NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New York judge says Kanye West‘s lawyers can do research to learn the identities of the creators of the “Coinye West'” digital currency.
U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres on Thursday granted lawyers for the rapper the legal authority to learn who will face a lawsuit saying the electronic currency, similar to Bitcoin, was created to cash in on his fame.
The lawsuit filed earlier this week in Manhattan federal court seeks unspecified damages.
Torres said there was a likelihood West will succeed with his claims. Torres said at a hearing Thursday that West’s lawyers were told by “Coinye West” website operators that they’re anonymous and will keep it that way.
One of the websites targeted by the lawsuit put up a message after the lawsuit was filed saying: “COINYE IS DEAD. You win, Kanye.”
The currency’s creators were using a cartoon image of a coin featuring the rapper in large sunglasses.
The suit claims the defendants have admittedly traded on the name of the the “College Dropout” rapper.
The lawsuit seeks to stop companies and individuals that have not yet been identified from exchanging the digital currency. The lawsuit also seeks unspecified damages for hurting West’s reputation.
The defendants have admitted in interviews that they’d love it if Kanye would name drop Coinye, but they don’t want to pay him to do it.
The lawsuit claims the entrepreneurs boasted that the currency can’t be stopped, whether it “looks like a dollar, a dog or a cartoon picture of a rapper.”
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