Self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator Craig Wright wins legal battle against Bitcoin.org over copyright infringement 

A court has awarded Craig Wright default judgement in Bitcoin copyright infringement claim.
Bitcoin.org to pay Wright $48,600 to cover legal fees. 

Australian computer scientist and self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, Craig Wright, has won the lawsuit against Bitcoin.org over copyright infringement. The lawsuit between Wright and Cøbra, the operator of Bitcoin.org, started in February this year after Wright had filed a copyright claim to the Bitcoin whitepaper in May 2019. Since then, the self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator has been demanding that various whitepapers pull down the copies of the Bitcoin whitepaper

Wright wins default judgement on copyright infringement

Wright won the legal battle by default after Cøbra, who is anonymous, chose to remain in the shadows and took no step of defence. London High Court granted Wright the default judgment on the 28th of June. Now, the judgment ordered Bitcoin.org to remove the whitepaper. In addition, the website will display a notice that refers to the judgment. Also, Bitcoin.org will refund about $48,600 to Wright to cover the legal fees.

In reaction to the ruling, Cøbra said in a tweet:

“I don’t think you could get a better explanation 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 dollars in court.”

According to ONTIER LLP, the ruling is a development in Wright’s mission to get judicial vindication of his copyright. A senior associate of the law firm, Simon Cohen, noted that Wright does not intend to restrict access to the Bitcoin whitepaper. Cohen added that the self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator is only against supporters and developers of other assets like Bitcoin Core (BTC). The senior associate said that supporters of other assets use the Bitcoin whitepaper to present those assets as BTC. 

Wright and Bitcoin.org’s legal battle

Ahead of the suit, Wright’s legal representation, ONTIER LLP, had written to Cøbra regarding the copyright infringement. At the time, ONTIER asked that the whitepaper be removed from Bitcoin.org’s website. As noted by ONTIER, Cøbra had till the 18th of May to file an acknowledgement of service after the process on the 26th of April. Cøbra failed to acknowledge the receipt of service as it should be. Hence, Wright asked that the High Court rule a judgment by default, according to the rule governing civil proceedings. 

Fortunately for Wright, the judge of the Chancery Division, Judge David Hodge QC, heard his application for default judgment. The judge ruled against Bitcoin.org infringing Wright’s copyright in the UK by providing the Bitcoin whitepaper on its website. Also, the court granted Wright’s request that order Bitcoin.org to publish a copy of the Court’s ruling on its website for 6 months. ONTIER continued:

The Court also ordered that there be an inquiry as to damages caused by the Defendant’s infringement of Dr Wright’s copyright in the UK and that ‘Cøbra’ makes an interim payment on account of Dr Wright’s cost of proceedings.

The hearing between Wright and Cøbra was conducted remotely, with nearly 50 people in attendance. Among the attendees was someone with the name ‘Cobra,’ who could be the defendant or any other disguising to be the defendant.

 

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