The Bitcoin Legal Defence Fund New Lawsuit Could Impact Open Source Programmers

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Craig Wright’s legal action against 13 Bitcoin Core developers may alter how the law perceives open-source development.

The 13 Bitcoin Core developers who are being sued by Craig Wright are being supported by The Bitcoin Legal Defence Fund, a non-profit organisation co-founded by Jack Dorsey, Alex Morcos, and Martin White. The cases might have a significant effect on the development of open-source software and Bitcoin in the future.

On April 26, eleven of the developers receiving help from the Fund will submit their defence. The developers are implicated in the lawsuit Tulip Trading Limited v. Bitcoin Association For BSV & Others, which dates back to an alleged hack in February 2020 that Wright claims cost him 111,000 bitcoin. Tulip Trading declared in a “Letter Before Action” that it would file a lawsuit against specific currency developers to recoup the allegedly misplaced currency in February 2021.

Open-source developers might be regarded as fiduciaries to users of software they have contributed to, even in projects without any formal assumption of duty or payment for costs and associated risks, should the UK courts rule in Tulip Trading’s favour. According to Chaincode Labs and the Bitcoin Legal Defence Fund co-founder Alex Morcos, “the Tulip Trading case threatens not only the MIT Licence but also the very notion of freedom of speech.”

In a separate case against Bitcoin developers, Craig Wright asserts that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the digital currency’s eponymous inventor, and that as a result, he is the rightful owner of the copyrights of the Bitcoin Whitepaper and the blockchain’s database.

In the event that Wright is successful, “it would, in the eyes of the law, allow Craig Wright ultimate control over the Bitcoin network,” according to a press release emailed to Bitcoin Magazine. The fact that Bitcoin is a protocol and network made up of all of its users globally should be highlighted. Bitcoin is uncontrollable by any one person, group, or authority. The Bitcoin network cannot be fully controlled by anyone under the law.

The Bitcoin Legal Defence Fund’s Chief Legal Officer, Jess Jonas, stated: “We believe that these cases are baseless, but we still have to fiercely resist them. fighting for developers’ freedom to produce open-source software without worrying about legal repercussions.

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