Closing Arguments hodlonaut

34 min readOct 9, 2022

Straight from Oslo District Court, Norway

Written by Arthur van Pelt

ABOUT EDITS to this article: as more material may become available after the publication of this article, it could have edits and updates every now and then. In that sense, this article can be considered a work in progress, and become a reference piece for years to come.

Craig’s counsel Wikborg Rein handed this Satoshi evidence pack to hodlonaut. It would be exposed as a new line of recently created Craig Wright forgeries by forensic expert KPMG.

For a detailed report of the hodlonaut v Wright trial and it’s background, please read “Oslo, Norway: The hodlonaut v Wright No-Defamation Trial”.

After being translated from Norwegian, but without any further edits and cuts (except for replacing his real name for hodlonaut), I present you hodlonaut’s closing arguments as filed on September 19, 2022 in the hodlonaut v Wright lawsuit. Note, this is not the transcript of the closing arguments at the end of the trial!

However, it’s in my opinion still a great overview and insight in the whole case, and last but not least, the jurisprudence that hodlonaut used to support his stances.

Without further ado:

Case number.
Plaintiff: hodlonaut
Defendant: Craig Wright
* * *
Lawyer Ørjan Salvesen Haukaas and lawyer Marie Bjørk Myklebust for hodlonaut

1 Introduction

1.1 What is the matter about?

· Wright’s use of lawsuits to be recognized as Satoshi

· Claim against hodlonaut that he must recognize Wright as Satoshi

o hodlonaut the mascot of a competing technology
o No big Twitter account
o No major impact on Wright’s reputation

· hodlonaut deleted the messages to avoid a lawsuit

o Wright continued the attack nonetheless
o Wright’s final submission creates a false impression of the case

1.2 The questions the court must decide on

· Is Wright entitled to damages for defamation?

o How should hodlonaut’s statements be interpreted — what is the defamatory element in the statements?
o Is there a good factual basis for the defamatory allegations — or should hodlonaut recognize Wright as Satoshi Nakamoto?
o Are the statements legitimate even if the court believes there is not a good enough factual basis for the accusations?
o Is compensation reasonable?

· Questions about invasion of privacy

· Questions about rejection

1.3 Outline for the concluding post

2 The evidence assessment surrounding Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto

2.1 The case relationship

2.1.1 The tax matters

· Wright started around 2013 with a “scheme” with the Australian Taxation Office to get tax refunds — bitcoin was used as allegedly payment for alleged IP/software

· The tax authorities concluded that no bitcoin had actually been used, nor had any real IP been purchased

· Substantiate that Wright did not have access to bitcoin — and thus neither had Satoshi Nakamoto’s keys

2.1.2 Wright has manipulated his blog posts to attempt to manipulate evidence that he is Satoshi Nakamoto

· Wright’s explanation that others ran the blog was not credible — and also vague as to what meaning it was supposed to have

· Not supported by any evidence

· Nor does it matter if others did it to Wright

2.1.3 The agreement with Matthews/Ayre — establishment of nChain

· Wright entered into an agreement with Matthews/Ayre in June 2015

o The alleged IP transferred to nChain
o Matthews explained that no valuation was done
o Matthews explained that almost none of the purchased IP had been used for anything — not shown to be of any value

· As part of the deal, the plan was for Wright to be revealed as Satoshi Nakamoto — and the IP to be sold

o Not decisive when Wright was to be revealed
o The point is that Wright had an interest in being exposed by others rather than having to provide evidence himself (which he has consistently refused to do publicly)

2.1.4 The signing sessions

· Set up so that Wright would avoid giving evidence publicly at Wright’s request

o No good reason to do so unless the evidence cannot withstand the public spotlight
o Halseth’s explanation that the way of building up evidence appears to be a farce for a technologist

· The signatures of Matonis and Andresen not possible for the court to assess

o No documentary evidence or relevant witness evidence of what happened
o A number of red flags with the signing — took several hours — Andresen did not have control over the network — could not verify on his own laptop — the proof is no longer available
o Particularly suspicious in light of other manipulations in the case

· The signing to the BBC

o Later published on the blog (Sartre post)
o The signature was then revealed as fake — no reason to believe that the other signatures were any more genuine

· Wright’s/Matthews’ explanation does not match with Andresen’s explanation — Wright/Matthews explained consistently in favor of Wright and is not credible — strong self-interest

2.1.5 The Sartre Post May 2, 2016

· Wright describes how to verify a signature with cryptographic keys

o Does not describe a signing, but how to verify a signature that has been made previously
o The cryptographic keys used belong to Satoshi Nakamoto (from the Hal Finney transaction on January 12, 2009)
o The text purported to be signed is a speech by Jean Paul Sartre (who Wright allegedly signed to the BBC with the keys from the Hal Finney transaction)

· The content on the blog is the same as on the memory stick that the BBC received

o Halseth’s explanation
o Content on memory stick
o Conversation between Matonis, Cellan-Jones and Wright in April 2016

[…] we’re going to actually give you a signed message […] I’m doing it in a convoluted, difficult way […] I’ll be signing a hash of a message which I’ll show you this morning [ …]

· The hash of the message is in the file sn7-message.txt

o Wright claims in the blog post that the hash is from a speech by Jean-Paul Sartre
o While in reality it is a hash of the raw data from the Hal Finney transaction

2.1.6 Wright’s attempt to explain away the Sartre blog

· A general description of verification of cryptographic keys

o Is a description of the verification of what appears to be a signature of a speech by Jean-Paul Sartre with the private keys of Satoshi Nakamoto
o The same signing that Wright allegedly did for the BBC

· No reason to use incorrect information in the blog

o On the contrary, it will render the description useless

· No logic in the reference to the Sartre speech showing that Wright did not mean to sign

· Subsequent correspondence shows that Wright intended to provide evidence

o See the presentation of the case point 11.2
o Wright’s explanation that he was in the hospital and that it was MacGregor who wrote the emails is not credible — The emails are from May 2, 2016 — Wright was the earliest to be admitted in hospital on May 4, 2016

· Wright explained that he deliberately chose not to give evidence even though he allegedly could at the time — and even though he understood that it was something that was expected

· However, the session shows that Wright did not really have access

2.1.7 Subsequent blog posts and promises of proof

· Wright afterwards promised to move bitcoin

o Wright’s explanation that he did not write the email cannot be taken as a basis — he was not in hospital at the time

· The blog post “Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Proof” on May 3, 2016

o Acceptance that, as a minimum, Wright must be able to demonstrate access to the previous keys for it to be credible
o Promises to show access by moving bitcoin
o Promise other evidence that is “independently-verifiable”

· Wright is hospitalized May 4, 2016

· The blog post “I’m Sorry” May 5, 2016

o Even indicates that the world would perceive him as a fraud
o Can’t blame others then for perceiving him precisely that way
o Not attempted to be corrected until now in recent times — not credible

2.1.8 Wright’s alleged destruction of the keys/key parts

· Wright’s explanation that he destroyed his access to the keys around May 7, 2016 is not credible

· No good reasons to destroy access to their bitcoins

- The collaboration with Matthews/Ayre entered into i.a. in order to be able to pay legal bills, cf. Matthews’ explanation
- Does not harmonize with destroying access to significant values
- Lack of money generally does not go well with being Satoshi Nakamoto

· The explanation given only to explain why he cannot sign

· Wright never had access to the private keys

2.1.9 Intensifies/resumes the Satoshi Nakamoto identity after the November 2018 BSV fork

· Refers to a manipulated version of Bitcoin Whitepaper in Twitter message on February 10, 2019

o Claims it was filed in 2001 as part of the alleged project “Blacknet” (later during the case preparation changed to he filed it in 2009 and 2010)
o The abstract contains changes that Satoshi Nakamoto only made afterwards — manipulated
o No evidence in the case that anything was actually submitted or that the project even existed

· Intensified the Satoshi Nakamoto identity i.a. to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission

o Refers to the alleged Blacknet project

2.2 Wright’s presented evidence

2.2.1 Wright’s presentation of evidence

· Wright produced “71 documents that substantiate that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto”

o At first glance, the documents appear to be earlier versions of what was published by Satoshi Nakamoto
o It is also alleged in the pleadings that the documents have a date that is earlier than the published versions

· A closer review of the documents shows that these are manipulations that cannot be justified

o The documents have also not been called upon by Wright — he has turned to witness evidence instead
o But the fact that they are manipulated is proof in itself
o Satoshi Nakamoto would not have needed to manipulate published versions to obtain evidence

2.2.2 Alleged previous versions of the Bitcoin Whitepaper

· Handwritten first draft allegedly from August 2007

o Contains the abstract from the original version with some changed words — strange to start with the abstract
o The document appears to have been written before Satoshi Nakamoto invented the word “bitcoin” — Wright also explained that he wrote the word “bitcoin” on the front many years later — The last page contains suggestions for names and “bitcoin” is not mentioned there
o The word “Bitcoin” is used inside the document as if it already existed — a “miss” while Wright was writing the document — shows that the document was written after Bitcoin was invented
o In any case, the document is handwritten — with no evidentiary value — the only metadata links it to 2019

· Draft “TimeCoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” by Dr. Craig S Wright allegedly from May 6, 2008 (appendix 27)

o Alleged to be from May 6, 2008 in the pleadings
o An .odt file (Open Document Text format)
o Contains notes that show that deliberate interventions have been made to make it appear as a draft
o Has no metadata — not normal, ref. KPMG
o Contains no tables — but has a symbol on the first page which indicates that the image or the like has not been interpreted correctly in conversion from PDF, see also the KPMG report
o Contains the dating of Wei Dai’s “b-money” to 1998, which Satoshi Nakamoto did not discover until August 2008 at the earliest — the document cannot be from May 2008

· Draft “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” by Dr. Craig S Wright reportedly from May 21, 2008 (appendix 28)

o Alleged to be from May 21, 2008 in the pleadings
o Made deliberate changes to the document (Dr Craig Wright — other text changes) compared to the original
o Has metadata that it was changed on May 21, 2008 — still has metadata “date created” March 24, 2009 (same as the original version from Satoshi Nakamoto)
o Text analysis shows that all changes compared to the original version have a newer font (same as the SSRN document)
o Contains the dating of Wei Dai’s “b-money” to 1998, which Satoshi Nakamoto did not discover until August 2008 at the earliest — the document cannot be from May 2008

· Shows that alleged early versions are in reality manipulated backdated versions of the public Bitcoin Whitepaper

o Satoshi Nakamoto had not manipulated the published document to obtain evidence of earlier versions

2.2.3 Alleged previous versions of Bitcoin code

· Some illustrations — no code is invoked by Wright

· Alleged 2008 code copyright Craig Wright (Exhibit 24)

o Added comments deliberately to make it seem like a working document
o Copied from a forum post of December 23, 2013
o The original code main.cpp split in two due to space constraints — no reason for Wright’s code to stop in the same place unless copied
o The original code is copyright Satoshi Nakamoto — changed to Craig Wright in what Wright has submitted — No significance for the code, cf. Afradi’s (KPMG) explanation

· Original bitcoin v0.0.8 bitcoin software allegedly from January 4, 2009 (attached appendix 50.exe)

o In the procedural document it is claimed that the software is from January 4, 2009 (i.e. before v0.1.0 was published on January 11, 2009)
o Made two changes compared to v0.1.0 which is public — changed to hardcoded v0.0.8 — changed from MinGW GCC 3.4.5 to MinGW GCC 3.4.4 — See KPMG’s report
o However, has the same built-in checksum (a kind of hash) as the public version (v0.1.0) — Real checksum and built-in checksum do not match in the presented exe file — real checksum and built-in checksum match v0.1.0
o Has time stamp date for build time of January 11, 2011, same as the public v0.1.0
o Points to MinGW GCC 3.4.5 same as public v0.1.0
o Indicates that the file is a manipulated version of the public software

· Original Bitcoin code v0.0.8 by Craig Wright (Attachments 39, 63)

o The code is reportedly a version before the public version v0.1.0
o The code contains a fix for a bug that was only discovered later by Hal Finney

2.2.4 Other types of documents

· Article about Tomanaga Nakamoto (appendix 26)

o Apparently “accessed” in 2008
o Wright’s handwriting on it
o Apparently meant as proof of where “Satoshi Nakamoto” came from
o Scanned version of a paper document

· Not called into evidence by Wright now

· The date of when the article was “accessed” has been manipulated

2.3 Other forgeries

· The Tulip Trust documents, see the presentation of the case point 12.2

o Email with attachment from David Kleiman allegedly from June 2011 — actually from 2014 at the earliest
o Deed of Trust allegedly from October 2012 — actually from October 2014 at the earliest
o Deed of Loan allegedly from October 2012 — actually from January 2014 at the earliest
o Tulip Trust 2017 document allegedly from July 2017 — actually from 2019 at the earliest
o Not disputed in the case now

· Email from Craig Wright dated March 12, 2008

o Two versions in the case — one from the domain — another one from the domain
o The email from sent to Ira Kleiman in March 2014 — also used against Wired/Gizmodo — metadata for the email supports that it was created in March 2014 by Wright sending it to himself — then the text of the email was changed
o The email from — metadata for the email supports that the email was created by Wright sending it to himself in 2015
o Wright admitted in his explanation that the e-mail had been manipulated — indicated that he did not recognize all the text — could not confirm that he had actually sent any such e-mail

2.4 The history of the private keys

· The case preparation about the private keys

o Repeated attempts to get a more detailed account of what happened to the private keys — because the story has changed several times over the years
o Wright refused citing that it would pre-empt his party’s statement — he would only explain himself to the court

· Wright’s statement to the court about the private keys was completely exempt from all the documents in the case

o Claimed that from August 2009 he entered the keys into an algorithmic program which calculated the keys
o Claimed that in 2011 he created company law structures around access to the keys (Tulip Trust) — it is not possible to get clarity on exactly what the structures were like — it is also not possible to get clarity on how it limited access to the private keys — beyond the fact that he had to have the necessary authorizations
o Admitted that the documents relating to the trust(s) in the case were false — claimed that it was he himself who in full wrote the trust document allegedly from 2011 — the document purports to be sent from Dave Kleiman — the document was claimed to O’Hagan to document the creation of the Tulip Trust — the document is part of the documents sent to Wired and Gizmodo in 2015 — the document has been used against the Australian tax authorities (who thought it was fake) — same email from Dave Kleiman of October 17, 2014 (over a year after he died)
o The real documents were written by him together with lawyers afterwards — the allegedly genuine documents were regularly updated — but none of the allegedly genuine documents had been produced — Wright claimed during the case preparation that the Tulip Trust 2017 document was not backdated — indicating that he believed the document to be genuine

· The court cannot assume that the Tulip Trust exists

o Same conclusion as Australian tax authorities
o Same conclusion as the judges in Florida

· The ownership/control of the private keys is inextricably linked to the Tulip Trust — this in itself means that the court cannot assume that Wright had access to the keys

o Explains the reluctance to give public evidence
o Explains the allegation of having destroyed the keys/key parts

2.5 Wright has admitted not having access to Satoshi Nakamoto’s email account

· Process letter WR 27 August 2021

2.6 Other discrepancies

· Wright’s explanation of the points in “How Many Wrongs Make A Wright?” is not credible

o The points in the articles were not new in the article

2.7 Wright’s testimony

· After the submitted documents were revealed as manipulations, Wright changed tactics

o His identity was instead to be proven through witnesses
o Still looking for more — wanted up to 100 witnesses
o The tactic did not want Wikberg Rein to be involved
o The tactic might have worked better if witnesses other than just Matthews could corroborate what Wright wanted
o In any case, little reliable evidence

· The tactic goes against the fundamental point of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin project

o Signatures can be verified by anyone
o Avoid using a third party for verification

· Wright has not brought key people as witnesses:

o Gavin Andresen
o Jon Matonis
o Robert McGregor
o Lynne Wright
o Allan Granger

· Stephen Matthews

o Chairman of nChain Holdings (nChain Group)
o Mentioned Wright is incredibly skilled in IT
o Reportedly received copy of Bitcoin Whitepaper in August 2008, but no longer owns the copy and has no communication regarding this
o Remembers the period 2005–2009 in detail, but does not remember which day the signing sessions in 2016 took place
o Remembers details of the signing with Andresen differently than Andresen — in favor of Wright’s claim to be Satoshi
o Doesn’t know if Wright’s identity as Satoshi is of any importance to nChain

· Robert Jenkins

o Heard about Bitcoin for the first time in 2011
o Did not receive any whitepaper
o Learned about Wright’s alleged identity as Satoshi via the media

· Shoaib Yousuf

o Can’t remember receiving the Bitcoin whitepaper
o Heard of Wright’s alleged identity as Satoshi via the media
o Was a director of Wright’s company without knowing the company’s operations

· Neville Sinclair

o Mentioned Wright has extraordinary skills related to computer systems
o Wright continued his contact with Sinclair after he left BDO in late 2008
o Had meeting with Wright about collaboration with BDO — did not explain when or about what
o Heard about Bitcoin for the first time a little later, in 2011

· David Bridges

o Heard of Bitcoin for the first time after the pizza payment (May 2010 at the earliest)
o Heard of Wright’s alleged identity as Satoshi via the media
o Discussed a Bitcoin bank with Wright after June 2013

· Max Lynam

o Can’t remember receiving the Bitcoin whitepaper
o Haven’t read the Bitcoin Whitepaper
o Heard about Bitcoin for the first time in 2013
o Reportedly had known for years that Wright invented both “blockchain and Bitcoin”
o Reportedly mining from 2008, but didn’t find out until 2013 when Wright told him

2.8 What must the court use as a basis?

· Wright does not have access to anything that Satoshi Nakamoto should have access to that is not already public

· Wright did not write the Bitcoin whitepaper

o Alleged early versions are manipulated
o Wright’s explanation is not credible
o Matthew’s explanation is not credible
o No contemporary verifiable evidence

· Wright did not write the Bitcoin code

o Alleged early versions are manipulated
o Wright’s explanation is not credible
o No other evidence

· Wright never had access to Satoshi Nakamoto’s private keys or bitcoin

o Wright’s explanation about the private keys is not credible
o The story is based on manipulated evidence
o No other evidence for the story
o Admits not having access since May 2016

· Wright does not have access to Satoshi Nakamoto’s email accounts

· No credible explanation for other discrepancies

· Wright has on several occasions used lies and manipulated documents in an attempt to prove that he is Satoshi Nakamoto

· Still, Wright stands by his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto — and is now using the courts to prove it

3 Legal starting point: freedom of expression

3.1 Basic human rights

· Everyone has freedom of speech

· Regardless of which platform the statement is made on

· Section 100 of the Constitution

Freedom of speech should take place. No one can be held legally responsible for having communicated or received information, ideas and messages unless it can be defended against the justification of freedom of expression in the search for truth, democracy and the individual’s free opinion formation. The legal responsibility should be prescribed by law.

· The Human Rights Convention art. 10

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

3.2 The rationale for freedom of expression

· Section 100 of the Constitution

o “Democracy, the search for truth and the individual’s free opinion formation

· Prerequisite for a democratic society

o An enlightened social debate
o The ability to criticize influential people

· Protection of man’s search for truth

o A free and open debate is necessary to counter claims
o Information exchange presupposes freedom of expression

· The freedom of the individual

o The opportunity to influence society
o Everyone’s development and independence require freedom of information

3.3 Restrictions on freedom of expression

· The intervention must be able to be defended against the rationale of freedom of expression

· Damages Compensation Act § 3–6a

o Intervention against unlawful defamation
o Litigation assessment: consideration of freedom of expression
o Ot.prp. №22 (2008–2009) p. 488
The provision must be interpreted and applied with Section 100 of the Constitution and Article 10 of the ECHR as a background and guideline.
o Rt. 2014 p. 152 section 101 (Ambulance driver)
Awarding compensation is clearly considered an interference with freedom of expression according to Article 10 of the ECHR. In Norwegian law, the relationship with the ECHR is considered as part of the assessment of legal disputes. This means that the ECtHR’s and the Supreme Court’s practice in relation to this question are the primary sources of law when deciding which defamatory statements are covered by freedom of expression, cf. ECHR article 10 and the Human Rights Act § 2 no. 1, cf. § 3.

· The public sphere: The protection of freedom of expression is strong

o Wessel-Aas and Ødegård (2018) p. 44
For expressions that concern the public sphere, the protection is strong — here freedom of expression as such is a social good that requires protection to ensure an enlightened public debate, where the participants should not refuse to participate for fear of legal sanctions.

· Three main questions

o Rt. 2014 p. 1170 section 90 (Surgeon)
The question of whether there is defamation that is affected by section 247 raises three main questions against this background, namely how the statement in question should be interpreted, whether the statement is defamatory — that is, whether it falls under the description of the act in section 247 — and whether it is unlawful . As highlighted in Rt-1994–506, there is a fluid transition between interpretation and litigation.
o How should the relevant statement be interpreted?o Is the statement in question defamatory?
o Is the statement in question unlawful?

4 Interpretation of hodlonaut’s Twitter messages

4.1 Introduction

· Deciding how an ordinary reader will perceive them

o Rt. 2015 p. 746 section 48 (Aftenposten)
The statements in the article in Aftenposten on December 14, 2011 cannot be subjected to a purely literal interpretation, but must be interpreted in the light of how an ordinary reader will perceive the statements in the context in which they are made.

· Our case concerns nine statements over four days in March 2019

o March 13, 2019
o March 16, 2019
o March 17, 2019
o March 18, 2019

4.2 The specific messages

· Twitter message of March 13, 2019

Blows my mind that scam sites like Coingeekdotcom and Bitcoindotcom are still able to peddle blatant lies and fool noobs out of their money.

A lot of damage is still being done. I have nothing but contempt for trash like Roger, Faketoshi, PedoCalvin and all their enabling scum.

o Will be perceived as hodlonaut having contempt for (among others) “Faketoshi”
o Wright known by the nickname “Faketoshi” for a long time — impossible to identify without knowing the history
o Unclear what the defamatory item is alleged to be

· Twitter message of 16 March 2019

Craig Wright is a very sad and pathetic scammer. Clearly mentally ill. Everything about him induces deep cringe. I suffer from obviousness fatigue after still having to read posts arguing why he isn’t Satoshi.

o Will be perceived as an essentially value-laden statement from hodlonaut that he believes Wright is a sad and pathetic fraud in relation to the claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto — no allegation of criminal offences
o “Clearly mentally ill” will be perceived as hodlonaut’s assessment/criticism of the way Wright behaves — he behaves if he is insane — no one will believe that it is an actual claim/diagnosis from hodlonaut, cf. also “clearly” and the context
o The expression “induces deep cringe” refers to hodlonaut’s own feelings towards Wright — the value
o “obviousness fatigue” indicates that hodlonaut believes it is so obvious that Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto — also the background for the other value-laden statements
o The statement has at its core that Wright’s claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto are fraudulent — the defamatory element
o Other valued characteristics do not make the statement more offensive to Wright’s reputation — on the contrary — an expression of hodlonaut’s own criticism of the way Wright behaves

· Twitter messages March 17, 2019

As a tribute to Craig Wright being a fraud, I’m going to make next week ‘Craig wright is a fraud week’, and tag all my tweets with #CraighWrightIsAFraud. Feel free to join the celebration.

o Will be perceived as Wright being a “fraud”
o “Fraud” — someone who is not who he claims to be
o Perceived as Wright (fraudulently) claiming to be someone else
o Will not be perceived as an accusation of specific criminal offences

This space is so fascinating. It has people of the absolute highest caliber intellectually and ethically. It also has individuals representing the scummiest sides of humanity, supported by people with vegetable-like brain power. History being written every day.

o No reference to Wright
o Not directly aimed at Wright either, cf. hodlonaut’s explanation
o Unclear what the defamatory element is

The forensics to CSW’s first attempt to fraudulently ‘prove’ he is Satoshi. Enabled by @gavinandresen. Never forgot. #CraigWrightlsAFraud.

o Reference to “the forensics” of a technical review of why Wright’s Sartre post is fraudulent
o Will be perceived as Wright having fraudulently attempted to prove that he is Satoshi Nakamoto — the defamatory element

#CraigWrightIsAFraud The chain goes strong

o Will be perceived as Wright being a “fraud”

The fact that Twitter agrees #CraigWrightIsAFraud must surely be causing a serious meltdown as we speak. Long on popcorn for the next couple of days.

o Will be perceived as Wright being a “fraud”

· Twitter messages March 18, 2019

Happy #CraigWrightIsAFraud week everyone!

o Will be perceived as Wright being a “fraud”

#CraigWrightIsAFraud week gets off to a flying start with the fraud himself disappearing from twitter on day 1. Double taco rations tonight!

o Will be perceived as Wright being a “fraud”
o “Double taco rations tonight” will be perceived as hodlonaut wanting to celebrate extra that Wright is off Twitter — the value

· The statements generally express that hodlonaut perceives that Wright is fraudulently trying to prove that he is Satoshi Nakamoto

o Includes Wright not being Satoshi Nakamoto

4.3 The distinction between accusations and value judgments

· The distinction between valuation/fact statement is central to the assessment of the illegality of the statement

o Lingens v Austria (1986) para 46
In the Court’s view, a careful distinction needs to be made between facts and value-judgments. The existence of facts can be demonstrated, whereas the truth of value judgments is not susceptible of proof.
o Rt. 2014 p. 152 (Ambulance driver) section 156
Value judgments generally enjoy stronger protection than statements of fact. However, the boundary between valuations and factual statements is not clear, even if the distinction is important for what must be evidenced for — the content of the factual accusation, or the factual basis for a valuation, cf. the summary of the ECtHR’s practice in (2008–2009) page 161.

· No sharp distinction between actual claims and valuations

o Ot.prp. №22 (2008–2009) pp. 161–162
In practice, it has proven to be difficult to operate with watertight bulkheads between valuations and factual allegations, even if the distinction is important for what must be evidenced for — the content of the factual accusation, or the actual basis for a valuation.
o Rt. 2014 p. 152 (Ambulance driver) section 112
In this judgment, it is stated that there can be smooth transitions between actual allegations and valuations, and that the requirement for evidentiary support will depend on the seriousness of the accusation and the degree of valuations. The more concrete and precise the accusation is, the more must be required of actual evidence.” — to what extent do the statements express your own assessments? — are concrete and precise accusations made?

· Nilsen and Johnsen v. Norway (1999) paragraph 50

(…) the Court does not consider that, in so far as statements 1.1, 1.3, 2.2 and 2.3 were imputing improper motives or intentions to Mr Bratholm, they should be regarded as allegations of fact requiring the applicants to prove their truth (see paragraphs 13–14, 19–21 above). From the wording of the statements and the context, it is apparent that they were intended to convey the applicants’ own opinions and were thus rather akin to value judgments.
o Statements that were considered value judgments:
He describes Professor Bratholm’s recent report on police brutality in the Bergen police force as ‘pure misinformation intended to harm the police’.
There must be other ulterior motives. It appears as if the purpose has been to undermine confidence in the police.
In my view, one is faced with a form of skulduggery and private investigation where there is good reason to question the honesty of the motives.
The Norwegian Police Association will not accept … private investigations on a grand scale made by dilettantes and intended to fabricate allegations of police brutality which are then made public.
o The statements were made as an expression of own assessments and opinions.

· LG-2018–41075-2

The term “Nazi hairdresser” does not have a clear meaning. (…) The isolated interpretation of the word “Nazi” is nevertheless not decisive. In the Court of Appeal’s view, an award must be interpreted based on the setting in which it was presented and how a recipient will objectively perceive the award. In this case, an interpretation must be made in relation to how the public perceives the revue feature that contains the relevant statement.’’
o Decisive is how others will perceive the content of the statement
o The background for, and the context of, the statements are relevant

4.4 Are hodlonaut’s messages accusations or value judgments?

· Overall, the statements mainly express hodlonaut’s perception and assessment of Wright

· The accusations of “fraud” and “scammer” have at their core that Wright fraudulently claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto

· No allegations of criminal offences

5 Are the allegations defamatory?

· Ot.prp. №22 (2008–2009) p. 488

In order to trigger liability, the statement must be capable of offending another’s sense of honor or reputation; it is not required to provide evidence that such an infringement has actually taken place. The protected legal goods — sense of honor and reputation — are the same as those that have been protected by the Penal Code 1902 §§ 246–247. The understanding of these legal benefits that has been developed in case law and theory under the rule of the aforementioned criminal provisions must also be used as a basis for the interpretation of the corresponding terms which are now continued in section 3–6a.

· Claims that someone has done something the outside world will judge

o The core: Allegations of criminal offences
o Wessel-Aas and Ødegård (2018) p. 65

· Claims that someone is not Satoshi Nakamoto are not in themselves something the outside world will condemn — not defamatory

o Most people are not Satoshi Nakamoto

· The accusations of “fraud” and “scammer” show that Wright has done something fraudulent in relation to the identity

o For example lying, manipulation etc.
o The outside world will normally condemn fraudulent behaviour

· hodlonaut’s statements that Wright has fraudulently claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto are apt to tarnish his reputation

o In the lower limit of what is defamatory
o No allegations of criminal offences
o Valuations of hodlonaut’s perception of Wright have no bearing on the degree of infringement

6 hodlonaut’s statements are not unlawful

6.1 Superior on the litigation assessment

· Dec. Section 3–6a second paragraph

A defamatory statement does not entail liability under the first paragraph if it is considered justified after weighing up the considerations that justify freedom of expression. In this assessment, particular emphasis must be placed on whether the statement rests on a sufficient factual basis, on the degree of infringement of the statement, and whether the interests of the offended party are satisfactorily safeguarded by, for example, access to countermeasures, whether public interests or other good reasons dictate that the was put forward, and whether the speaker has acted in good faith with regard to the elements that can make the statement justified.

6.2 The factual basis for the allegations

· The more specific the claims, the more factual evidence

o Rt. 2014 p. 152 (Ambulance driver) section 112
(…) the requirement for evidentiary support will depend on the seriousness of the accusation and the degree of value assessments. The more concrete and precise the accusation is, the more must be required of actual evidence.
o Which requirement must be set for “adequate factual basis” depends on the nature of the statement
o The concrete statements in the case bear the strong stamp of being value judgments — not precise accusations

· The starting point: True statements or statements with a sufficient basis are legitimate

o Wessel-Aas and Ødegård (2018) p. 66
The starting point then is that it is the untrue/undocumented accusations that you want to protect individuals against. A true accusation will — unless it also violates privacy, cf. chapter 5 above — as a clear general rule be lawful.

· The requirement for proof of truth softened from the Criminal Code

o Ot.prp. №22 (2008–2009) p. 489
The department sees it as having an intrinsic value to avoid the robust formulation of whether a statement is ‘true’ or not.

· Not intended to change the legal situation regarding that true statements are not defamatory as a starting point

o LB-2020–150769
The Court of Appeal perceives the legal situation to mean that the person who has made a statement that can trigger liability under skl. Section 3–6 a, first paragraph, can avoid this in one of two ways. In line with the older approach, the statement can be considered legitimate if there is evidence of its truth at the time of sentencing.
The key thing is that the statement does not immediately become unlawful, even if it is subsequently shown to be untrue, cf. the Aftenposten judgement. In such a case, the statement can nevertheless be considered legitimate according to the overall assessment that must be carried out according to skl. § 3–6 a second paragraph.

· The relationship between evidence at the time of the statement and now

o The situation at the time of the statement is mainly relevant for whether one should be acquitted despite the fact that the statement is untrue
o Any subsequent evidence supporting the statement shows that the statement was based on a conclusive factual basis
o Any subsequent evidence may also suggest that the statement was not based on a sufficient factual basis

· The proof requirement is a general preponderance of probability

o Rt. 2014 p. 152 section 110 (Ambulance driver)
Questions have been raised about the proof requirements for the facts in the published material. The starting point must be that there is a requirement of a general preponderance of probability.” — no basis for a stricter proof requirement in our case — the statements do not concern criminal offences

· The person who is closest to providing evidence has a greater burden of proof

o If Wright’s “evidence” that he is Satoshi Nakamoto is not manipulated, or there should be other non-manipulated evidence, it is he himself who has the opportunity to prove this
o This even applied to defamation under the Criminal Codeo Mæland (1986) p. 179
Secondly, in defamation cases it seems to be correct to a certain extent to adapt the requirement for verification according to which of the parties can most easily come forward with evidence.” — applies to previous practice according to size 1902 §§ 246 and 247 — stricter requirements for proof of truth then, than today

· Wright has had a number of opportunities

o to present proper evidence, without having done so
o to correct any misunderstandings of his own presented “evidence”, but has not done so

· In any case, hodlonaut had a sound basis for his statements

o Nothing emerged after the statements or in the trial that gives reason to believe that Wright is actually Satoshi Nakamoto
o Wright’s May 2016 blog posts contain admissions that the evidence he offered was insufficient and that the world will perceive him as a fraud
o None of the central evidence in the case has come after the Twitter messages
o In any case, later evidence shows that the earlier basis was conclusive
o Wright himself is responsible for others doubting his evidence

6.3 General interests / good reasons

· Expressions of public interest are strongly protected

o Ot.prp. №22 (2008–2009) p. 489
“Speech that usually satisfies the requirement of public interest will be those that touch on political subjects or are of a critical nature, regardless of the type of power involved. The object or target of such statements could be persons within public or private activities.
o Rt. 2007 p 687 episode 72 (Big Brother)
o Rt. 2003 p. 928 section 44 (Tønsbergs Blad)
In general, the statement will have strong protection if it concerns matters of public interest, valuations, dissemination, public person, and there is strong evidence that the claim was true.
o Wessel-Aas and Ødegård (2018) p. 44
The most central element in all assessments where consideration of freedom of expression must be weighed against consideration of privacy is therefore whether the publication is in the public interest — whether the publication took place as part of the public debate.

· Low threshold for considering statements to be of public interest

o Couderc and Hachette Filipacchi Associés v France (2014) paragraph 58
Thus, the Court has interpreted the concept of general interest rather widely, taking account of the context and of public reaction to specific information.
o Courtly (2015) p. 63

· The identity of the inventor of Bitcoin is of public interest

o Wright claims to be behind a great and significant invention
o Satoshi Nakamoto is a role model for many

· Bitcoin’s principle of separation of powers

- Ølnes: the pedestrians must stand up
- Jensen: it is important to make visible opinions that are there, but which do not necessarily come to the surface

· Importance for which cryptocurrency one chooses

· Wright is a public figure

o Einarsson v Iceland (2017) para 42
In the circumstances of the present case, the Court considers it appropriate to consider the following applicable criteria, in this specific order: how well-known is the person concerned, the subject matter of the statement and the prior conduct of the person concerned; the contribution to a debate of general interest and the content, form and consequences of the publication, including the method of obtaining the information and its veracity.
o Jishkariani v Georgia (2018) para 51
(…) the Court does not see any reason to depart from the domestic courts’ finding concerning the applicant’s status as a public figure, acting in an official capacity, the extent of acceptable criticism in her respect being thus wider than in respect of ordinary citizens (…)” — as a public figure, Wright has to endure more criticism than a private person — Wright himself has sought publicity by publicly claiming he is behind Bitcoin — Wright is the front man of BSV — Wright faces criticism when he presents controversial, manipulated “evidence”

· Wright intensified Satoshi activity in early 2019

o BSV for November 2018
o Blacknet tweet February 10, 2019

6.4 The degree of offense of the statement

6.4.1 The degree of severity

· Ot.prp. №22 (2008–2009) p. 489

It can be said that the more offensive the statement is, preferably in terms of the content of the accusation, the greater care the speaker must show with regard to the statement’s grounding in fact and with regard to the justification for putting it forward. It will always be required of the person who has made an accusation that he has done what can reasonably be required in advance to bring the facts to light.
o hodlonaut is not accusing Wright of criminal wrongdoing
o Expresses that Wright is not to be trusted
o Neither concrete nor precise accusations — the statements constitute distinct value assessments

· The degree of seriousness must be seen in the light of the jargon on the internet

o Magyar Tartalomszolgáltatok Egyesülete (MTE) and Zrt v Hungary (2016) para 77
Without losing sight of the effects of defamation on the Internet, especially given the ease, scope and speed of the dissemination of information (see Delfi AS, cited above, § 147), the Court also considers that regard must be had to the specificities of the style of communication on certain Internet portals. For the Court, the expressions used in the comments, albeit belonging to a low register of style, are common in communication on many Internet portals — a consideration that reduces the impact that can be attributed to those expressions.

· Tamiz v United Kingdom (2017) paras 80–81

(…) while the majority of comments about which the applicant complains were undoubtedly offensive, for the large part they were little more than “vulgar abuse” of a kind — albeit belonging to a low register of style — which is common in communication on many Internet portals (…) and which the applicant, as a budding politician, would be expected to tolerate (…) Furthermore, many of those comments (such as comments B, D, and E) which made more specific — and potentially injurious — allegations would, in the context in which they were written, likely be understood by readers as conjecture which should not be taken seriously.
o hodlonaut’s statements are not sensational on the internet and Twitter
o Any reader will perceive the statements as expressions of hodlonaut’s subjective opinion about Wright, and not as factual claims
o Such comments Wright must endure as a public figure
o Ølne’s and Jenssen’s explanations

6.4.2 Anonymous statements on the internet

· Standard Verlagsgesellschaft Mbh v Austria (№3) (2021) para 74

In the light of the Declaration on freedom of communication on the Internet adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (see Delfi AS, cited above, § 44), which emphasizes the principle of anonymity for Internet users in order to enhance the free expression of opinions, information and ideas (…)
o Anonymity reinforces and streamlines real freedom of expression

6.4.3 hodlonaut’s remarks are a response to Wright’s claims

· Wright’s own behavior is important in the legal dispute assessment

· Balaskas v Greece (2020) para 50

It follows that even if BM could not be compared to a public figure having regard to his activity of headmaster, he still exposed himself to journalistic criticism by the publicity he chose to give to some of his ideas or beliefs, some of which were likely to give rise to considerable controversy (…)

· Axel Springer AG v. Germany (2012) para 83

The Court has held, moreover, that Article 8 cannot be relied on in order to complain of a loss of reputation which is the foreseeable consequence of one’s own actions (…)

· Axel Springer AG v Germany (2012) para 92

The conduct of the person concerned prior to publication of the report or the fact that the photo and the related information have already appeared in an earlier publication are also factors to be taken into consideration.
o Wright is a public figure
o hodlonaut presented neither unknown nor new information
o The statements are a counter to Wright’s claims and the presentation of manipulated evidence
o By presenting manipulated evidence, Wright must endure criticism and opposition

6.4.4 Wright’s own statements

· Rt. 1993 p. 537 p. 544

The aggrieved party’s own situation can also come into the legal dispute assessment. Those who themselves use strong expressions may have to endure more than others.

· LA-2021–155004

In order to assess the statement’s degree of infringement, it must also be able to look at statements and behavior from A himself, i.e. in which context and climate the statements were made.
o Wright himself has used strong expressions on Twitter
o hodlonaut’s statements must be seen in the context of the speech climate and the jargon on the Twitter accounts — Wright himself has used expressions such as “fraud” and “scammers” about others — “Soy boy” and “You absolute cuck” — “Stick it in you little map of tassie you girl” — Wright himself has called the WikiLeaks founder “Rapist”

6.4.5 The distribution of Twitter messages

· No evidence of large spread

· Twitter is generally volatile

· Small number of messages that were deleted quickly

· Small account — even after the attention of Lightning Torch

· Can’t believe Wright’s explanation

· None of the witnesses got the messages

6.5 Access to countermeasures

· The requirements for simultaneous countermeasures are aimed at journalists

o Simultaneous countermeasures are a press ethical requirement (JU p. 26)

· In any case, Wright had the opportunity to counter the allegations

o Wright himself had approx. 70,000 followers on Twitter
o Possible to reply to other people’s Twitter messages
o Communication on social media works differently to press publications — direct replies to other people’s Twitter messages — own publications of Twitter messages

· Wright himself is the closest to proving — therefore easy to counter

· Access to media institution (Coingeek / Lightning Sharks)

7 Wright’s invasion of privacy claim

7.1 The claim and the basis for the claim submitted too late

· Breach of privacy stated during main hearing

· Violation of privacy concerns both other damage, other information that is expressed and other legal grounds

· The claim and the basis for the claim must be severed, cf. Section 9–16 (1)

7.2 The statement is a value judgment and not a factual claim

· Dec. Section 3–6 applies to the presentation of factual allegations

o Courtly (2016) p. 159
Valuations generally enjoy stronger protection than factual information. This is not discussed in more detail here, as the article deals with the protection of privacy, and this protection applies to factual information.

· Actual information has not been presented, but characteristics

· hodlonaut has not disclosed intimate details of Wright’s private life

o Not about his autism

· “Clearly mentally ill” is a characteristic of how hodlonaut perceives Wright’s behavior in relation to the Satoshi claims

o The outside world will understand the statement “crazy” as “crazy”
o Little specific statement
o No diagnoses are mentioned, and no details are given

· Nobody knew about Wright’s autism when the statements were made

- Not hodlonaut
- not Wright himself
- no one will take hodlonaut’s statement to mean that Wright is autistic

· Autism is not a mental illness

7.3 In any case, the claim is obsolete

8 No grounds for compensation

8.1 hodlonaut did not act negligently

8.2 Not “reasonable” compensation

9 The rejection issue

· hodlonaut demanded to be acquitted of the damages claim Wright believed he had against him based on his honor/reputation being damaged as a result of the Twitter messages

· hodlonaut’s lawsuit was a global lawsuit, which therefore included damage to reputation in all countries, not just Norway

· The parties agreed that the lawsuit should be processed according to Norwegian substantive law, even if it concerned damage in other countries as well

· Wright limited his claim in the case to restitution

o hodlonaut still needs to settle the compensation claim for financial loss as a result of the alleged damage to reputation
o As well as any claims for compensation for damage to reputation that may be considered as other claims than what is put forward in the case

· Points 2–5 of the claim are intended to acquit hodlonaut of these other claims that Wright has claimed to have — specifying that it applies to damage to reputation/honour as a result of the messages

· Previous claim point 6 not necessary

10 Claim

On behalf of hodlonaut, the following claim is made:

1. hodlonaut is acquitted of Craig Wright’s claim for compensation (restitution) according to the Damages Compensation Act § 3–6a first paragraph and second paragraph.

2. Apart from any liability under point 1, hodlonaut has no liability towards Craig Wright for damage to his honor or reputation based on the statement made in the Twitter message hodlonaut published on 13 March 2019, regardless of the countries in which it may have been read.

3. Apart from any liability under point 1, hodlonaut has no liability towards Craig Wright for damage to his honor or reputation based on the statement made in the Twitter message hodlonaut published on 16 March 2019, regardless of the countries in which it may have been read.

4. Apart from any liability according to point 1, hodlonaut has no liability towards Craig Wright for damage to his honor or reputation based on the statements made in the Twitter messages hodlonaut published on 17 March 2019, including the statement with the content “The forensics to CSW’s first attempt to fraudulently ‘prove’ he is Satoshi. Enabled by @gavinandresen. Never forgot. #CraigWrightIsAFraud”, regardless of the countries in which it may have been read.

5. Apart from any liability under point 1, hodlonaut has no liability towards Craig Wright for damage to his honor or reputation based on the statements made in the Twitter messages hodlonaut published on 18 March 2019, regardless of the countries in which they may have been read.

6. Craig Wright is ordered to pay hodlonaut’s legal costs.

Oslo, 19 September 2022.