It is no longer possible to download the Bitcoin Core software from Bitcoin.org if you visit the website with a United Kingdom internet protocol (IP) address. A notice on the website reads: “This software is presently not available for download in the UK, and download links will not work if you are located within the United Kingdom.”
Indeed, attempting to proceed with downloading the Bitcoin (BTC) software from the site using a U.K. IP returns a “404 error.”
Detailing the reason for blocking access to the software download for U.K. site visitors, Bitcoin.org’s pseudonymous owner Cøbra responded to a tweet stating:
“The white paper is in the blockchain and can be retrieved through the software. I’m not allowed to distribute the whitepaper on bitcoin.org, or ‘in any other way.’ We have to follow the law.”
The whitepaper is in the blockchain and can be retrieved through the software. I’m not allowed to distribute the whitepaper on https://t.co/1dtx7wYjP2, or “in any other way”. We have to follow the law.
— Cøbra (@CobraBitcoin) July 2, 2021
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, a U.K. court ruled in favor of self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator Craig Wright in a copyright infringement case against Cøbra and Bitcoin.org for hosting the Bitcoin white paper.
However, the default judgment was only because Cøbra elected not to mount a defense. As part of the ruling, Cøbra was also instructed to cover Wright’s legal fees to the tune of 35,000 British pounds (about $48,600).
The judgment is the latest salvo in Wright’s assault on people who dispute his claim of being Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. In January, Wright demanded that Bitcoin.org, Bitcoin.com, and Bitcoincore.org remove copies of the Bitcoin white paper from their respective websites.
Wright continues to maintain that Bitcoin white paper is his intellectual property. Meanwhile, he continues to be a proponent of Bitcoin SV (BSV), a factional chain that split off from Bitcoin Cash (BCH) which is itself another forked chain from Bitcoin.
The Bitcoin software download is still available on Bitcoincore.org, even for visitors with U.K. IP addresses as of the time of writing.
Indeed, geofencing the download link on Bitcoin.org is not likely to impact people interested in running Bitcoin Core in the country, given the multitude of workarounds like virtual private networks and other websites that host the software.