BTC groups are responding to Bitcoin white paper copyright claim

Groups affiliated with Core BTC and the Core development team have begun responding to copyright infringement notices regarding Bitcoin white paper. While BitcoinCore.org executives have moved quickly to remove the white paper from its site, Bitcoin.org has signaled that it will not comply, issuing a defiance statement.

Recently, lawyers acting on behalf of Dr. Craig S. Wright sent the notifications to Bitcoin.org, BitcoinCore.org, and Bitcoin.com asking them to remove the content from their websites. The letters also claimed that Dr. Wright is the deserving owner of the Bitcoin.org domain name.

On GitHub, Core developer Wladimir Van Der Laan posted this message about BitcoinCore.org, saying that “this site is about Bitcoin Core (and not a specific operation), not about Bitcoin in general, (so) no need the white paper necessarily to be maintained here. ”BitcoinCore.org maintains BTC or“ Core ”protocol software files.

Bitcoin.org (general information portal) code operator / contributor “Cøbra” posted a statement on the site stating that it would not comply with the requirements, and regrets that BitcoinCore.org did so:

“Yesterday Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org received allegations of infringement of Bitcoin white paper copyright by lawyers representing Craig Steven Wright. In this letter, they claim that Craig owns the copyright of the paper, the Bitcoin name, and the ownership of bitcoin.org. They also claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto, creator of Bitcoin nickname, and original owner of bitcoin.org. Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org were asked to pull down the white paper. We believe these claims are without merit, and refuse to do so. ”

Cøbra described BitcoinCore.org’s response as “surrendering,” which was carried out too quickly and “unfortunately, without consulting us.” The compliance “lent ammunition to Bitcoin’s enemies, engaged in self-censorship, and compromised its integrity,” he wrote.

It is ironic, and indicative of how things have turned over the past decade, that the current host of one of Bitcoin’s original websites now refers to Satoshi Nakamoto as “enemies of Bitcoin.”

Dr. Wright was also the original owner of (and still claims to be) the Bitcoin.org domain. He has said in the past that at some point others have gained control of the domain and changed some details, including the PGP key that he claimed was “proving” his occupant was Satoshi Nakamoto – which Dr. Wright added it after he left the Bitcoin project. (Note: here’s another reason to watch the “Bitcoin Theory” series of interviews with Dr. Wright each week.)

Dr. Wright has suggested several times in the past year that, as the original creator of Bitcoin (under the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto”) he holds intellectual property rights to certain materials relating to the origin of Bitcoin and its continued use. These include the original Bitcoin 2008 white paper, the transaction database, and the right to use the name “Bitcoin.”

As Cøbra mentioned in the Bitcoin.org release, Satoshi published the original Bitcoin project files on Sourceforge under MIT’s open source software license. This makes the software itself open source and usable / distributed by anyone, and gives some rights to modification, sub-licensing and redistribution. The controversial point here is that it’s not right to modify the software and pass it as the original – which, after heavily modifying the protocol software to make it significantly different from the original over the years, ‘ r Core development team done.

In addition, Dr. Wright told CoinGeek today, that code does not include the PDF of Bitcoin whitepaper, and is therefore not covered as part of the Bitcoin MIT License:

“The simple answer is that Sourceforge does not make it free or publish it. It’s distributed on a site I managed. One they shut down. Now, the simple answer to this is that there are two folders. Even for someone who is too straightforward to understand that MIT licensing only includes source files for code and does not include PDF files unless specifically listed, the research paper does not in the bitcoin code folder. Therefore, it is not licensed by the MIT license. “

Dr. Wright has also warned many times that he is willing to use the courts to prove that he is the original creator of Bitcoin, using copyright infringement notices as one route toward achieving that. The first step is the legal test of proving that he was the author of the Bitcoin white paper in 2008, and Wright is certain that he gathered enough material to support that case in a court of law and the Core developers knows that Craig is Satoshi.

He also warned that the possibility of Core losing the right to use the Bitcoin name creates an associated risk for anyone selling or promoting BTC to investors. He said any fund or promoter dealing in BTC would need to include a significant risk disclaimer stating this, or it could be held legally and personally liable in the future.

Cøbra, for its part, has also signaled an intention to “update” that paper to “correct some issues,” and explain that Satoshi intends for transaction block sizes to remain small. Core limits BTC’s transaction blocks to 1MB in size, greatly reducing BTC’s utility as digital cash – reducing it more to a kind of “digital gold” used more for ownership and settlement than actual transactions. It is clear from his public statements that Cøbra and the rest of the Core teams have converted Bitcoin into digital gold instead of digital cash.

Bitcoin.com, operated by investor and entrepreneur Roger Ver, had not issued any public statement on the matter at press time. That site does not support the Core protocol, rather the BCH version, which it also claims is the most true form of Bitcoin.

Only Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, or BSV, represents the original Bitcoin protocol. With Dr. Wright leading and supporting that project, proof of intellectual property ownership in court would make a clear legal statement that this is the case.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin – as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto – and blockchain.

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