US Copyright Office Says It Does Not ‘Recognize’ Craig Wright as Satoshi

No, the U.S. government didn't officially recognize Craig Wright as Satoshi.

AccessTimeIconMay 22, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 9:13 a.m. UTC

Even as bitoin SV (BSV) enjoyed a Craig Wright/Satoshi bump Tuesday, the U.S. Copyright Office was hard at work dispelling notions that it officially "recognized" anyone as the inventor of bitcoin.

“As a general rule, when the Copyright Office receives an application for registration, the claimant certifies as to the truth of the statements made in the submitted materials. The Copyright Office does not investigate the truth of any statement made,” the Copyright Office wrote in a press release. “In a case in which a work is registered under a pseudonym, the Copyright Office does not investigate whether there is a provable connection between the claimant and the pseudonymous author.”

As multiple sources have already noted, all it takes to register a copyright is $55 and a stable internet connection. In short, any claim that the U.S. government has registered Wright as the author of bitcoin are spurious at best.

Why did the government go to the trouble of clarifying this point? Wright's actions required it. On Tuesday, a press representative sent a widely read release that suggested, in short, that the government accepted Wright was Satoshi. From the release:

Importantly, the registrations issued by the U.S. Copyright Office recognize Wright as the author – under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto - of both the white paper and code. This is the first government agency recognition of Craig Wright as Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.

The U.S. Copyright Office, on the other hand, doesn't actually recognize anyone for anything. Ultimately, it is a repository designed for protecting the creators of art and literature.

But it's not an immutable source of truth, like, uhm...ok let's not go there.

Satoshi Nakamoto image by Michal Cander

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