Craig Wright lost a UK case that could have allowed him to avoid trading Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, as seen in a February 7 court filing.
In his assertion, Wright argued that Bitcoin SV, his minority fork of Bitcoin, is the original version of the Bitcoin blockchain. He argued that Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash reuse elements of Bitcoin to which he owns the rights each time his software runs. Wright therefore intended to prevent the operation of those two chains.
Wright also claimed that the inclusion of the Bitcoin white paper in block 230,009 of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash violates his copyright.
Judge James Mellor said that while Wright’s copyright claims about the Bitcoin whitepaper “raise serious issues that must be adjudicated,” today’s judgment is only about whether Wright’s claims about the bitcoin file format Bitcoin constitute a serious problem that must be tried.
Judge Mellor recognized Wright’s attempts to copyright the Bitcoin file format as a literary work. The judge noted that the term “literary work” could include a wide variety of subjects, including computer software and non-human-readable data.
However, it does not apply in this case. Judge Mellor said that, based on the evidence, simply running a Bitcoin node to create a new block in the Bitcoin file format does not meet sufficient pinning or identifiability requirements. Copyright law cannot be applied to something whose “subject is not expressed or fixed anywhere,” he said.
Judge Mellor said that to avoid default judgments against the defendants, Wright’s amended claims must remove references to copyright infringement in the Bitcoin file format. Mellor also denied Wright permission to appeal today’s decision; Wright must first get the court’s permission if he wants it.
Wright has repeatedly claimed that he is the creator of Bitcoin and the individual behind the Satoshi Nakamoto pseudonym.
Today’s case (IL-2022-000069) represents one of many attempts by Wright to assert control over the Bitcoin landscape. It is separate from another case (BL-2021-000313) in which Wright intends to sue various Bitcoin developers on similar grounds. On February 3, Judge Colin Birss of the London Court of Appeal allowed the latter case to go to trial.
The latest case alleges that the developers owe Wright an amount of Bitcoin, currently 111,000 BTC or $2.5 billion. In today’s sentence no reference was made to any amount.
This post Craig Wright Loses UK Case As Judge Rules Bitcoin File Format Cannot Be Copyrighted
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