Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto and Bitcoin SV proponent, has won a legal battle claiming copyright infringement by Bitcoin.org for hosting the Bitcoin whitepaper. In the wake of that decision, Bitcoin.org must now remove the whitepaper and pay $48,600 to cover Wright’s legal costs.
Wright won by default after the site’s pseudonymous owner, “Cøbra,” chose not to mount any form of defense.
The court ruled that Bitcoin.org must delete the whitepaper and display a notice referring to the judgment and cover Wright’s legal costs. Cøbra responded to the court’s ruling on Twitter:
I don't think you could get a better advertisement of *why* Bitcoin is necessary than what happened today.
Rules enforced through cryptography are far more superior than rules based on whoever can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in court.
— Cøbra (@CobraBitcoin) June 28, 2021
Wright’s legal representation, Onter LLP, celebrated this victory as:
“an important development in Dr. Wright’s quest to obtain judicial vindication of his copyright in his White Paper.”
Simon Cohen, an Onter senior associate, wrote:
“Dr. Wright does not wish to restrict access to his White Paper. However, he does not agree that it should be used by supporters and developers of alternative assets, such as Bitcoin Core, to promote or otherwise misrepresent those assets as being Bitcoin given that they do not support or align with the vision for Bitcoin as he set out in his White Paper.”
In January 2021, Wright issued several letters to bitcoin.org, bitcoin.com, and bitcoincore.org, demanding that they pull down copies of the Bitcoin whitepaper from their sites and insisted that they were infringing his intellectual property.
Wright acquired permission in April to serve Cøbra outside of U.K. jurisdiction by email, with the Bitcoin.org operator having 22 days to respond from April 26.
In May, Cøbra tweeted that they had missed the deadline. While responding to rumors that they may have missed the deadline to maintain anonymity, Cøbra said:
“No. I didn’t show up because defending against nonsense is a waste of time.”