Brave Browser Fork Makes a ‘Bold’ Move Citing Legal Pressure

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“Braver”, designed as an adware-free fork of the Brave Browser, has allegedly been forced to rebrand due to legal threats.

Blockchain browser formerly known as ‘Braver’, which originally forked from the open-source Brave browser, rebranded itself to ‘Bold Browser’ earlier today citing legal threats from a ‘certain party.’

Anti-adware fork

Braver Browser launched in June following reports of Brave auto-filling the company’s affiliate link into searches for certain crypto exchanges like Binance and Coinbase.

Announcing the project in a now-deleted tweet on June 6, the Braver team said it had removed Brave’s referral link injection, adding that the full release was going to delete “all adware”, including the Basic Attention Token (BAT) — in-house ERC-20 utility tokens that are awarded to Brave content makers for promoting the platform.

Around the same time, Brave co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich tweeted that the forked project “will have to rename, also run a bunch of services and updates on their own.” He added: “No free riding on our servers.”

Legal threats

On July 9, Braver rebranded as “Bold Browser” on Twitter, Github, and Discord, tweeting:

“Due to legal threats sent to one of our community members by a certain party, specifically looking to harm them financially because of what this browser is forked from, we are immediately changing the name and removing all association to ‘the browser that shall not be named’.”

Bold Browser noted that it was also removing all references to “a browser that we previously mentioned from our tweets”, calling it “a gesture of goodwill to those who send legal threats to open source contributors.”

When asked whether they expect the legal threats to stop after the rebranding, a Bold Browser contributor told Cointelegraph:

“The threat letter demanded the coders change the project’s name and remove all references to them. Everyone did the best they could to comply. You’ll have to ask them to see if they find it’s enough to go back to their privacy and anonymity respecting standards that they advertise themselves by.”

Cointelegraph reached out to Brave for additional details, but received no reply as of press time.

Another potential fork incoming

Additionally, the contributor told Cointelegraph that they are planning to build a new browser by forking Ungoogled Chromium rather than Brave. “Not because of legal issues, but because the original code is a bit messy and difficult to maintain/update”, the developer said, elaborating:

“We plan to make Bold a Chromium-based browser that contains the features that people expect from privacy-respecting ad-blocking browsers, with next generation integrations (such as web3 and ipfs), without any advertising programs or token reward schemes.”