8

This question was closed almost immediately since it asked for legal advice. I think that the decision was correct in this particular case since the quote in the question is probably already as good an answer as you can expect to get without involving a lawyer.

I don't think that this means that we should automatically close all questions asking for legal advice. We did for example allow this one, asking for legal status of Bitcoin around the world. Some legal questions may have a very clear answer even without involving a lawyer ("Is theft illegal in the state of New York?"). I believe that we should judge questions like this on a case-by-case basis depending on how good of an answer you can expect to get. Thoughts?

Here's a similar question on Meta SO for reference.

7

I agree that it's a case-by-case basis. What drew the line for me on the question linked above is the overall complexity of the case. Bitcoin's legalities are fuzzy to begin with, there are simply no precedents set for most legal questions one could ask. As you've said, though, we've allowed a few legal questions in the past, which had more clear-cut answers.

For example, asking about the legal status of Bitcoin around the world is simple: in most jurisdictions things are legal by default until they are declared illegal so in this case we're asking if a law exists which explicitly outlaws virtual currencies. In the above question it was being asked whether an existing law applied to Bitcoin which is a far fuzzier realm.

Just as I'm appreciative that crypto.stackexchange is available to migrate purely cryptography-based questions to and economics.stackexchange will be out of beta and migrate-able not long after we are, I sincerely hope that either Software Law or Laws & Legal Questions make it out of Area51 in the near future as they would also be invaluable resources, if not for migration at least for consultation.

  • 3
    I agree that it's going to be on a case-by-case basis and it's going to be subjective. The questions to look at are: Is it really about Bitcoins specifically? Are constructive answers possible? Is it really just asking for an opinion in an area where almost nobody is qualified to give a useful one? – David Schwartz Oct 12 '11 at 18:36
  • 1
    I have updated the tag wiki for legal in order to capture the results of this question. Please feel free to improve it. – Murch Mar 26 '14 at 9:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .