How to Copyright Your NFTs

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The recent trend of NFTs took the world by the storm and got many people attached to these simple images that are worth millions of dollars. However, the concept of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) is somehow complicated.

The value of an NFT comes from the NF part or non-fungible meaning that is a unique asset in existence and nobody can make more of it. These digital assets are designed, minted, and stored on the blockchain.

However, the most controversial element of NFTs is whether you really “own” the artwork that you buy? Spending millions of dollars on a picture of a monkey should give you all the rights to the image right?

Well, not in particular. There are many debates going around the intellectual property of an NFT, and the sad truth is that most people don’t understand the process of how NFTs work and that they don’t actually receive an image on the blockchain.

Let’s break down the NFT copyright law into smaller segments and try to understand better how and can you copyright your NFTs. Here is everything you need to know to avoid copyright strikes in the future.

Copyright Laws of NFT

So, can you get a copyright strike on an NFT you made? Well, since NFTs are a new phenomenon, there are no specific laws in some countries that cover the copyrighting process of digital assets. With that said, there are still some things you should consider.

First of all, if you are planning on releasing your own NFT, even though this digital asset is tied to the Blockchain with your name as the Artist, you still need to go to an official Copyright Office to be legally protected.

However, NFTs unlike physical artwork don’t have any inherent value. The price of this digital asset is determined by many factors including artist popularity, market demand, and the price someone is willing to pay. The same applies to NFT games, such as wizardia.io and other popular ones.

Do You Own the Copyright if You Buy an NFT?

To understand how the system functions and dive deeper into NFT copyrighting, we need to understand how NFTs function. Many people are naturally confused about this topic and it is true that it might not be plain easy to understand.

So, when you purchase an NFT, you are NOT buying the image or other digital asset. Instead, you are buying a cryptographically signed version of the artwork and not the rights to the artwork itself.

Additionally, the image you buy as NFT isn’t stored on the blockchain. It is basically a code that states the status of ownership in that particular photo.

This means that even buying the art as an NFT doesn’t mean that you really own the art. In this case, you own a link to the artist’s signed file. In most cases, artists keep a copy of their art for themselves and they still hold the rights to that image even after its being sold as an NFT. 

Of course, this is not the case with every NFT project. Some of them actually transfer the entire rights to the buyer, but this has nothing to do with blockchain technology and NFTs.

So, even if you spend a lot of money on NFT, you still don’t own the rights to the picture and it will be impossible to copyright it since you are not the artist. The only way to copyright an NFT that you bought from a different person is to ask the artist to transfer all the rights for the image to you.

Conclusion

Buying an NFT doesn’t guarantee you anything. It is basically a recorded code on the blockchain that suggests that you are the owner of a digital asset and points out a link.

So, if someone wants to take a screenshot of your NFT, and upload it elsewhere, they have every right to do so. On top of that, you have no legal rights if someone copies the NFT you bought and sells it as their own. 

This means that the only way to copyright an NFT is if you are the artist, or ask the artist you are purchasing an NFT from to transfer all the legal rights for the image or video.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.