Formerly known as Braver, the fork of Brave today changed its name to Bold Browser.
The team behind the fork said it received legal threats for using a similar name to the browser it forked from.
Brave CEO Brendan Eich says his firm will not shy away from defending its trademarks.
fork of the popular cryptocurrency-powered web browser, Brave, today changed its name after facing legal threats.
which forked from Brave back in June, is now named Bold Browser after a
member of the project’s team was threatened with financial harm, the
team behind the browser said in a tweet today. The dispute stemmed from
the fact that “Braver” looks and sounds a little too much like “Brave.”
a tweet of his own, Brave CEO Brendan Eich appeared to confirm that
Brave indeed took legal action against the browser formerly known as
Braver over trademark infringement.
When pressed by Decrypt, Eich suggested that his tweet, in context, was “clear.”
“We defend our trademarks, just as Morzilla and all other trademark holders do,” he said in a private Twitter message.
has nothing to do with open source, which we use for all our browser
code, where we welcome pull requests and forks on Github,” Eich
explained. “Open source licensing does not grant a trademark license,
the two are legally unconnected.”
Forks are common in the world
of open-source software. They sometimes occur when developers of a
network or project no longer agree on the best route forward, so devs
will take the source code and create a separate, yet similar, project.
are also common in the crypto world, with new cryptocurrencies being
created because developers have different views on how the project
should move forward.
In this vein, the Bold Browser launched in
June as “Braver” after it emerged that Brave was surreptitiously
redirecting searches to crypto companies—such as Binance, Coinbase and
Trezor—to affiliate links that give it a commission.
of the Brave platform were unhappy with the redirecting because they
hadn’t been consulted on it. Bold Browser intends to be a completely
At the time, some Brave users took to
Twitter to announce they would be moving on from Brave to the new fork.
Eich responded to one such former Brave user on Twitter, hinting at the
legal action that was to come:
“Good luck,” he wrote. “They will have to rename, also run a bunch of services and updates on their own.”
“No free riding on our servers,” he added.
is still a very popular browser—reporting 15 million monthly active
users and 5.3 million daily active users at the start of June.
free web browser is designed to help people keep hold of their data,
and focuses heavily on privacy. Brave also rewards users for watching
advertisements with its own cryptocurrency, the Basic Attention Token