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Interview: why has been ordered to take down the whitepaper for Bitcoin?

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

In a podcast last week with CoinMarketCap’s Connor Sephton, Simon Cohen discussed the English High Court's decision to award Dr Craig Wright default judgment against the pseudonymous operator of the website for infringing Dr Wright's copyright in the Bitcoin whitepaper.

When asked why Dr Wright wanted to stop hosting the whitepaper for Bitcoin, Simon replied:

Dr Wright doesn’t want to restrict access to his whitepaper, he wants people to be able to read it. But what he doesn’t agree with, is that it should be used by supporters or developers of other assets such as BTC which currently promotes or to otherwise misrepresent those other assets as being Bitcoin. Unfortunately, does represent that by hosting the whitepaper in the way that it does, it represents that BTC is Bitcoin as set out in the Bitcoin whitepaper and Dr Wright was no longer willing to let that state of affairs continue. He is entitled to protect his intellectual property rights in the whitepaper as the author of it. This includes enforcing his copyright. He did write to the operator of the website, Cøbra, asking him to take the whitepaper down, but unfortunately Cøbra refused.”

Conor then referred to the legal proceedings that Dr Wright has embarked on against a number of people who have said he wasn’t the legal creator of Bitcoin and The Times UK said that he was “using the UKs libel laws to silence his critics”. Connor asked if this is what has happened in this case with Simon replied:

“No, I don’t accept that at all. Dr Wright is the author of the whitepaper, he owns the copyright in the whitepaper, and he is entitled to protect those rights. That is precisely what the courts are there for. They are there in circumstances where infringers do not comply with cease-and-desist requests. No, I do not accept that characterisation.”

Connor also asked if Dr Wright may be planning further legal action in other jurisdictions, to which Simon replied:

“I obviously can’t comment as to what actions Dr Wright is or may be considering may it be in the UK or other jurisdictions. Certainly, this is a first step or rather another step in his journey to receiving the recognition he seeks as the creator of Bitcoin.”

To listen to the full podcast visit CoinMarketRecap, Simon's interview begins at 06.30.

Further information

This litigation is the latest in a series of legal claims issued by ONTIER LLP on behalf of Dr Wright and his associated entities to uphold his right to protect his lawfully-held digital assets and his reputation as the creator of Bitcoin and his associated intellectual property.

ONTIER LLP is a law firm which specialises in international commercial disputes and transactions.

The firm is increasingly recognised for its high-profile and market leading Bitcoin related and cybercrime litigation and has an established and growing practice for recovering lost, stolen and hacked Bitcoin. Recently, ONTIER LLP 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 with a current value in excess of £3.5 billion. The firm recently acted in successful English High Court proceedings against Reliantco Investments Ltd, a digital asset and securities exchange which blocked and seized a substantial amount from a client’s trading account. ONTIER LLP was able to recover the client’s full investment, its unrealised gains and loss of profit (that the client would have earned from intended investments had its funds not been unlawfully withheld).

The firm has offices in 18 cities in 13 countries, giving a truly international capability.


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