Friday 18 November 2022: Dr. Craig Wright, the creator of Bitcoin has decided to appeal the recent ruling from the Oslo District Court in which twitter-user and Lightning Torch stakeholder Magnus Granath was acquitted of libel and a breach of privacy. Dr. Wright argued before the court that Mr. Granath orchestrated a campaign against Dr. Wright through a series of tweets in March 2019, denouncing Dr. Wright’s pseudonymous identity as Satoshi Nakamoto and attacking Dr. Wright in strongly derogatory and libelous terms, while inciting others to join in, in a similar fashion.
“The District Court is wrong in concluding that such unrelenting and unprovoked attacks against any private individual enjoy protection under freedom of expression provisions. Mr. Granath has breached the commonly accepted threshold of decency and respectfulness in public discourse – which apply whether online or in person”
Says Dr. Wright’s lawyer Halvor Manshaus of Schjødt in Oslo.
In the appeal Dr. Wright's lawyers argue a very clear distinction must be made between contribution to a public debate and cyber-harassment.
Dr. Wright recently won a claim in the English High Court against a digital currency podcaster for using similar language. In that case the English judge ruled it defamatory to call Dr. Wright a fraud for claiming to be the inventor of Bitcoin, which sets an important precedent.
“Dr. Wright demonstrated in the American, English and Norwegian Court that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. In Florida he was acquitted of all counts of fraud and since then, the English Court has ruled it defamatory to call him a fraud. In this case of Granath v Wright, we had the opportunity to hear from a number of credible witnesses who testified to Dr. Wright’s authorship of the Bitcoin White Paper and his creation of Bitcoin”
Says Derek Stinson, Managing Partner of ONTIER LLP the firm representing Dr. Wright in London.
With respect to a universally-adopted social media platform such as Twitter, there should be little room to differ between European jurisdictions’ application of defamation laws.
Dr. Wright says:
“Through this appeal I am determined to challenge those whose commercial interests cause them to persistently undermine the transparent digital micropayments system that is Bitcoin."
Bitcoin (BSV) is the world’s first functioning system of peer-to-peer digital micropayments. Bitcoin was created by Dr. Wright under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. This system permits online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through an intermediary, such as a bank or a financial institution.
Bell Yard Communications +44 (0)20 7936 2021 BellYard@bell-yard.com
Melanie Riley +44 (0)7775 591244 email@example.com
Dr. Wright’s Norway legal counsel:
Halvor Manshaus firstname.lastname@example.org +47 90068277
Notes to Editors
The Granath v Wright Norwegian 7 day defamation trial started on 12 September and concluded on 21 September 2022 in the District Court of Oslo.
Earlier this year, a similar defamation trial brought by Dr. Wright against digital currency podcaster Peter McCormack, concerning the level of serious harm against Dr. Wright as a result of McCormack’s posts and YouTube talk, was heard over 3 days (23-25 May 2022) at the High Court in London. Judgment in Dr. Wright’s favour was handed down on 1st August 2022.
Today’s appeal is the latest move in a series of legal claims issued by Dr. Wright and his associated entities, to uphold his right to protect his lawfully-held digital assets, his reputation as the creator of Bitcoin and his associated intellectual property:
In 2021 ONTIER successfully brought a copyright claim against the anonymous digital currency enthusiast operating under the pseudonym “Cøbra”.
In May 2022 ONTIER defeated a strike-out attempt in London by Magnus Granath, following Dr. Wright’s defamation action, the trial of which will heard by the High Court in late 2023.
Last year ONTIER also launched a landmark claim against the developers of BTC, BCH, BCH ABC and BSV to restore control to addresses containing Bitcoin and other digital assets. The defendants’ jurisdictional challenge to this claim is currently being appealed by the claimant, Tulip Trading Ltd. set to be heard by the High Court in London on 7/8 December 2022.
ONTIER is advising companies connected with Dr. Wright in their passing off claims against exchanges Kraken and Coinbase, filed in the High Court earlier this year.
Dr. Wright is also advised by ONTIER on his defence and counter-claim to the Crypto Open Patent Alliance’s (COPA) challenge to Dr. Wright’s authorship of the Bitcoin White Paper, which will be heard in 2024.