What Is An NFT?
Many business contracts and agreements provide protections for intellectual property, or deal with issues that relate to intellectual property, such as trade secrets. But IP law is always evolving or changing, and the development of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens is no different.
What is an NFT Anyway?
NFTs are important if you produce or create any kind of work that could be copyrighted, and especially, if you put that work on the internet.
The best way to understand what an NFT is, is to look at real-life (non-digital) copyrightable artwork.
Let’s say that you paint a picture. You can copy that picture thousands of times, but ultimately, there is only one original, and that original has a value far greater than any of the copies. In fact, you can often see with the naked eye, which copy is just a copy, and which is the actual original.
But the online world is very different—not only is there no actual, physical artwork, but there is no “original.” If you upload a picture and I copy it, who knows which is the original and which isn’t? And if you don’t know which is the original, how do you give the original more value, the way you would in real life?
Codes Mark Originals
NFTs are codes that mark digital copyrightable creations as originals. The code is included in the artwork, allowing whoever purchases the token, to verify they own it, and they have purchased the “original.” Think of the NFT code as a verification that the art is original, and thus, as the purchaser, you own it and it has whatever value that it may have.
Almost everything online can have an NFT, and it doesn’t have to be artwork. Even famous tweets, or videos, can have NFTs associated with them. Pre-existing slogans or logos put online, may have NFTs associated with them.
New creators, or creators with a reputation like a well known artist, can now put artwork online, and make money from the sale and transfer of their artwork-even sales or transfers that go from purchaser to purchaser, something that isn’t possible in the non-digital world.
No Copyrights are Transferred
However, purchasing an NFT does not transfer any copyrights. You, as the purchaser, do not have the same right to duplicate, use, sell, or profit off of artwork. The original owner still maintains the copyright.
However, this is no different than in the real world. If you buy an original Van Gough painting, you still don’t have the right to pass it off as your own, or to sue someone else who infringes on it. Buying even an original Darth Vader painting doesn’t give you the right to make a Star Wars movie. You just bought the original object—not the IP rights attached to it.
Call the West Palm Beach copyright litigation attorneys at Pike & Lustig to help with your copyright law questions or legal problems.