Index ← 3189 CFJ 3190 3191 → text
=========================  Criminal Case 3190  =========================

    omd violated Rule 2170 (Power=3) by selecting a confusing nickname
    for eir golem previously named Mr. Incredible.


Caller:                                 Murphy
Barred:                                 omd

Judge:                                  scshunt

Judge:                                  ais523
Judgement:                              NOT GUILTY



Called by Murphy:                       20 Mar 2012 16:23:24 GMT
Defendant omd informed:                 20 Mar 2012 16:23:24 GMT
Assigned to scshunt:                    20 Mar 2012 16:25:55 GMT
scshunt recused:                        06 May 2012 18:11:12 GMT
Assigned to ais523:                     06 May 2012 18:13:25 GMT
Judged NOT GUILTY by ais523:            11 May 2012 22:29:17 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

omd's nickname was confusing enough to trigger multiple CFJs (3180
through 3183).  As omd points out, selecting a confusing nickname is
not defined as a Crime, but it does violate a rule (R2170, R2152)
and that's all that R1504 cares about; e may have been thinking of
the converse, where a Crime is not explicitly defined as a rule
violation (but CFJ 3126 found that it's implicitly defined).


Caller's Evidence:

 omd wrote:
 {I cause Mr. Incredible to change his name to '. I cause ' to
deregister.  [thus destroying it; Rule 2361's first sentence arguably
enforces that Slave Golems are always players, but both Rule 869 and
the right to deregister take precedence] Now you can't get me because
selecting a confusing nickname is not defined as a Crime, and you
can't get em because e's been destroyed. Neener neener.}


Gratuitous Arguments by omd:

I was referring to Rule 2361's "For all N,
causing a Slave Golem to perform a Class-N Crime in this manner is the
Class-N Crime of Not Doing Your Own Dirty Work", the antecedent of
which I haven't satisfied.  I thought about the possibility that
causing ' (née Mr. Incredible) to select a nickname would still count
as me selecting a confusing nickname (for someone else), but I think
common sense is that you can only "select" a nickname for yourself.


Judge ais523's Arguments:

There are multiple dimensions to this case, and multiple theories via
which omd could be guilty. First off, causing another player to perform
an illegal action is not illegal itself (CFJ 3115), and omd correctly
points out that although there's a specific rule against causing a Golem
to commit a Crime, the illegal action in question is not criminal.
(Perhaps we could describe it as a tort.)

The alternative theory is whether it is illegal to select a confusing
nickname for someone else. Nicknames are not defined in the rules, so we
typically use the regular definition, where a nickname is a name that a
person is generally known by. In order to be able to select a nickname
for someone, you have to be able to cause the name to catch on. In
general, game custom in Agora is that if someone declares eir nickname
to be something else, other players respect this choice. This can be
subverted on occasion (I'd argue that Kerim Aydim's nickname is
genuinely "G." rather than "Gravity Circumference Line Deja
Vu Cardboard Duck e^(-kt).", and indeed, a search through my mail
archives shows that the fully expanded name has not been used for over a
year, by which time G. emself had forgotten the expansion, and the
Registrar has been using the abbreviation consistently recently), but in
general, announcements that you're changing your name are

So can it be illegal to select a confusing nickname for someone else? It
all depends on whether you're capable of making the change stick. Even
if I were to start persistently referring to Murphy as "Rachel", for
instance, it's unlikely that other people would follow suit; and even if
they did, it would be unlikely to make its way to official reports
unless Murphy emself consented to the change of name (in which case it
would be em selecting it, not me). So in the case of first-class
persons, selecting confusing nicknames, or any nicknames, is generally
only possible with respect to yourself.

On the other hand, with Slave Golems, being entirely the property of
their owner and having no free will, a nickname selected by their owner
is highly likely to catch on (and by their creator at creation, almost
guaranteed to). As such, the violation described in the CFJ is possible;
it would be possible to rename a Slave Golem by selecting a confusing
nickname, and have it actually become that Golem's nickname.

Did that actually happen here? No, because omd destroyed the Golem at
the same instant that e selected the new name for it, and so there was
no real chance for the golem to be commonly referred to by anything at
all. (Arguably, it's possible that e could have broken the rule despite
that if people actually continued referring to the now-historical Golem
at ', but a quick perusal of the threads confirms that they aren't; I
didn't think of using that name while writing the judgement until now,
and most people are using less ambiguous terms to describe the Golem.)
In this case, the attempt to select a nickname failed.

I judge CFJ 3190 NOT GUILTY (1504(a)). Arguably, also (d), but (a) is
more clearcut.