Craig Steven Wright, a prominent Australian computer scientist and self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency, had submitted a claim to the US Copyright Office.
In his claim application, Wright requested recognition as the original author of the seminal Bitcoin whitepaper. He also filed a claim in which he requested being granted copyright registration for developing most of the early versions of the source code released for implementing the Bitcoin blockchain.
US Copyright Office Only Records Claim Applications
Although the US Copyright Office does accept claim applications, it’s not authorized or responsible for recognizing copyright registrations. In other words, the Copyright Office only maintains a record of all the copyright applications filed. As reported, Wright claimed that he had been recognized by the US Copyright Office for being the inventor of Bitcoin and the author of the cryptocurrency’s whitepaper.
According to the Financial Times, a spokesperson representing Wright stated that “the registrations issued by the US Copyright Office recognize Wright as the author — under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto — of both the whitepaper and code.” The spokesperson has also claimed that the Copyright Office was the first governmental department to have formally recognized Wright for being the inventor of the pseudonymous cryptocurrency.
Copyright Office Does Not Investigate Claims
Reports claiming US officials received confirmation that Wright is actually Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, are as such questionable as the Copyright Office does not conduct an investigation to determine whether a particular claim is valid (or not).
In statements shared with the Financial Times, the US Copyright Office clarified:
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.
Officials at the Copyright Office also confirmed that registering the Bitcoin source code with the organization does not, in any way, protect the intellectual property (IP) of the Bitcoin protocol as an invention.
Moreover, the Copyright Office may cancel, or void, a registration application if it believes, or has sufficient proof, that a particular claim is inaccurate or false.