==============================  CFJ 2032  ==============================

    The hypothetical contract in the evidence section, if made a
    contest, would be effective, because neither Rule 101 (vi.) nor Rule
    478 would prevent its operation.

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Caller:                                 omd

Judge:                                  woggle
Judgement:                              FALSE

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History:

Called by omd:                          23 Jun 2008 17:00:46 GMT
Assigned to woggle:                     24 Jun 2008 08:20:51 GMT
Judged FALSE by woggle:                 01 Jul 2008 07:49:39 GMT

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Caller's Arguments:

The contest egregiously attempts to bribe its parties to not
participate in the fora, by awarding points only if they don't.
However, it's just a bribe.  The contest is not actually prohibiting
participation, i.e. you could not initiate an equity or criminal case
against a party who initiated CFJs.

You see, I'm thinking (with ais523) about starting a sort of contest
based on secret rules... I think it might be quite fun.  But if one
such secret rule was that, say, every CFJ submitted had to be in a
message with subject "CFJ", or else you lose points, then we might run
headfirst into Rule 101, because a lot of the contest's parties
wouldn't know about the rule.

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Caller's Evidence:

At the end of each week, the contestmaster of this contest SHALL award
5 points to each party to this contest that did not initiate any CFJs
that week.

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Judge woggle's Arguments:

The proposed contest would not prohibit participants from filing CFJs,
so rule 478 does not stop its operation. R101(vi) is more troubling,
though it is phrased similarly, because R101 rights are more
expansive. For the hypothetical contract, however, I find that
R101(iii)'s right to initiate formal processes to resolve matters of
controversy is more seriously infringed if any R101 right is infringed
by this contract.

The initiation of CFJs is the primary mechanism the rules have for
settling such matters of controversy, and when the other rules have
such a mechanism available to all players, there is no reason to read
another mechanism into R101. Now the alleged contract does not prevent
anyone from initiating CFJs. But R101 rights can be infringed even
when excersizing the right is POSSIBLE. Such a right is indeed
"abridged" when an action is PROHIBITED.

So to analyze the contract at issue, we must determine if it's
treatment of initiating CFJs shares important characteristics with
that of a hypothetical rule or contract prohibiting it. There are two
essential aspects of rules prohibiting actions:
(a) The metagame aspect: Obeying the rules (and through R1742
contracts) is a sacred duty of playing the game.
(b) The punishment aspect: The actions carry a disincentive intended
to discourage the action (with exceptions for cases where the
infringing action was not reasonably avoidable)

Clearly, the alleged contract does meet aspect (a). But it appears to
meet aspect (b). With the hypothetical contract in force, players
initiating a CFJ in a week are effectively penalized 5 points. Now, 5
points are not a punishment currently among the options in the rules,
but it is similar in spirit to a sentence of FINE.

Now, there is a serious difference here in that, unlike all
rule-prohibited actions, the action does not carry a potential
punishment of EXILE or CHOKEY, both of which infringe on perhaps the
most fundamental aspect of the game -- participation in the
rule-changing process. But I think that the hypothetical contest would
still effectively punish the initiation of any CFJs.

Of course, the CFJ initiating right is guaranteed in unlimited scope.
Excess CFJs are not subject to resolution (because they can be
rejected) and used to be punished by VC loss. But, the initiation of
excess CFJs is not essential to the right to resolve matters of
controversy in any normal case; 5 CFJs a week should do the specify
the controversy. The initiation of at least one CFJ in a week is.

So, is that enough that infringe on R101(iii)? The preamble of R101
suggests the rights should be guaranteed broadly against
"abridgements", "reductions", "limitations", and "restrictions". The
effective punishment for initiating any CFJs certainly counts as one of
these. And the nature of the restriction certainly falls squarely on the
apparent purpose of the right -- to ensure that conflicts are actually
adjudicated
through the rule-defined judicial system. (This is unlike, for example,
a contract whose bribe might be seen as a violation of R101(iv)
similarly. There,
the intended purpose of the right (implicit in its reference to "consent")
seems to be to give people a reasonable chance to choose whether they
become party to
an agreement.) Therefore, I find that the hypothetical contest would not be
effective, rendering the statement false. I judge FALSE.

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