Index ← 3543 CFJ 3544 3545 → text
==============================  CFJ 3544  ==============================

      C♥U is an agency.

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Caller:                       Publius Scribonius Scholasticus   

Judge:                        grok
Judgement:                    FALSE

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History:

Called by Publius Scribonius Scholasticus:  23 Jul 2017                    
Assigned to grok:                           24 Jul 2017
Judged FALSE by grok:                       27 Jul 2017

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Caller's Arguments:

Agencies are defined as follows in R2467:

"An Agency is a document empowering persons to act on behalf 
 of another player."

C♥U was created by CuddleBeam. CuddleBeam is not a player. C♥U
does not empower any persons to act on behalf of a player. Regardless
of whether it exists, it is no longer an agency.

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Judge's Arguments:

I. Background

CFJ 3544 raises a number of questions of agencies without player
Directors. Cuddlebeam deregistered on 21 July 2017. While registered,
Cuddlebeam was the Director of at least two agencies, C♥N and C♥U,
both established on 27 May 2017.

In eir most recent Superintendent report, Publius Scribonius
Scholasticus reported both of the former player Cuddlebeam's agencies
as active agencies. An existing CoE disputes that the two agencies are
still agencies.


II. Summary of Decision

Ultimately, this case will provide answers to a number of gameplay and
rule questions (as cases I receive tend to do, for some reason). The
decision of the court in this instance will provide guidance on the
following:

- What constitutes an agency
- Checking of the status of agencies as defined in R2467
- The Superintendent's responsibilities in reporting agencies without players
- An agent's ability to activate an agency with a non-player Director
- nichdel's proposition of a "legal fiction player."

I will state in advance that I anticipate this case opinion may be a
source of consternation to some users. This is an issue that requires
a lot of guidance to maintain a reasonable gamestate, so I intend to
use this CFJ in context as an opportunity to provide preemptive
answers to questions about how Agora should proceed in its wake.

I find the statement "C♥U is an agency" FALSE for the following reasons.


III. What is an Agency?

The majority of our information on this CFJ comes from R2467.
Agency-like legal objects have existed before, from my knowledge, but
we are largely without precedent for questions of R2467.

First is a question of the essential, constitutional elements of an
agency. What makes up an agency, quantified? We know that an agency
"[empowers] persons to act on behalf of another player." We also know
that agencies can only be established by players, and that an agency
must have a title, a non-empty list of agents, and a description of a
set of actions with reasonably determinable results.

All four parts in the last sentence are certainly core elements of an
agency. The one of most curiosity here is "empowering persons to act
on the behalf of another player." This sentence indicates to me that a
constitutional element of an agency is a Director that is also a
player.

Finally, the document must be submitted publicly to Agora to create an
agency. This seems obvious, but there are two reasons I include it
here. First, for completeness and in the interest of setting good
precedent. In adjudicating, completeness is next to godliness.

Second, the first sentence of R2467 specifically outlines that
agencies are, first and foremost, documents. It is clear through the
text that an agency is a type of document; a descriptor given to
documents that meet certain requirements. This will be important
later.

By this interpretation, I reasonably believe that an agency is only an
agency as long as all six of the following elements are true:
- The founding document was submitted publicly to Agora,
- The Director is a player,
- The Agency was established by a player,
- The Agency has a title of exactly three words, not counting
conjunctions, articles, or prepositions,
- The Agency has a non-empty list of persons identified as Agents,
- The Agency has a non-ambiguous, non-circular, non-paradoxical set
of powers with reasonably determinable results.


IV: Checking legal status of Agencies

There is static language at the beginning of R2467 which aides in this
decision. We first look at the full first sentence of 2467:

"An Agency is a document empowering persons to act on behalf of another player."

This outline gives us a strict definition of what agencies are. The
key element is verb tense--the simple present "is" tells us that an
agency will be that thing. Most importantly, we can infer by double
negation that a document that does not empower persons to act on
behalf of another player is not an agency.

Further, the simple present tells us that this is not a switch, but a
static-based status. As long as a document meets that definition, it
is an agency. Again, we can infer by double negation: as long as a
document does not meet that definition, it is not an agency.

This is where I differ from PSS. PSS claims that there is no process
allowing the document to cease being an agency. My interpretation is
that there is a static description of certain qualities that make a
document into an Agency, and if it does not have all of those
qualities then it is not an Agency. By my interpretation, there does
not need to be an activating process, and the static effect of R2467
removes agency status from documents that don't meet the requirements.

This is where I can easily make my decision: Because the Director of
C♥U is not a player, C♥U does not empower persons to act on behalf
of a player. Therefore, C♥U is not an agency. (This is also true of
C♥N, and any other former agencies with non-player Directors.)


V: Implications

This section will attempt to preemptively answer future rules
questions raised in gratuitous arguments. I will sort it in
subsections by expected issue.


i. Responsibilities of the Superintendent

I am of the opinion that the Superintendent should not be responsible
for tracking documents that purport to be agencies but do not meet the
six requirements listed in this decision. In some cases, it may be
prudent for the Superintendent to continue to mention documents that
meet a certain number of requirements for an Agency, or that have an
invalid Director, for sake of completeness. This is especially true if
a former agency for a deregistered player is allowed to remain in
expectation of eir re-registration, to limit the propensity to scam.


ii. Using an "agency" with a non-player Director

I'm fairly certain that, since a document that purports to be an
agency with a non-player Director is not an agency, there would be no
effect if a player attempted to activate its powers. I'm honestly not
even convinced anyone could do anything with it; since it is not an
agency and not a player, the non-agency should not be recognized by
the ruleset. As such, it should not be able to affect the gamestate in
any way.

I'm fairly convinced that a player using a former agency to attempt to
communicate does not meet the burden of being a "person" under R869,
so I personally am not worried about a player attempting to register
through these entities.

All this said, I do believe these documents still exist and are
self-ratified even after the player that controls them deregisters.
They are a legal fiction, but fortunately one with no reasonable
ability to affect the gamestate.


iii. Legal defunct "Agencies"

In nichdel's gratuitous arguments, e makes an argument that defunct
'Agencies' are legal entities. I believe it was mislabeled as "if the
CFJ is true, then [this]," when it is the reality caused by a FALSE
decision. I believe eir analysis is correct: Nobody has to track it,
but if someone registers as Cuddlebeam other than the person who
previously registered as Cuddlebeam, they'll be in for a thrill.


VI: Decision

I find the statement "C♥U is an agency" FALSE, as the document
founding it does not empower persons to act on behalf of a player.

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