The Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) is striking back against a cease-and-desist order sent by nChain Chief Scientist Craig Wright with a counter-requirement of their own: First, prove you’re Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of the white paper. 

  • “COPA stands for an open financial system and was formed to remove barriers that stifle innovation,” states a tweet from the group. “We are hosting the Bitcoin [white paper] and stand with our members and the crypto community to address this issue. Here’s our letter in response to last week’s cease and desists.”
  • COPA’s letter was sent to Wright’s legal representative Ontier LLP, on behalf of Square Crypto, one of the organization’s members, in response to a cease-and-desist order dated Jan. 21, 2021.
  • “COPA’s mission is to remove barriers to cryptocurrency innovation and adoption, and we believe one of those barriers is the threat of frivolous litigation,” said Kirupa Pushparaj, COPA founding board member. “We want to support open source developers whose contributions are critical to the cryptocurrency ecosystem and we are motivated to help our members as well as the community fight fear and intimidation however we can.”
  • This is the latest in a round of cease-and-desist letters sent by Wright, attempting to assert his copyright claim on the Bitcoin white paper. In bitcoin.org.
  • Wright filed a copyright claim in May 2019 with the U.S. Copyright Office over the original Bitcoin code and the Satoshi white paper. However, simply filing a claim does not necessarily mean that the assignation of ownership is final. (Nor does posting it on the scientific journal hosting site SSRN (formerly the Social Science Research Network).
  • While the legal basis of the claims are still up for debate, bitcoincore.org chose to avoid the potential expense of a protracted lawsuit by taking it down. This prompted other sites to host the white paper as a show of solidarity, including Square, which launched COPA in September 2020. 
  • The letter goes on to lay out a number of questions for Wright’s representatives to answer regarding his claims. These include the general basis of the claim, including where he was when he wrote the white paper, what dates he wrote it and what copyright laws apply, among a number of others.
  • COPA has set a deadline of Feb. 19 for Wright’s representatives to respond with answers to their queries.
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