Who owns the Bitcoin Whitepaper? Is a battle about to break out?
9. Januar 2021
The ownership of the Bitcoin Whitepaper is under discussion after Craig Wright claimed the copyright. We’re telling you!
Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, was threatening legal action this week against all Bitcoin websites that distribute the crypto whitepaper without his permission.
Websites Remove Bitcoin Whitepaper
The Bitcoin Whitepaper, entitled „Bitcoin: An Electronic Cash System of Peers,“ was published by Satoshi Nakamoto under a public license from MIT in 2008 and is widely distributed in many forms around the world.
As such, it appears that Craig Wright has filed a Crypto Code claim and is being prosecuted. However, it is still open to challenge.
But the real problem lies in the debate: Is it worthwhile to start a battle? How much time and money can it cost?
Will it start a battle?
On January 21, Bitcoin.org issued a statement saying that the website along with Bitcoincore.org received allegations of copyright infringement from Craig Wright’s attorneys.
Specifically the statement explained that „both Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org received allegations of copyright infringement by the Bitcoin whitepaper from attorneys representing Craig Steven Wright. In the letter, they claim that Craig owns the copyright in the document, the Bitcoin name and the Bitcoin.org property.
Finally, they add that they were asked to remove the whitepaper from the website. However, at least Bitcoin.org was not willing to give up and refused to remove the document. But, he didn’t count on the fact that the owner of Bitcoincore.org had already given in.
„Unfortunately, without consulting us… the developers of Bitcoin Core rushed to remove the Bitcoin whitepaper… in response to these allegations of copyright infringement, giving credit to these false claims,“ said Cobra, the developer who owns Bitcoin.org.
Bitcoin Core developer Wladimir J. van der Laan justified the removal by stating that it was not necessary to have the document there.
„Unless someone can explicitly prove that Satoshi gave this document a free license, it’s safer legally to remove it from Bitcoin Core…“ he said in the release on GitHub.
The Bitcoin Community Debate Begins
That’s how we have two versions, one that is willing to fight to the end and another that claims not to want to become a Bitcoin martyr.
For its part, Cobra claims that by surrendering, Bitcoin Core has offered arguments to the enemy against Bitcoin. He basically claims that they’ve „self-censored and compromised their integrity.
Meanwhile, Wladimir J. van der Laan (@orionwl on Twitter) responded by claiming that the situation wasn’t worth dying for.
Thus, at Bitcoincore.org we can no longer find traces of the Bitcoin whitepaper, unlike Bitcoin.org where even the crypto community can access it.