Craig Wright Beats Bitcoin.org In Whitepaper Lawsuit

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Key Takeaways

  • Craig Wright has obtained a summary judgement as part of his copyright claim to the Bitcoin whitepaper.
  • Today’s judgement means Cøbra, the operator of Bitcoin.org, must take down the whitepaper and pay legal fees.
  • It remains to be seen whether Cøbra will comply with these orders.

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Craig Wright has obtained a summary judgment that affirms his claim to the Bitcoin whitepaper; the judgment also prohibits the defendant Cøbra from hosting the document on the Bitcoin.org website.

Craig Wright Wins Lawsuit

Wright initially filed a copyright claim to the Bitcoin whitepaper in May 2019. Later, in January 2020, Wright began to demand various whitepapers take down their copies of the whitepaper.

Case proceedings against Cøbra, the operator of Bitcoin.org, have been underway since February 2021.

Today, London’s High Court granted default judgment that case. This means that Cøbra will not be able to host the white paper on Bitcoin.org and must put up a notice about the judgement.

Cøbra will also need to cover the costs of the lawsuit to Wright “on account of Dr. Wright’s cost of the proceedings” (£35,000).

Coingeek, a company that is closely aligned with Craig Wright and his Bitcoin SV project, responded to the news by calling the outcome a “victory in Dr. Wright’s campaign to re-take the White Paper.”

The firm’s representatives previously criticized Cøbra for raising funds for the case and for refusing to reveal his identity.

Cøbra Responds

It remains to be seen if the legal judgement will be enforced. Cøbra noted: “If I refuse to comply with the order, it’s probable [that] UK ISP’s will be ordered to block [Bitcoin.org] for copyright infringement.”

Given that Cøbra’s identity is unknown, it may be difficult for Wright to collect a payment. Cøbra attended the hearing remotely but did not make any statements in order to remain anonymous.

On Twitter today, Cøbra sardonically suggested that he is “happy to pay” the costs that Wright demanded—to an early Bitcoin address that Wright probably does not own. “How does a BTC payment to the address associated with block #9 sound?” Cøbra wrote.

On the other hand, because Cøbra has collected donations for Bitcoin.org, he may be willing to cooperate and pay the legal fees.

Cøbra concluded by stating that it is “sad that liars abuse courts in this way, to shut down access to … material.” He added: “They will fail, because information wants to be free. ”

Will Other Sites Be Targeted?

It remains to be seen whether other sites will be targeted. BitcoinCore.org took down its copy of the whitepaper earlier this year. Bitcoin.com, however, continues to host the file.

The fact that Wright has successfully obtained a legal judgement in his favor does not mean that he actually created the paper. It is generally accepted that Craig Wright is not Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto nor the author of the Bitcoin whitepaper.

Nevertheless, today’s outcome shows that Wright has sufficient legal clout to influence others in the cryptocurrency industry.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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