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October 11th, 2022
NFTs and Intellectual Property: What Do You Actually Own?
Blockchain Technology Co-Chair Jeremy S. Goldman is quoted in the article, “NFTs and Intellectual Property: What Do You Actually Own?” published by CoinDesk. The article discusses how non-fungible token holders are looking for new ways to monetize their digital collectibles and how creators of those NFTs are seeking ways to define what collectors can and can’t do with their original artwork. Jeremy is quoted saying, “Copyright is always an ‘opt-in’ structure, meaning that NFT artists can choose whether to specify what buyers of their artwork can do.” While some NFT creators don’t explicitly outline an intellectual property license, Jeremy says, “Not specifying an IP license operates as a personal license by default.” Explaining that if an NFT project doesn't specify its IP license, it is safest for a buyer to assume that they do not own the intellectual property rights and that their use of the NFT is restricted to personal only. He adds, “For a lot of the one-of-one projects, artists are not super thrilled about letting people just go out and make use of their artwork.”
Jeremy concludes by saying, “There’s ‘a lot of mythology,’ surrounding NFT IP licenses, and there is often a misunderstanding buried within the terms of the agreement – or a lack thereof. Unless [artists] say something out loud or put something in writing, no one gets any rights until they say otherwise.”
Read the full article here.
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