13 Bitcoin Core developers facing legal action from Craig Wright are receiving support from the non-profit organization Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund, co-founded by Jack Dorsey, Alex Morcos, and Martin White. 

The outcomes of these cases could have significant implications for the future of open-source software development, as well as the Bitcoin ecosystem.

11 developers, who are being backed by the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund, are set to submit their defense on April 26th against the lawsuit filed by Tulip Trading Limited. The lawsuit pertains to the alleged hack in February 2020 that resulted in the loss of 111,000 Bitcoin, which Wright claims to own.

Tulip Trading had issued a "Letter Before Action" in February 2021, declaring its intent to pursue legal action against specific Bitcoin developers to retrieve the Bitcoin that was purportedly lost.

If the UK courts side with Tulip Trading, open-source developers may be deemed as fiduciaries to users of software they have contributed to, even if there is no formal agreement or compensation for costs and associated risks in the project.

Alex Morcos, co-founder of the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund and Chaincode Labs, expressed concern, stating that "the Tulip Trading case threatens not only the MIT License but also the very notion of freedom of speech."

Wright also initiated a second lawsuit against Bitcoin developers, in which he claims to be the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, and thus owns the copyright for the Bitcoin Whitepaper and database rights for the Bitcoin blockchain.

"We believe that these lawsuits are frivolous, but we still have to oppose them vigorously… fighting for the right of developers to create free and open-source software without fear of legal retaliation,” explained the Chief Legal Officer of the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund Jess Jonas.

Additionally, CEO of Block and co-founder of the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund Jack Dorsey stated:

The outcomes of these cases are important for everyone, even those who may not be interested in Bitcoin, because these lawsuits could have serious detrimental effects on open-source development writ large, which will negatively impact our lives in ways we may not even realize until it’s too late.
Share this article
The link has been copied!