Craig Wright’s US copyright registration of the original bitcoin white paper is now causing mayhem online.
Coindesk reported on 31st May that Scribd, a service for posting downloadable documents on the Internet, “notified CoinDesk that it had pulled down our copy of the Satoshi Nakamoto white paper.”
The email said: “This is a notification that Scribd’s BookID copyright protection system has disabled access to Bitcoin White Paper (id: 411710754). This does not necessarily mean that an infringement has occurred, or that you have done anything wrong.”
John Biggs at Coindesk wrote; “This was the link in question — a plain, unmodified copy of the Satoshi white paper. I also uploaded a copy calling it a musical production of the white paper. Scribd did not pull mine down although it should, theoretically, be covered by Wright’s copyright.”
Last week several news outlets, including Coindesk, reported that Wright’s registration of the bitcoin white paper “means absolutely nothing unless someone contests the copyright in court.” What has happened, as Biggs reports is this: “However, because systems like BookID most likely ping the US copyright database, copies of the paper will be dinged on public services.”
Biggs comments, “The chilling effects of this are very real.” While Coindesk is not worried about immediate loss of access to the white paper, as it is on their servers, “the loss of public access could have far-reaching and unintended consequences.”
Coindesk also revealed that it had received a further email from Scribd, apparently settling the issue. It said: “Our team has reviewed your response and has determined that Scribd’s BookID copyright protection system likely misidentified your content as infringing. We have restored your content and accompanying metrics. It may take several minutes for restored documents to re-appear on Scribd. BookID is part of Scribd’s diverse efforts to reinforce the rights of intellectual property rights holders. The volume of content in our copyright database prohibits us from proactively reaching out to uploaders before content is disabled. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and thank you for using Scribd.”