London’s High Court ruled Monday that Cøbra — the pseudonymous figure behind educational portal Bitcoin.org — must cease serving Bitcoin’s white paper in the UK, awarding default victory to Craig Wright.
The decision comes after Cøbra failed to respond to a lawsuit served by the white paper’s self-proclaimed owner Wright in April.
Wright so far hasn’t produced concrete proof of his claim to the Nakamoto moniker. Nonetheless, Wright’s persistently taken legal action against those who claim his motives are fraudulent.
Cøbra didn’t dox themselves
In February, Wright triggered a copyright case against Cøbra, one month after proclaiming intent to sue any site that refused to scrub the document.
Wright then won permission to serve Bitcoin.org’s Cøbra — who resides outside UK jurisdiction — via email due to their continued refusal to reveal their identity.
Cøbra was subsequently given 22 days to respond to Wright’s claim. Initially, they said they were more than happy to fight Wright all the way — even if it meant doxxing themselves.
While Cøbra and/or their legal representatives attended this week’s High Court hearing, they opted not make oral submissions.
Judges therefore awarded Wright victory by default, despite Nakamoto originally sharing Bitcoin’s white paper under the permissive free software MIT license.
Wright’s legal team said in a statement: “This is an important development in [Wright’s] quest to obtain judicial vindication of his copyright in his [w]hite [p]aper.
Cøbra must now host a notice of the judgement on Bitcoin.org for six months and block UK users from accessing the Bitcoin white paper.
An inquiry will take place to determine any potential damages awardable to Wright.
In the meantime, the court ordered Cøbra to pay Wright’s legal costs amounting to £35,000 ($48,400).
Cøbra says he’ll pay Wright — to Nakamoto’s address
According to Cøbra, the outcome perfectly illustrates the necessity of open source protocols like Bitcoin.
Addressing the verdict via Twitter, they reasoned the rules governing Bitcoin (don’t trust, verify) are fairer than a system based on “who can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in court.”
Cøbra also said they’d gladly pay Wright’s related legal costs.
“How does a [Bitcoin] payment to the address associated with block #9 sound?” tweeted Cøbra, referring to a block mined by Nakamoto back in 2009.
Edit 09:45 UTC, July 1: Clarified that Bitcoin.org must stop offering the white paper to UK users only, not worldwide.