The US Copyright Office has dispelled any notion that it officially recognizes anyone as the creator of Bitcoin. That’s a blow for Craig Wright, even if his BSV enjoyed a price rise this week.
In a press release, the Copyright Office said: “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.” It added, “In a case in which a work is registered under a pseudonym, the Copyright Office does not investigate whether there is a provable connection between the claimant and the pseudonymous author.”
All you need is $55 and Internet access to register a copyright, but as Coindesk points out, “any claim that the U.S. government has registered Wright as the author of bitcoin are spurious at best.”
Coindesk then asks an interesting question: “Why did the government go to the trouble of clarifying this point? Its answer is that Wright’s actions demanded it is the answer. Wright sent a press release to Coindesk stating: “In the future, Wright intends to assign the copyright registrations to Bitcoin Association to hold for the benefit of the Bitcoin ecosystem. Bitcoin Association is a global industry organization for Bitcoin businesses. It supports BSV and owns the Bitcoin SV client software.”
But registration does not imply ownership nor is this an official patent. The copyright process allows anyone to register anything in an effort to prepare, say, for lawsuits associated to ownership.
In response to Wright’s registration, Jerry Brito, executive director at advocacy group Coin Center tweeted: “Registering a copyright is just filing a form. The Copyright Office does not investigate the validity of the claim; they just register it. Unfortunately there is no official way to challenge a registration. If there are competing claims, the Office will just register all of them.”
The upshot appears to be that Wright is claiming the US government recognizes him as Satoshi Nakamoto, but as the rest of us now know, the Copyright Office doesn’t actually recognize anyone for anything.