding (ie no-one ever got fired for recommending funding with a legal advice signed off by one of the biggest names in Australian legal circles).

We are seeking funding from a range of sources including:

Large numbers of Steemians have joined the Crypto Class Action and we are asking the Steem community to support it via the Steem Proposal System.

Current Status

  • Claim Value of Class Member Signups: ~$400 Million from ~40 countries
  • Independent Legal Advice: Positive (from experienced Australian barrister & managing partner of major law firm)
  • Over 400 class members signed up to Litigation Funding Agreement
  • Legal letters sent to Facebook, Google & Twitter. Google reply received.
  • Case substantially prepared, including Court papers and evidence.
  • Top class legal team lined up including major law firm, Senior and Junior Counsel and Uber-Counsel (best SC in the country)
  • Extensive media coverage (see at end of post).

Benefits to Steem & Steemians

Direct benefits if lawsuit is successful

  • a very large payment of damages - potentially $6 for every Steem held by each Steemian on 29 January 2018 plus more for business losses caused by the Ad Ban;
  • the unfettered ability to advertise to normies on Facebook, Google & Twitter and bring them onto Steem;
  • immense brand and financial damage to Facebook, Google & Twitter which would severely weaken them and allow Steem to pick up their users using 1) & 2);

Benefits irrespective of success

  • lots of attention to Steem as a perfect example of a crypto platform that is a direct competitor of Facebook being harmed by the Ad Ban;
  • lots of attention for the Steem ecosystem & the Steem Engine platform from the tokenisation of litigation funding via the SUFB token;

Indirect Benefits if lawsuit is successful

  • a massive boost to Steem and crypto in general from the transfer of $ billions of value from Facebook, Google & Twitter into the Cryptocosm;
  • a huge boost from the removal of the Ad Ban and the ability to advertise to normies again;
  • a direct boost to crypto prices (including Steem) by the conversion $ billions of damages payments in fiat currencies to cryptocurrencies for efficient payment to Class Action claimants.

Viability

The viability of the Crypto Class Action depends on 3 things:

  • Strong legal prospects - We already have both formal and informal legal advice from Australian Counsel & Senior Counsel confirming the strength of the case and a top law firm lined up.
  • Sufficient economic value to attract investors - Investors pay the costs of the lawsuit and share in 25% of the damages obtained by signed up class members. With ~$400 million in claim signed up, typical litigation funding economic viability thresholds have been exceeded many times over.
  • Sufficient funding to fight lawsuit to conclusion: This SPS Proposal, if successful, combined with other funding sources will allow JPB Liberty to obtain the prospects advice from the best barrister in Australia which will unlock large institutional funding.

Core Team

JPB Liberty is led by CEO Andrew Hamilton (@apshamilton), an Australian lawyer and litigator with over 25 years experience and a rare gift in seeing legal strategies others miss.
Dr Brian Bishko (@brianoflondon) is a serial entrepreneur and technology evangelist with a significant social media presence.
Yael Grant (@yaelg) is an experienced CFO with over 20 years accounting and finance experience. She is admitted as a CPA in the UK and Israel and has extensive Big 4 accounting firm and NASDAQ listed company experience.

Commitment to Steem

JPB Liberty is already using Steem as an integral part of its business in multiple ways:

  • Class members joining the Crypto Class Action are eligible for SUFB token(s) (incentivises them to join Steem)
  • Investors in the Crypto Class action are provided free Steem accounts (via Steem Ninja) and a signup instruction video to allow them to receive their SUFB tokens
  • Steem is the main platform for updates and information about the Crypto Class Action and class members and investors are encouraged to follow @jpbliberty and comment on Steem
  • fundraising from small investors via Crypto Class Action Fundition Campaign
  • promotion via Steem Monsters “Crypto Class Action Knights” Tournaments & Guild

Use of Funds

The funding received from this SPS Proposal will be used as follows

  • 100% (200 SBD per day) towards expected external costs starting with detailed prospects advice and then other costs including:
    • adverse costs insurance
    • Court fees
    • external lawyers fees
    • external experts fees

Steps involved in Litigation

We have set out below a simple outline of the steps involved in this sort of litigation and why we need SPS funding for more than 2 years.

  • Preparing Originating Application, Statement of Claim & supporting affidavits
  • Obtaining Prospects Advice of the highest quality
  • Commencing proceedings - Filing and Serving; Security for Costs etc
  • Defence, amendments to pleadings, particulars
  • Case management hearings (8 estimated)
  • Interlocutory hearings (8 estimated)
  • Lay evidence (taking affidavits from many witnesses)
  • Expert evidence (economist, blockchain analysis, probability & correlation analysis)
  • Discovery (obtaining and reviewing documents from defendants)
  • Further information gathering
  • Dispute resolution (mediation hearings)
  • Hearing on applicant's case and common questions
  • Further dispute resolution
  • Appeals on liability
  • Lay evidence on damages
  • Expert evidence on damages
  • Hearings on damages by sub class (investors, projects, exchanges etc).

Media Coverage

https://blocktv.com/watch/2019-07-03/5d1c981002451-suing-facebook-for-500-billion
https://beincrypto.com/lost-money-during-the-2018-cryptocurrency-ad-ban-you-can-now-claim-damages-in-largest-class-action-in-history/
https://gellerreport.com/2019/07/facebook-cryptocurrency.html/
https://www.tr.news/david-v-goliath-israelis-to-sue-facebook-for-500b-in-australia/
https://decrypt.co/8089/sued-for-billions-facebook-is-accused-of-killing-crypto-startups
https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/facebook-google-and-twitter-slapped-with-class-action-lawsuit-for-crypto-ad-ban/
https://litigationfinancejournal.com/litigation-funder-seeks-class-action-facebook-google-twitter-banning-cryptocurrency-ads/
My Interview with Aussie Crypto media Nuggets News
https://micky.com.au/how-you-can-take-part-in-the-multi-billion-dollar-crypto-lawsuit-against-facebook/

New since original post
https://cointelegraph.com/news/crypto-advertisement-still-unwelcome-how-is-the-industry-coping