Craig Wright is once again claiming ownership of the Bitcoin whitepaper, and threatening legal action against the owners of Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org, the owner of Bitcoin.org wrote in a blog post on 21 January.
According to the announcement, lawyers representing Wright have sent out allegations of copyright infringement to both Bitcoin websites, demanding that the BTC whitepaper be removed. The lawyers stated that Wright owns the copyright to Bitcoin’s intellectual property as he was the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, and that he had legal claim to both websites. The pseudonymous owner of Bitcoin.org, only known as Cobra, wrote:
“They also claim he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, and the original owner of bitcoin.org. Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org were both asked to take down the whitepaper. We believe these claims are without merit, and refuse to do so.”
Cobra further stated the BTC whitepaper was included in the original BTC project files, which were published under the permissive and free MIT license, which left “no doubt” the site had the right to host the whitepaper. He also taunted Wright by pointing out that “Satoshi Nakamoto has a known PGP public key”, which Wright can use to verify himself as Nakamoto, though he has been unable to do this so far.
While the owner of Bitcoin.org decided to fight Wright’s claims, the owner of Bitcoincore.org, Wladimir J. van der Laan, decided to remove the local copy of the BTC whitepaper in less than two hours after receiving Wright’s threat. Van der Laan was quick to respond on Twitter, saying:
“So let this be 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.”
Even though Bitcoincore.org has already thrown in the towel, Bitcoin.org is ready to fight, and has even called upon others to “follow our lead in resisting these false allegations”. In a defiant response to Wright, a number of crypto firms have already published the whitepaper on their websites, including Facebook’s subsidiary Novi, payments giant Square, financial services firm NYDIG, and crypto venture fund Paradigm to name a few.
The BTC whitepaper has also been uploaded to Arweave — a distributed platform for permanent file storage — and to the “uncensorable web” through the InterPlanetary File System (IFPS) and the Ethereum Name Service (ENS).