On January 20 of 2021, both Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org received allegations of copyright infringement of the Bitcoin whitepaper by lawyers representing Craig Steven Wright. In this letter, they claim Craig owns the copyright to the paper, the Bitcoin name, and ownership of bitcoin.org. They also claim he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, and the original owner of bitcoin.org. Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org were both asked to take down the whitepaper. We believe these claims are without merit, and refuse to do so.
Unfortunately, without consulting us, Bitcoin Core developers scrambled to remove the Bitcoin whitepaper from bitcoincore.org, in response to these allegations of copyright infringement, lending credence to these false claims.
The Bitcoin Core website was modified to remove references to the whitepaper, their local copy of the whitepaper PDF was deleted, and with less than 2 hours of public review, this change was merged.
By surrendering in this way, the Bitcoin Core project has lent ammunition to Bitcoin’s enemies, engaged in self-censorship, and compromised its integrity.
This surrender will no doubt be weaponized to make new false claims, like that the Bitcoin Core developers “know” CSW to be Satoshi Nakamoto and this is why they acted in this way.
The Bitcoin whitepaper was included in the original Bitcoin project files with the project clearly published under the MIT license by Satoshi Nakamoto. We believe there is no doubt we have the legal right to host the Bitcoin whitepaper.
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.
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.