Craig Wright Did Get His Copyright Registration Approved, But That Doesn’t Mean He is Satoshi (Logic and Official Documents Included Below)
The US Copyright office granted Craig Steven Wright copyright registrations for the Bitcoin paper and Bitcoin code. This is true even though there is a debate over whether or not Craig is Satoshi.
According to CoinGeek and verifiable via cocatalog.loc.gov (the official government website that lists copyrights).
Here are the official links TXu 2-136-996 (Copyright registration for the Bitcoin Whitepaper) and TX-8-708-058 (Copyright registration for the Bitcoin code).
Here is the official word from CoinGeek (CoinGeek is owned by Calvin Ayre who is Wright’s partner):
After receiving confirmation from Wright that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the Copyright Office granted the following registrations:
• U.S. copyright registration no. TXu 2-136-996, effective date April 11, 2019, for the paper entitled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, with year of completion 2008. The registration recognizes the author as Craig Steven Wright, using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.
• U.S. copyright registration no. TX-8-708-058, effective date April 13, 2019, for computer program entitled Bitcoin, with year of completion 2009 and date of first publication January 3, 2009. The registration recognizes the author as Craig Steven Wright, using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright wrote most of version 0.1 of the Bitcoin client software, and the registration covers the portions he authored.
So, what does this mean?
Well it means that Craig met the standards set out by the US Copyright office for getting a copyright registration application approved.
It does not however mean that Craig is Satoshi or that the Copyright office recognizes him as Satoshi, it just means he paid the fee, filled out the forms, and sent in the proof they requested.
The best way to understand the above is from the official word of the Copyright office on the matter (see: May 22, 2019: Questions about Certain Bitcoin Registrations [official press release on copyright.gov]):
As a general rule, when the Copyright Office receives an application for registration, the claimant certifies as to the truth of the statements made in the submitted materials. The Copyright Office does not investigate the truth of any statement made.
A registration represents a claim to an interest in a work protected by copyright law, not a determination of the truth of the claims therein. It is possible for multiple, adverse claims to be registered at the Copyright Office.
In other words, any of us, with a few bits of “proof” (even a fake document or two) could get copyright registrations on the Bitcoin code or Whitepaper… although that would open us up to being penalized.
If you want the full scoop, read that link above. Moving on.
Another important thing to note is that even if Craig is Satoshi, it doesn’t change much.
Bitcoin’s code was already distributed under a MIT License, which essentially means it is open source (but allows proprietary closed source derivitives; so you could copy Bitcoin’s code and create a closed source project based on that).
It is likely that Wright is taking these steps to help save his BSV project and help prove his claim that he is Satoshi.
So the bottom line here is this: getting a copyright registered doesn’t prove a person is Satoshi, it just proves they checked enough boxes with the US Copyright office to get them to approve an application for copyright registration.
TIP: The CoinGeek article noted above is misleading in claiming the US recognized Craig as Satoshi, that isn’t how the process works. The Copyright office actually had to put out an official press release to address the confusion created.
— Neeraj K. Agrawal (@NeerajKA) May 21, 2019