NFT and copyright and property

Despite their abstraction, tokens are gaining great popularity. Recently, social media has been flooded with avatars depicting bears, with celebrities and celebrities such as Krzysztof Gonciarz and Magda Gessler calling them “profile pages.” The toy bears come from the Fancy Bears Metaverse graphics series, and their creator said in an interview that he earned 19 million PLN at the opening of the sale.

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Sold not only the body, but also love

While this amount is impressive, it is nothing compared to the graphic artist’s earnings with the Bored Ape Yacht Club monkeys he has invested in, among others. celebrities abroad – the cheapest costs more than 770 thousand. You have to pay even a few million PLN for PLN and the most expensive. Of course, the creators did not sell prints of their graphics on the auction site, but the so-called NFT (Non-Fungible Token), it is more – something like a certificate of ownership of digital copies.

Singer Doda also took part in NFT, took a 3D scan of his body, divided it into 400 parts and sold tokens. However, the media reported on transactions such as more abstract goods – “feelings of love”. One of the Polish influencers sold them for a million zlotys, thus giving a final argument to those who did not believe that love could not be bought. At least that’s it – are you sure? Apparently, NFT, although people spend a lot of money on them, in fact gives very little to the buyer.

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Unique string of ones and zeros

So, a very reasonable question arises – what exactly is it and why does all the money go.

NFT is an unchangeable access token that works in blockchain technology. – This is a digital, cryptographic certificate of the exclusive right to dispose of the ownership of a given digital file – explains, prof. Ryszard Markiewicz, Jagellon University School of Law and Management, Copyright Specialist. Simply put, a person who invests in an NFT creative digital work can be compared to a signed, limited edition collector of a book. – The meaning of NFT transactions is often about the exclusive access to a digital file given its original status by its author, but only the NFT itself, not the digital file itself. – emphasizes prof. Markevich.

He explains that in the case of NFT, it is difficult to even talk about a contract of sale, because the digital content is neither something in the sense of Article 45 of the Civil Code, nor the transaction described does not relate to the transfer of exclusive rights. – However, the conclusion of such an agreement is acceptable in the light of Art. 353 [1] kc Its economic function is similar to that of a sale. Thus, an anonymous contract similar to a sales contract appears here -d draws gold.

Not the rights to the book, but an autographed book

However, as it turns out, it is not clear to everyone. The popularity of the Internet has recently gained an introduction on social media, with the authors bragging to NFT that they received a unique book from the universe of “Dune” Frank Herbert. Those who are happy with the purchase (2.66 million euros) announce the release of the publication and the animated series based on it. Unfortunately, the project may not materialize – because NFT does not transfer copyright.

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Just as getting a paper copy of a book does not mean that we can make a film based on the work without the author’s consent and payment. – Says the lawyer Andrzej Zorski from PZ Advokaci. – At best, NFT buyers can be perceived as (non-exclusive) license holders, not as copyright holders, says The result of the ineffective transfer of copyright to the recipient of the NFT token is a situation in which the original creator still retains these rights. It is also important to remember that copyrights can only be transferred if you own them.

True, remember graphically …

Internet users joked about celebrities’ toy bears and graphic propaganda, creating them en masse as an avatar. They stressed that they can use the same pictures for free in this way. And in fact, again, the NFT buyer has nothing to say, the author will have any claims.
If we have rights, of course, we have the right to prohibit others from using them. However, this has nothing to do with the NFT token, because in my opinion, the rights to it are not equal to the exclusive right to use the given work. says lawyer Zorski. – On the other hand, it may be a copyright infringement to create or dispose of an NFT that contains a work that you do not own. So you can’t just copy someone’s work, turn it into NFT, and make a profit, because only the author or the real rights buyer has the right to do that. After all, this would mean unauthorized use of someone else’s property – he emphasizes.

The same idea prof. Markiewicz also focuses on the technical aspect – rather, the production of NFT itself implies the reproduction of the work, so legally only a person with such a right can do so.
– The question arises whether the creation of NFT should not include the allocation of a new area of ​​exploitation in the form of the right to use the work?
-d draws gold. He added that in the case of NFT digital files in the public domain, there will be no copyright infringement. – However, there is fraud in the attitude to the buyer – when he is wrong in this matter.

Necessary rules

NFTs – as in the example of the Duna – do not understand even those who invest a lot of money in them. Celebrities are involved in the promotion, and the whole market – like the cryptocurrency that NFT (Ethereum) buys – is sensitive to the creation of speculative bubbles. The lack of regulation and clarification of more pressing issues sounds like a recipe for disaster.

– If this is not a temporary fashion, of course, you will need rules. Unfortunately, as with new technologies, laws come too late, and until then, investors have to use existing legal tools that are often difficult to adapt. The problem is with all blockchain-based technology, says lawyer Zorski.

Prof. Markiewicz, it is difficult to predict whether this phenomenon is permanent. – I think so The main aspect of NFT is, in fact, meaningless but since then has become an important element of the art marketshould be taken into account but also from a legal point of view -d draws gold.

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The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has recently observed threats to promote certain products or services by people known on the Internet. It takes a closer look at the influencers and encourages them, among others, to provide information about the people who deceived the buyers: to hide important information about the product or to highlight some of its features in order to influence the user. In addition to legal issues, blockchain critics point to another aspect – the use of these technologies is extremely energy-intensive and contributes to the deepening of climate change. It does not seem so necessary for the development of our civilization.

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