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Final arguments begin in COPA case against Craig Wright over BTC claims

Closing arguments began in London on March 12 in the suit brought by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) against Craig Wright, the Australian computer scientist who claims to be pseudonymous Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. COPA presented its argument first. Arguments are expected to last three or four days.

COPA is seeking injunctive relief to prevent Wright from further claiming to be Nakamoto. As the claimant, COPA bears the burden of proof in the case; that is, it has to show that Wright is not Nakamoto. Wright has claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto since 2016.

Source: @BitMEXResearch on X

Wright has been accused of massive forgery of the documents he used to support his claim of being Nakamoto. According to COPA’s closing submission:

“Dr Wright has been shown to have lied on an extraordinary scale. […] He has invented an entire biographical history, producing one tranche after another of forged documents to support it.”

COPA stated in its closing submission that it would seek to have documents submitted by Wright in the case referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions to be considered for perjury charges.

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The trial began on Feb. 5. Wright had offered to settle the case out of court on Jan. 24, but COPA declined.

COPA members. Source: COPA

COPA was founded in 2020 “to encourage the adoption and advancement of cryptocurrency technologies and to remove patents as a barrier to growth and innovation.” Its 33 members include Coinbase, Block, Meta, MicroStrategy, Kraken, Paradigm, Uniswap and Worldcoin. Wright holds dozens of patents relating to blockchain technology.

Source: @Dr_CSWright on X

Intellectual property rights cast a shadow over the trial. In 2023, the infamously litigious Wright sued 13 Bitcoin Core developers and a group of companies, including Blockstream, Coinbase and Block, for copyright violations relating to the Bitcoin white paper, its file format and database rights to the Bitcoin blockchain. The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund said:

“For years, prominent contributors to the Bitcoin community have been the subject of abusive lawsuits […] These lawsuits are frivolous, but effective. Many developers have decided it’s not worth the time, stress, money, and legal risk to continue working on Bitcoin.”

Wright filed United States copyright registration for the Bitcoin white paper and the code within it in 2019. He currently has an active suit in the United Kingdom over rights to the white paper.

The Bitcoin whitepaper is now subject to an MIT open-source license, allowing anyone to reuse and modify the code for any purpose. A court injunction would prevent Wright from further more copyright claims on it.

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