How should the Law affect POIs and Challenges?


Saw this POI highlighted in the FOAM Daily Digest.

Zanzi cannabis club

“This POI is illegal under Spanish law. Cannabis clubs in Spain are legal only if they are private, and they don’t advertise or offer a membership (and this POI does both).”

5000 FOAM Challenged in this POI with 2000 FOAM in the Voting Rewards Pool .

There’s been a few interesting challenges on POIs in the past due to legal issues or jurisdictional debates, share your thoughts on how far should law/jurisdiction come into play for POIs and Challenges!


Frankly, the residents and citizens of a place should have most power over how their location information is published.

So if a more regional political authority (like the state of Spain) has determined some published information to be unlawful, then I’d expect the local residents and citizens to vote on behalf of their interests first and not that of the state.

In this case it’s more interesting because the Catalonians already have interests which deviate from Spain and Iberia.

So here I think power over location information is best concentrated most locally.


A point of interest (POI) represents a verified (verifiable) spatial location point. Interest is dependent on the FOAM holder working with the Protocol to record this location data.

In my opinion the only reason for challenging a point is inaccurate data. If the club is illegal under Spanish law, it is the job of the jurisdictional Prosecutor to enforce local laws or regulations. The club website also includes a link to the physical address.

In the same way a club that met to fly Drones, may be illegal under newly enforced laws or not have a license; it does not invalidate a POI if FOAM space is a register of physical locations.

Or think about it another way, it would be possible in the future, for the Spanish government to allow private clubs–only if their location was accurately represented. Would you likewise wish to enforce the new Spanish law by ‘Adding’ all the POI’s as required by law? So we see that by preemptively trying to bend a spatial index to enforce local laws at this time, when law enforcement is not the rationale for the FOAM protocol you potentially alienate a future client-base. In both scenarios, accurate location data is the ONLY mandate for FOAM, and in this way it is impartial.

Having a list of searchable locations that may or may not represent something that is illegal at the time in a jurisdiction, provides a tool for law enforcement. Asking the FOAM protocol to become an enforcing arm for local Judicial acts is burdensome and the community does not have the capacity, and could be construed as acting under the color of law, as for instance what avenue is there for appeal if someone were to challenge to decision by FOAM’s protocol?

This really opens a huge can of worms that I consider overstepping the mandate for FOAM and potentially involving the core team in areas that they do not have time for at this time.

FOAM POI’s represent the attested validity of a holder of FOAM for locational data. That accuracy is reviewed by peers and based on a voting process is finalized. It is in the interest of all FOAM holders to contribute to a growing dataset of accurate locational data. Proposing scenarios that involve things other that spatial accuracy is outside of the core mandate, and I think greatly complicates roll-out.


Agreed! I think this is one reason why it was so quick to be challenged. There’s an active cartographer community in Spain and some cartographers do take the time to personally visit/verify locations/pois that they are familiar with.

Great points brought up! It has seen in some cases where POIs were deemed acceptable by the community and the challenge was lost but ultimately it does depends on the community to decide, hence why I shared this challenge, if not at the very least to bring attention to some of the reasons a POI may be challenged and to spark discussion on what warrants a challenge in the eyes of the law.

If the law changes and someone deems the change worthy enough of a challenge by all means they can do so and it would be decided ultimately by the community quorum via the voting process.


I consider this a bad example of building a localization protocol. Establishing a precedent in the community of approving or challenging a POI based on perceived laws is a bad case.

I reiterate this opens a huge can of worms. Are you going to prohibit or prevent US customers from locating casinos or brothels in Europe? This is what follows next.

Stick to the facts a physical presence is all a POI attests. Anything else is outside the scope of FOAM.


Rethinking about what I said earlier and yes it does bring about a dilemma like you said, in any case, it would set a precedent.


The best a map can hope for is to represent the physical territory as accurately as possible. If Spanish authorities shut down the physical POI, it should disappear from the map. While it exists at that address and is adequately described, there is no good reason to remove it from the map.


Nope, bad challenge. this POI needs to stay. This is the kind of info you should want on the FOAM map imo. Info that might be hard to find by looking at any other type of map.


My first reaction is I don’t think POI’s should be considered a form of advertisement. The FOAM protocol provides geospatial coordinates on Ethereum that allow us to easily index location information stored as json in IPFS. It organizes the data making it easy to search, but I don’t think this constitutes advertising. It’s possible that the client that ultimately consumes this data could represent it to the end user as an ad, but a POI is just raw data.

Also - is there any way to prove who posted the POI? We would have to read a lot into the intent of the original poster to truly determine legality. For example, it could be someone trying to misrepresent the club and instigate a visit from local police. This opens up a bigger question in my mind: Is there a way to challenge information that you didn’t want posted on FOAM? For example, is there a mechanism in place for someone who doesn’t want their home address made public to challenge it and remove it from the map if a bad actor posts the POI without their consent? If there is, why should someone who didn’t want their location shared have to pay to challenge it?

But ultimately, the protocols that make up FOAM exist in all jurisdictions with internet access, so I think any legal action should be applied locally and at the client level and the protocol shouldn’t be impacted. If Spanish authorities want to enforce that app companies that display FOAM POIs maintain a blacklist of POI Listing Hashes they are welcome to do so. But I think as a community we should err on the side of less information censorship based on subjective reasons and introduce challenges based on accuracy of information as this is what defines the quality of a map. Spending too much time & too many tokens challenging legal gray areas that only apply to a subset of the jurisdictions contained within the FOAM map distracts from the challenges that will make this protocol valuable.


Absolutely. This also touches on issues of state coercion and censorship. The map is susceptible to both by large state actors if they acquire enough FOAM.