Haider Jamal

May 27, 2024

Craig Wright Finally Defeated As BTC White Paper Back Where It Belongs

As of May 27th, 2024, the Bitcoin (BTC) white paper has been reposted on the Bitcoin.org website subsequent to Craig Wright unsuccessfully trying to establish himself as Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of the protocol. In 2021, Wright successfully sued Cobra, the anonymous group overseeing the website, for copyright infringement, resulting in the removal of the white paper PDF.


The Context

Hennadii Stepanov, the maintainer of Bitcoin.org, declared the reinstatement of the Bitcoin white paper by providing a link to the PDF on X. Due to legal constraints, Bitcoin.org had to limit access to the white paper for users based in the UK. Instead, it showcased a significant quote by Satoshi Nakamoto, which read that it takes advantage of the nature of information being easy to spread but hard to stifle.

Wright achieving legal victory in 2021 stemmed via his lawsuit against Cobra, the anonymous entity managing the website, for copyright infringement, which led to the removal of the white paper PDF. Wright prevailed by default as Cobra opted not to contest the case, resulting in Cobra paying £35,000 to Wright in legal fees. Wright had applied for U.S. copyright registration for the Bitcoin white paper in 2019.

In 2023, Wright initiated legal action against 13 Bitcoin Core developers and various companies, including Blockstream, Coinbase, and Block, for copyright infringements concerning the Bitcoin white paper, its file format, and database rights to the Bitcoin blockchain.


Justice Prevails

The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund reacted, highlighting the pattern of abusive lawsuits against notable Bitcoin contributors. According to the defense fund, these lawsuits discourage development due to the associated time, stress, expenses, and legal risks.

However, the aforementioned copyright victory is now nullified, as his assertions of being Satoshi Nakamoto and the author of the white paper have been definitively debunked. The comprehensive ruling was issued in a case brought against Wright by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a coalition of prominent companies. COPA alleged that Wright engaged in an intricate scheme of forgery and deceit to fabricate evidence supporting his claim of being Nakamoto.

As a result, all of his assets, valued at $8.4 million, were frozen. The Bitcoin white paper is now subject to an MIT open-source license, permitting anyone to reuse and modify the code for any purpose.


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