Index ← 2902 CFJ 2903 2904 → text
==============================  CFJ 2903  ==============================

    pikhq is a player.


Caller:                                 ais523

Judge:                                  G.
Judgement:                              FALSE



Called by ais523:                       16 Nov 2010 13:29:46 GMT
Assigned to G.:                         20 Nov 2010 22:21:44 GMT
Judged FALSE by G.:                     03 Dec 2010 23:45:35 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

First, let me discuss the agreement generally known as (2009-06-15
pikhq), a former Agoran private contract. At the time (CFJ 2586, CFJ
2586a), there was much controversy (finishing with an appeals decision
split 1:1 between AFFIRM and OVERRULE and decided by the Justiciar)
about whether myndzi was really a party to the contract or not. (I still
think myndzi did indeed end up registering, but I suspect that all the
effects of the situation in question relevant under the current ruleset
have since self-ratified away, thus averting another Annabel Crisis.)
However, there was absolutely no doubt at the time that pikhq and I were
parties to the contract, as we had both agreed to it voluntarily and
without coercion. There's also no doubt about the intent of the
agreement between pikhq and I; the agreement was obviously intended to
allow any member to cause any other member to register. Up until
contracts were repealed by proposal 6635, on 20 February 2010, there's
little doubt that I could have acted on behalf of pikhq to cause em to
register (act-on-behalf changed from informal to formalised during that
time period, but it would have worked under either set of rules).

The main obstacle to this action working is that contracts were repealed
since the contract in question was made. However, I'm not convinced that
that destroyed the agreement itself; it may have caused it to cease to
be enforced under Agoran law, but there are several arguments that the
agreement itself survived the repeal of contracts and continues to allow
      * Private contracts, in particular, have always just been an
        Agoran formalisation of an agreement that existed elsewhere. The
        rules did not involve explicit contract creation actions for
        private contracts; rather, if there was an agreement intended to
        be binding that fulfilled certain conditions, it automatically
        was considered a private contract. Ceasing to recognise an
        agreement as a private contract would not, therefore, cause the
        agreement to suddenly cease to exist; it would be ridiculous if
        Agora could cancel an agreement merely by recognising it and
        ceasing to recognise it again.
      * Rule 101(iv) disallows changes to an agreement which its parties
        do not have a chance to agree to; note that the rule says
        "agreement", not "contract". Arguably, I didn't agree to
        proposal 6635 changing the agreement (I voted PRESENT on the
        proposal in question, but even if I'd voted AGAINST, it would
        have passed 6:2); however, this is mostly irrelevant because
        chances are very high that /pikhq/ was unaware of the proposal
        in question, having not posted on an Agoran mailing list for
        over 6 months at that point. (I would also be incredibly
        surprised if myndzi had any idea that the proposal existed, but
        that's a much weaker argument due to the uncertainty as to
        whether myndzi was party to the agreement at all, as e was
        effectively coerced into it.) Changing pikhq's agreement with me
        would violate eir rule 101(iv) right. (Thanks to G. for
        inspiring this line of thought in a private discussion.)
      * The whole notion of act-on-behalf was originally not formalised
        in the rules; it was for a while, but again no longer is.
        Likewise, there is not a vast difference in the relevant rules
        now, from when the precedents concerning act-on-behalf were
        originally being thought out (major exception: rule 2150 now
        bans the construction of entities similar to the Pineapple
        Partnership by giving an explicit definition of persons,
        although that's irrelevant to /this/ CFJ). In general, I see no
        reason why the old precedents, that any wilful agreement between
        persons is sufficient to allow the persons in question to act on
        each other's behalf, would not apply under the current
        contract-less and act-on-behalf-less ruleset.
Therefore, I conclude that I can indeed act on pikhq's behalf like this,
and as I just attempted to cause em to register, and e was not barred
from registering, e is a player.


Caller's Evidence:

I act on behalf of pikhq to cause em to register. (To be precise, I
cause em to publish the following message: "I register.")

(Naming explanation for players who weren't around in 2009: pikhq =
Josiah Worcester, myndzi is someone else, neither are current players.)

The formation of (2009-06-15 pikhq):
On Tue, 2009-06-16 at 12:33 +0100, Alex Smith wrote:
> On Mon, 2009-06-15 at 23:36 -0500, Josiah Worcester wrote:
> > 23:35  * pikhq agrees to the following contract with myndzi: {{{Any party
to this contract can act on behalf of another party to cause em to to
> > 23:35  * myndzi agrees to the following contract with pikhq: {{{Any party
to this contract can act on behalf of another party to cause em to to
> >
> > Myndzi registers.
> >
> I agree to the agreement mentioned above.

pikhq's most recent message to the Agoran mailing lists:
On Thu, 2009-06-18 at 23:52 -0500, Josiah Worcester wrote:
> I come off hold.

CFJ 2625 (the whole CFJ is relevant and I recommend the judge of this
CFJ to read the whole thing, but here's a particularly relevant excerpt
of the judgement):
> There are no rules regulating the use of acting on behalf of another
> person. Therefore, the use of the mechanism in contracts and as a matter
> of custom must be examined.
> It has been a generally-held tenet that public contracts can allow
> players to act on behalf of their parties (or the contracts themselves)
> to an unlimited extent. This seems generally to be the case with private
> contracts as well. In the recent question re whether myndzi was a
> player, the question was whether or not e was party to (2009-06-15
> pikhq) , not whether or not (2009-06-15 pikhq) could grant ais523/pikhq
> the ability to register myndzi.

CFJ 2322 ("It is possible for a private contract to create an ability of
one party to act on behalf of another party"), judgement by Murphy:
> Such an ability can be created by any willful agreement.

Rule 101(iv):
>         iv. Every person has the right to not be considered bound by
>             an agreement, or an amendment to an agreement, or a Rule
>             Change, which e has not had the reasonable opportunity to
>             review.  For the purpose of protecting this right, a rule
>             change which would otherwise take effect without its
>             substance being subject to general player review through a
>             reasonably public process is wholly prevented from taking
>             effect.

Although obviously I have no sensible way to prove this, pikhq has never
contacted me asking to dissolve the agreement in question, and neither I
nor pikhq have attempted to change or dissolve the agreement in any way,
nor consented to any change in it.


Gratuitous Arguments by Bucky:

Assuming that ais523 can legitimately act on behalf of pikhg to attempt to
register, the attempt should fail because it does not clearly indicate that it
is pikhg's intent to become a player.


Gratuitous Arguments by ais523:

Arguably, the entire point of the contract was an intent to
someday be a player, with other members of the contract being able to
choose /when/.


Judge G.'s Arguments:

Point 1.  Contracts must have a considered jurisdiction.  In the absense
of an explicit *Choice of Law Clause* within the contract, it should
be assumed that the Agoran legal system is both the *lex causae* and the
*lex fori* for the contract.  This goes against (to a certain extent)
the caller's point that private contracts "are just an Agoran
formalization of an agreement that existed elsewhere".  This is only
true when the "elsewhere" is explicitly defined or can be determined.

Point 2.  Contracts made under Agoran Law during the contract law era
(roughly 2007-2009, including the contract here), in accepting the
Agoran jurisdiction, accept both that the contract is an Entity under
R1586 and that the jurisdiction itself is subject to change (R1698) and
therefore, that these changes, if made in the proper way (i.e. Rule
changes subject to review), can affect the operation of the contract
without causing a conflict with R101.  Such contracts, in general, do
not show evidence of existing under other bodies of law.

Point 3:   Therefore, if a Contract Entity ceases to be defined in the
Rules, it is not in violation of R101 to apply R1586, and state that the
contract no longer has legal effect (is voided/has ceased to exist).
In the explicit case of a party who was absent during the repeal, it is
more in keeping with eir rights to assume that e is abiding by laws of
the jurisdiction the time e left, whereby repeal would destroy the

Therefore, the question comes to this part of R1586:
       If the documents defining an entity are amended such that they
       still define that entity but with different properties, then
       that entity and its properties continue to exist to whatever
       extent is possible under the new definitions.
and whether the repealing of Contracts caused contracts to cease to
exist, or whether they were able to live on in the "new" (practically
nonexistent) common definition of "agreement".

My finding is that the complete removal of the definitions under which
the Contract was made would lead to the reasonable expectation (on the
part of anyone signing such a contract in the first place) that such
repeals would cause the contract to cease to exist, rather than being
continually binding in an undefined way, and therefore the repeal (not
amendment) of these rules did in fact cause contract entities made in
that era to cease to exist; and the fact that such a complete repeal
would void contracts made under those rules was in fact a part of each
contract (unless explicitly stated otherwise in the contract).

Contracts made previous to this period, or contracts for which there
is strong evidence that they had an existence in other jurisdictions may
not themselves have been repealed; but this is not such a contract.


*starred* terms have reasonable summary of legal definition on


Gratuitous Arguments by Murphy:

G.'s judgement of this case is in line with eir
judgement of CFJ 2761.