The ownership of the landmark and highly celebrated Bitcoin White Paper has always rested with its author, Dr. Craig Wright, as a simple matter of copyright law. Since its publication it has been disseminated throughout the internet and beyond, becoming a hallowed artifact in the history of Bitcoin, apparently with its creator’s consent.
Now, it appears that Satoshi Nakamoto has returned to take back what is his.
CoinGeek has learned that lawyers for Dr. Wright sent out copyright infringement notices to five parties currently hosting the Bitcoin white paper on their websites. These parties control and operate the websites bitcoin.org, bitcoin.com and bitcoincore.org.
The letters were sent in accordance with the English Civil Procedure Rules, Pre-Action Protocol for intellectual property claims. Letters like these typically serve to put a person on notice that court proceedings may be brought against them imminently as a result of their conduct if they do not stop their infringing acts.
The letters inform those parties that Dr. Wright does not consent to the publication of his white paper by them. Dr. Wright has demanded they stop making the white paper available on their websites and undertake not to publish again in the future without his permission.
It’s important to note that it likely isn’t Dr. Wright’s intention to remove all traces of the white paper from public access. The white paper is properly hosted on Dr. Wright’s blog and presumably always will be. No doubt part of the motivation for these letters is simply the creator of a piece of intellectual property looking to ensure that his creation is protected.
But looking at the targets of the letter, a deeper motivation becomes obvious. These are websites who all offer products they call ‘Bitcoin’ and yet which have almost zero relationship with the Bitcoin that was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto and released to the world in 2008. For example, Bitcoin.org is now little more than a front for a BTC shop, Bitcoincore.org is the website which hosts the software underpinning BTC (as opposed to Bitcoin proper), Bitcoin.com is the website which hosts the software for BCH rather than Bitcoin. These are all websites misusing the white paper in order to lend credibility to cheap imitations of the original Bitcoin. On that basis, it is no wonder why the author of the white paper would want to restrict the number of places it can appear.
While the letters give the infringers a chance to remedy the situation, the fact that Dr. Wright is at this stage says a lot about what 2021 might bring: it seems he’s finally ready to begin enforcing the rights he has long claimed to have as the inventor of Bitcoin.
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