While NFTs reach far beyond the art world, art is still the category-defining NFT market responsible for much of the volume represented in the above chart. In many ways, the crypto art market mirrors that of traditional art. On the demand side, there are a mix of small and large collectors. On the supply side, there are renowned artists like Beeple, whose works sell for millions, as well as thousands of up and coming artists like Malkam Dior & Metsa (Maxwell Prendergast) whose work (pictured below) sell from anywhere between $100 and $10,000.
Thousands of artists like Maxwell are gravitating to NFT art because it’s proving to be more equitable for creators than the traditional market. Thanks to the internet and social media, digital artists can have their work reach millions with just a few clicks. And now, thanks to smart contracts underlying NFTs, artists can be automatically compensated every time their work is resold. Compared to traditional art markets where artists often aren’t appreciated until well after their lifetime and where most of the value accrues to wealthy collectors from secondary sales, the appeal of the digital art market for the creators is clear.
But why pay to own a piece of digital art, especially when the very nature of it being digital allows it to be replicated infinite times? In fact, we showcased Maxwell’s work above by simply cutting and pasting in a file without even paying him for it. The answer comes down to actual ownership. When someone buys NFT art, they’re not paying for a digital image but rather a socially-recognized record of ownership of the image registered on a blockchain like Ethereum. So while we can paste Maxwell’s work in this article, we don’t own the NFT tied to the work and therefore have nothing to sell.
As it turns out, many people value owning digitally scarce works just as much as others value owning physical ones. While digital ownership doesn’t come with any unique legal protections, it can be programmatically verified, allowing platforms to enforce rules where only the owner can use an image for certain purposes (like in a Twitter profile, for example). This programmatic recognition of ownership is key to the baseline utility and value behind NFTs.
pple eventually has a family of products addressing the [metaverse] and we should see a prototype in 2022," Gene Munster, Analyst for Loup Ventures.” However, what many are now realising is the VR/AR functionality which have already been implemented into Apple products. Some are now predicting that these functions are a result of Metaverse preparation.
oinbase said it will let users make purchases on its planned NFT marketplace through their Mastercard cards -- without having to own cryptocurrency. The largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange announced the partnership with payment giant Mastercard on Tuesday, which aims at simplifying the experience of buying non-fungible tokens, the digital ownership certificates for goods such as art pieces, that have seen soaring popularity in the past year. Coinbase has accumulated more than 2.5 million people on its waitlist for its NFT platform since it announced the plan last October.
Who has the rights to mint and sell an NFT?
Minting tools and DIY NFT tutorials are now widely available on the Internet, meaning that anyone could conceivably turn a file into an NFT. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, and the ease with which an NFT can be minted means that grifters and con artists may be trying to make money off of your work or goodwill.
Where did the island boys come from?
Legend has it that they were picked up in a straw basket that floated onto the shore, sent by their desperate mother who crash landed on a desert island and wanted a better life for her two island boys. They came out the womb with tattooed skin and golden teeth. And were taught to sing by a blind monkey with Down syndrome. They sing like shit but do it with such conviction that we pay attention.These are our island boys. And we’ve never needed them as much as we do now.
Obviously, copying, selling, or publicly displaying works without authorization from the original creator (or the company that commissioned the work for hire) (1) can constitute copyright infringement, (2) can constitute trademark infringement, if consumers are confused about the source or sponsorship of the NFT, (3) can infringe design patents, assuming substantially similarity, or (4) can violate one’s right of publicity, if the NFT depicts individuals. Remember, copyright infringement can occur not only with exact copies, but also if the work depicts unique characters; trademark infringement can occur not only with copies of logos, trademarks, or other brand identifies, but confusingly similar ones as well.
- Minters and sellers should ensure they have the requisite rights and permissions to the files they’re minting and selling.
- Platforms should have policies in place to ensure the same and be prepared to respond to takedown requests to enjoy the protections afforded by the DMCA. As online marketplaces, they should guard against allegations of direct and indirect infringement by ensuring that they don’t knowingly and actively facilitate the creation of infringing works, or somehow create an implied association that they are the brand offering the items displayed.
- Brands and creators have a great opportunity to build loyalty in their followers and customers, but they should be vigilant about theft of their works and police conduct that could weaken or dilute their marks. Consider using vendors that can help track infringement online or block NFT spammers from stealing and monetizing your works. Don’t sit on your rights and help unscrupulous profiteers develop defenses like laches, waiver/estoppel, or acquiescence.
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