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IPFS News Link • Censorship

The End of LBRY Inc.


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.

Star Wars GIF

Obi-Wan Kenobi said this to Darth Gensler in SEC vs Star War I, right before he was struck down by an antique weapon (securities laws).

What's happening to LBRY, Inc?

LBRY Inc. has debts to the SEC, its legal team, and a private debtor that it cannot pay. Its assets, including Odysee, are being placed into receivership. As of this post, all LBRY executives, employees, and board members have resigned. All will be doing what is required to satisfy any outstanding legal requirements, but no more.

What's happening to the LBRY network?

Fortunately, LBRY isn't our network. It's a decentralized network, and all the code powering it

is open source.

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.

However, we got into the game by being honest in the cryptocurrency space when few were. We then got in trouble for being so honest. It only makes sense to go out the same way. It's our nature.

Scorpion and Frog

What's happening to Odysee?

Odysee, the flagship LBRY app, continues to serve more than 6,000,000 people each month, even while it has been iced. CoinGecko rates Odysee as the most popular web3

social media site in the world.

Coingeck Graphic

Odysee's popularity makes it the most valuable asset of LBRY, Inc. While it's nearly certain the Odysee assets will be assumed by someone interested in resuming its growth, it's unclear if Odysee will continue to use the LBRY network in the future, switch to another cryptonetwork, or switch to being a traditional web2 platform.

For the data nerds and founders, a full log of our monthly and weekly Odysee user data is here

. When much of the crypto industry was burning money, we succeeded at building useable web3 software that people actually wanted to use.

What happens to LBRY channels and content?

Over 1,700,000 identities and 30,000,000 pieces of content have been published to the LBRY blockchain. As long as the LBRY blockchain continues to be mined, those identities and records will continue to exist.

However, the content itself is not published to the blockchain, and requires host nodes to function. If Odysee chooses to stop utilizing LBRY, then content that is not actively seeded by others will stop being available. Using LBRY Desktop

is the best way to ensure your content remains available.

Can Odysee switch from LBRY?

Maybe? Maybe not? It's unclear whether Odysee has permission to port content that was published from LBRY to somewhere else. Additionally, at one point Odysee promised

users that it would always use LBRY so long as it was legal to do so.

But we're feeling pretty done with legal fights, and we'd rather see our friends at Odysee continue to do productive work supporting free speech. Ultimately, this will be decided by users, not by us, and we encourage users to wait and see.

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].

Will LBRY Inc. be continuing its appeal vs the SEC?


Where is the LBRY community now?

The LBRY Foundation

runs a Discord chat and some other communities.

What happens to, GitHub, and other assets?

The domain, LBRY social media handles, GitHub, and all other assets are to be used to satisfy debts. We recommend trusting Jack Robison

on any issues or debates of LBRY code authenticity, as even this channel itself is technically an asset of LBRY Inc.

So Long

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.