Who Has Ownership of NFT Copyright: The Creator or the Buyer?

The idea that copyright law is the only useful law on the internet has persisted for a while. After all, since the internet is solely made up of copies, copyright law has come to be used for everything from preventing leaks to combating harassment. There is confusion regarding copyright law everywhere, and the world of Web 3 is making it even more confusing. When something is still only a small piece of code that can be infinitely replicated, what does it mean to "own" something on a blockchain? The issue has not been resolved by courts or legislators, and many NFT initiatives have encountered unexpected difficulties because they confused ownership of an NFT with ownership of a copyright.

Thanks in large part to the rise in popularity of Non-Fungible Tokens, 2021 has witnessed a significant comeback in interest in cryptocurrencies, blockchain technologies, and the broader blockchain sector (NFTs).

But what are NFTs exactly? Why have they become so popular? What exactly does an NFT transaction include, and what are the buyers and sellers exchanging?

NFT introduction

A particular class of cryptographic token known as NFTs stands in for a distinct asset on the underlying network. NFTs can reflect real-world assets or digital assets, like CryptoKitties (e.g. ownership rights to physical property). These assets are distinctly different from other similar assets and are not interchangeable with them (non-fungible).

Comprehending the idea of fungibility is essential to understanding NFTs. Generally speaking, fungibility denotes the interchangeability and near-identicality of an asset's particular characteristics.

Painting, for instance, is typically non-fungible. You do expect your friends to give you the exact same painting back if you lend them one to hang in their home for a party. Cryptographic NFT tokens resemble paintings. Every token is different from every other token. They are non-fungible, just like other real-world goods like sculptures and basketball cards, because specific qualities demonstrate their uniqueness.

NFT ownership: What do you actually own?

The NFT frenzy is at its height. Speculators and investors alike are thrilled for what is to come as a result of its surge, which can be attributed mostly to a new class of assets that didn't previously exist. But what exactly have the NFT makers sold, and what have the buyers received, with all of the sales and transactions related to NFTs?

Understanding NFT Ownership & Copyright

The author of a work is considered to be its creator under US copyright law, and unless there is a documented agreement by which the author assigns the copyright to another person or entity, this person is also the owner of the copyright.

According to this notion, an artist who sells a painting keeps the exclusive rights to the piece (unless the copyrights are sold along with it). With these rights, the original painter can create duplicates of the same work (in likeness and form) and sell those copies while being within the bounds of the law. On the other hand, even while the buyers of these paintings have the right to resell the copy of the painting they now own, they are not permitted to create and sell further copies of the artwork.

NFTs were not considered when copyright laws were being created, nevertheless. However, there is a lot more to think about when it comes to the intellectual property (IP) element of NFTs, even though the fundamental principles of copyright law can be applied to NFT artworks.

Since NFTs are a recent phenomenon, it will take some time for legal institutions all over the world to completely comprehend how to protect all participants in the NFT economy. NFT producers' and buyers' rights will surely be contested along the way, and these digital assets will soon be ready for copyright disputes in various courts of law.

It is crucial that everyone involved in the NFT market does enough due diligence to safeguard themselves before selling and buying NFTs in the near future. Yet how?

Understanding What You Have Bought or Sold When Buying and Selling NFTs

Before selling their NFT works of art, artists must take into account a number of factors. Understanding the terms and conditions that creators are agreeing to on the various NFT marketplace platforms that they use to sell their works is crucial.

Creators should also make sure that all rights and IP ownership are unquestionably theirs alone and that ownership of their works is properly integrated into their artwork. Just keep in mind that even though the buyer has purchased the original NFT work, this ownership does not grant them the authority to create and market copies of the work.

Additionally, creators must take care to ensure that their creations respect the intellectual property of others (e.g., including the likeness of Harry Potter in a piece of work that may one day bring you into a courtroom with J.K. Rowling).

Finally, whenever practical, patent protection should also be taken into account. NFTs are a new type of digital art that may give rise to new or novel patented approaches since they are created using digital technologies.

Prior to buying NFTs, NFT buyers must also take the required precautions. Ironically, despite openness and traceability being two of the core principles of blockchain, most of us find it difficult to quickly confirm either. After all, how can the veracity of a work of art be simply ascertained? Because the entire NFT transaction takes place online, a skilled fraudster may be able to convince unwary customers to buy a fake. Buyers should exercise caution and limit their purchases to well-known NFT marketplaces until verification technologies become more user-friendly.

By the community

What the world needs now is connection. Linking Artists (Mangaka) and Art Lovers (fans) through NFTs.


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