NFT copyright loopholes
As the NFT spread, many copyright-related issues also emerged, revealing many legal loopholes in this emerging art form.
According to the WSJ, copyright issues in the NFT market are becoming increasingly painful. Sometimes artists are forced to become "policemen" to hunt down those who turn their work into illegal NFTs and sell them online without permission.
In many cases, artists and brands also come into conflict when there are conflicting views about the purpose and value of NFT. For the artist or connoisseur, the NFT of a photograph of a luxury watch like a Rolex is a form of digital art. However, from the brand's perspective, it's a different version of the actual product they own. This is a kind of digital goods that can promote the growth of businesses in the metaverse.
More brands are slowly realizing the potential of participating in the metaverse. Here, brands can build virtual stores, sell products in the form of NFT, thereby reaching a new generation of customers. Some companies like Nike have taken the first step in selling products digitally.
"In the metaverse, we're all creators. This is the right time to start building. Whether you're a creator, brand or business, now is the time to figure out how to build a foundation in the metaverse." , said Cathy Hackl, CEO of Futures Intelligence Group.
It is these potentials that many large businesses, such as the fashion house Hermès or the film studio Miramax, are looking to eliminate NFT works related to their brands. "This is a wave of innovation and progress. Your decisions can affect the future of art in the metaverse," Mason Rothschild, the artist behind the Birkin NFT bags, wrote in an open letter to Hermès in December 2021 when asked to remove work using the trademark from the fashion label.
The NFT version of the MetaBirkins bags by Rothchild has created a buzz in this market. In total, the virtual bag collection brought him about $ 1.2 million. Rothschild argues that selling MetaBirkins as NFTs is "like selling them in print", which doesn't require copyright.
In 2016, cinema chain Cinemark sued Roblox because some users created virtual cities in the game that contained Cinemark cinemas. The case was dismissed two months later without any public judgment.
According to Professor Kal Raustiala, who studies intellectual property rights at UCLA Law School, traditional law can benefit artists like Rothchild. However, previous rules and regulations may have to change when NFT-related lawsuits begin. To date, there have been no formal lawsuits against NFT copyright issues.