UK court upholds appeal from Craig Wright in Bitcoin rights lawsuit

On July 20 a UK court upheld an appeal by Craig Wright, giving him the right to argue in a lawsuit that the bitcoin file format is sufficiently defined to qualify for copyright protection.

Wright, who has claimed to be the inventor of bitcoin (BTC) since 2016, has filed a lawsuit against 13 bitcoin core developers and a group of companies including Blockstream, Coinbase and Block, alleging infringement of his bitcoin whitepaper copyright, file format and database rights of the bitcoin blockchain.

The decision reversed a February ruling that found Wright’s arguments insufficient to show how the bitcoin file format was first established, a concept known as a fixation on copyright laws.

“Plaintiffs may consider themselves unlucky that their application for leave to serve has come before a judge who has at least some understanding of the technology involved,” said the February decision denying permission to appeal. With this week’s reversal, Wright has reopened discussions of the case.

one in do On July 20, Wright wrote without citing the decision: “Legal protection of intellectual property is necessary to protect the rights of creators and innovators and to encourage the production of new ideas, inventions, and creative works.”

Decision of the Court of Appeal for England and Wales on 20 July. Source: Bailey.

The developers’ legal representative, the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund (BLDF), claims that Wright has failed to prove that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of the bitcoin whitepaper and database.

“Wright has been claiming to be Satoshi since 2016 without providing any evidence to support this claim,” BLDF said in a statement. They said that Wright must prove that he is Satoshi Nakamoto “before the court can decide on the three primary claims named in the lawsuit.” The matter is expected to come up for hearing in early 2024.

The bitcoin code is open-source and freely distributed under the MIT license, which means users have the right to reuse the code for any purpose, including proprietary software. However, Wright has argued that the bitcoin core developers represent the “Bitcoin Partnership”, allegedly a centralized entity that runs the bitcoin network.

“It looks like they are trying to muddy the waters and make it seem like bitcoin development is a centralized process controlled by a few, which is a key argument for their lawsuit,” a BLDF spokesperson told Cointelegraph.

According to BLDF, the fact that the UK courts are hearing their arguments is extremely worrying not only for the crypto community but for the entire world. “This sets a dangerous precedent where developers can be prosecuted for infringing a file format of open source software that someone else claims to have created,” it said.

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