The English High Court has rejected Magnus ‘Hodlonaut’ Granath’s attempt to have Dr. Craig Wright’s defamation case thrown out.
Granath had filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the case should be thrown out on the basis that Dr. Wright had no reasonable prospect of succeeding at trial. Specifically, he said that Dr. Wright had presented no evidence that Granath’s alleged defamatory tweet had seriously harmed the reputation of Dr. Wright, primarily insisting to the court that Granath’s then-limited following on the social media platform meant that his tweets gained few impressions and even less engagements.
The court rejected that argument Tuesday. Judge Lewis appeared to be sympathetic to complaints from plaintiff’s counsel that Granath and his lawyers had not been forthcoming with regard to the Twitter analytics of the tweet in question, noting that they still had yet to turn over the analytics either at the time the summary judgment application was made or the date it was rejected.
“The data that has been provided does, however, paint a picture that is somewhat different from the impression given by the defendant,” said Judge Lewis in the judgment, finding that Granath was in fact a ‘popular and prolific tweeter’ whose tweets often gained over 200,000 impressions and on occasion reached 400,000.
Simon Cohen of ONTIER LLP, solicitor for claimant Dr. Craig Wright, said: “Dr. Wright will proceed with his assertion that he did indeed author the Bitcoin White Paper and that Granath’s attempts to discredit him on that basis are defamatory.”
It’s another victory for Dr. Wright, who successfully defended an historic lawsuit in Florida back in December—one that was predicated on him being Satoshi Nakamoto. Earlier that year, he won another case in the English courts against Cøbra, operator of the bitcoin.org website, for violating Dr. Wright’s copyright in the Bitcoin white paper.
The next date on the calendar for Wright v Granath is July 8, 2022, where parties will attend a case management conference to iron out the schedule leading up to and including trial—which will now definitively proceed. Before then, he will face another apparent defamer in blogger Peter McCormack as the defamation proceedings against him go to trial on May 23.
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