“We will continue hosting the Bitcoin whitepaper and won’t be silenced or intimidated. Others hosting the whitepaper should follow our lead in resisting these false allegations.”
So said Bitcoin.org, an independent open-source project that aims to support Bitcoin development, in a response on Thursday to an attempt by nChain Chief Scientist Craig Wright to force the site to take down its copy of the Bitcoin white paper.
While Bitcoin was created by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, who has yet to be identified, Wright has repeatedly made claims that he is Satoshi and, apparently contrary to the ethos of the founder, is attempting to claim he owns the copyright to Bitcoin’s intellectual property.
Wright, who is a key advocate for the rival cryptocurrency bitcoin sv (for Satoshi’s vision), has now had his lawyers sent out letters to several entities seeking them to remove copies of the white paper from their websites, according to Bitcoin.org.
Wright is said to be claiming the copyright to the white paper, the “Bitcoin” title and ownership of Bitcoin.org.
“We believe these claims are without merit, and refuse” to take down the paper, said the organization.
However, the operators of bitcoincore.org, the website for the cryptocurrency’s developer team Bitcoin Core, did take down their copy of the paper, references to it deleted and the changes merged on GitHub, according to Bitcoin.org.
“By surrendering in this way, the Bitcoin Core project has lent ammunition to Bitcoin’s enemies, engaged in self-censorship and compromised its integrity,” said the organization.
The organization said the Bitcoin white paper was included in the original Bitcoin project files and the project was published under the permissive and free MIT license by Satoshi Nakamoto. As such Bitcoin.org said “there is no doubt” it has the legal right to host the white paper.
“Furthermore, Satoshi Nakamoto has a known PGP public key, therefore it is cryptographically possible for someone to verify themselves to be Satoshi Nakamoto. Unfortunately, Craig has been unable to do this,” the post adds.