Legal threats from Craig Wright, self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, have prompted a website to remove what he claims is „his“ white paper on Bitcoin
Craig Wright, the Australian computer scientist who claims to be Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, has threatened legal action against the owners of two Bitcoin (BTC)-dedicated websites accused of stealing his white paper and other intellectual property.
As announced on January 21, the websites Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org have received allegations of copyright infringement from Craig Wright’s lawyers. The board allegedly claimed that Wright, being Satoshi Nakamoto, is the legal copyright holder of the Bitcoin white paper, owner of the Bitcoin name and trademark, as well as the two websites mentioned. The statement explains:
„Yesterday, both Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org received allegations of copyright infringement of the Bitcoin white paper from Craig Steven Wright’s lawyers. In this letter, they claim that Craig holds the copyright to the paper, the Bitcoin name, and ownership of bitcoin.org.“
The announcement continues:
„They also claim that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, as well as the original owner of Bitcoin.org. Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org have been asked to remove the white paper. We believe these claims have no merit, and we decline to do so.“
However, while the owner of Bitcoin.org (a pseudonymous developer known as Cobra) has indicated that he will not be intimidated by threats he called „false accusations,“ the owner of Bitcoincore.org has already thrown in the towel.
According to Cobra, the co-accused of Bitcoincore.org agreed to the demands of Craig Wright’s lawyers almost immediately. Cobra’s announcement explains:
„Unfortunately, without consulting us, the developers of Bitcoin Core rushed to remove the Bitcoin white paper from bitcoincore.org in response to these copyright infringement allegations, lending credence to these false claims.“
Cobra added that the local copy of the white paper on Bitcoincore.org was removed in less than two hours, sharing a link to the edit on Github showing the change:
„The Bitcoin Core website has been modified to remove references to the white paper, the local PDF copy of the white paper has been removed, and with less than 2 hours of public review, this change has been incorporated.“
All references to Bitcoin’s white paper appear to have been removed from the Bitcoincore.org website.
Cobra stated that this act of self-censorship only lends credence to the notion that Craig Wright is the real Satoshi Nakamoto:
„By surrendering in this manner, the Bitcoin Core project has assisted Bitcoin’s enemies, self-censored itself, and compromised its own integrity. This surrender will undoubtedly be exploited to proclaim new false claims, e.g. that Bitcoin Core developers ‚know‘ that CSW is Satoshi Nakamoto and for that reason have acted in this way.“
However, Bitcoincore.org owner and current lead maintainer of Bitcoin’s code, Wladimir J. van der Laan (@orionwl on Twitter), responded quickly, explaining to his Twitter audience that this issue is not worth fighting over:
„Let’s make this clear: I’m happy to maintain the Bitcoin Core code, but I will not personally be a martyr for Bitcoin, it’s up to you as Bitcoiners to protect it.“
Craig Wright has filed several lawsuits against various figures in the cryptocurrency industry for denying that he would be Satoshi Nakamoto. So far, none of these cases have settled in his favor.
Van der Laan suggested that the easiest course of action is to work with Wright’s lawyers, adding that his focus remains on the Bitcoin system:
„This is about decentralization and distributed systems, not personal macho attitudes, I’m not interested and I certainly don’t get paid enough to be.“
Cobra concluded his Bitcoin.org announcement by reiterating the open-source status of the MIT license under which Bitcoin and its white paper were published, stating:
„The Bitcoin white paper was included in the original Bitcoin project files, clearly published under the MIT license by Satoshi Nakamoto. We believe there is no doubt that we have the legal right to host the Bitcoin white paper.“
Cobra explained that the Bitcoin white paper will remain on Bitcoin.org, and hopes that other websites will follow suit by resisting Craig Wright’s attempts at intimidation.