“Newsweek Lied”: Dorian Nakamoto sets up legal defense fund for legal claims

Dorian Nakamoto, the figure claimed by a Newsweek article to be Satoshi Nakamoto, has set up a legal fund to

Dorian Nakamoto, the figure claimed by a Newsweek article to be Satoshi Nakamoto, has set up a legal fund to finance legal claims against the media outlet.

The case is being handled by lawyer Ethan Kirshner, retained by Nakamoto in March.

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The provocative title of the website, “Newsweek Lied”, takes it a step beyond the intuitive understanding of what probably happened: The article’s author, excited to drop on a bomb on a modern age-old mystery, got a bit ahead of herself in her investigative journalism and erred. Following an outcry, Newsweek dug itself into a deeper hole by backing her research, defiantly claiming:

Ms. Goodman’s research was conducted under the same high editorial and ethical standards that have guided Newsweek for more than 80 years. Newsweek stands strongly behind Ms. Goodman and her article. Ms. Goodman’s reporting was motivated by a search for the truth surrounding a major business story, absent any other agenda. The facts as reported point toward Mr. Nakamoto’s role in the founding of Bitcoin.

The title’s implication suggests deliberate deception on the part of Newsweek, which would have implications on how a claim against them is to be assessed.

The fund comes in addition to the $23,000 worth of bitcoin donations in a drive launched in response to the controversy. Other campaigns for Nakamoto, such as that found on bitcoinwallet.com, have apparently added to this total.

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The campaign’s site goes on to describe the hardships supposedly brought about by the debacle:

“Dorian’s family was confused by Newsweek’s article. He and his brothers were misquoted. In some cases, words were attributed to them that were never said. In the chaos, his mother believed that the authorities were planning on removing her from her home to put her in a care facility. His estranged wife and children were alienated by the story, which portrayed a person and situation different from their understanding of their husband and father.”

Seeing that a lawsuit is expensive and Dorian lacks the funds necessary to launch one, the site appeals for donations. Surplus funds will be awarded to Dorian for his expenses. The message ends off:

“If a private citizen like Dorian can be targeted and victimized by a reckless news organization, it could happen to others. Please help us to remind Newsweek and the press community of their continuing legal and ethical responsibilities to the broader public.”

Depending on the outcome, the whole debacle may ultimately turn out be a blessing in disguise. A win of blockbuster proportions, or even a generous out-of-court settlement, may be a huge relief for Dorian, who says he has experienced financial and health difficulties for several years.

Newsweek appears to have not yet reacted to the action.

Since launch, the indicated bitcoin address has received dozens of contributions totaling over 1.7 BTC ($680), with 1.08 BTC remaining.

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