In a recent ruling, a Judge in the UK Court ruled that the file format for the well-known cryptocurrency Bitcoin cannot be protected by copyright. The ruling was made against self-acclaimed Bitcoin inventor Craig Wright.
Wright, who claimed to have written the 2008 bitcoin whitepaper under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, had argued that he should be allowed to block the operations of Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin cash (BCH) as they infringe on his intellectual property rights.
In the ruling on Tuesday 7th February, Judge James Mellor concluded that the file format for Bitcoin, which includes the sequence of a header and list of transactions that together form a block, can’t be protected by copyrights the way a literary work can be treated, because Wright is unable to show how they were first recorded, according to a copyrights law known as fixation.
In his ruling at the high court of England and Wales, Mellor said, “I do not see any prospect of the law as currently stated and understood in the case law allowing copyright protection of subject-matter which is not expressed or fixed anywhere,” Mellor added, “It remains the case that no relevant ‘work’ has been identified containing content which defines the structure of the Bitcoin File Format,” although Wright and the two investment companies who made the claim had “ample opportunity” to do so,
The claim was made against a couple of defendants in association with Bitcoin and included the crypto exchange Coinbase. Wright claimed that the Bitcoin Satoshi Version (BSV) is the original form of bitcoin.
The Judge has said the case is subject to a later ruling. Last week, the Court ruled that a claim by Wright’s Tulip Trading against 16 Bitcoin developers should go to trial in London.