When you purchase an NFT, do you actually gain ownership of the intellectual property rights?

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7 months ago

I’ve been doing a bit of research about purchasing Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and one thing that’s been boggling my mind is the concept of intellectual property rights. I know when you buy an NFT, you’re getting a token that asserts your ownership of a unique piece of content on the blockchain. But does this mean that you also own the intellectual property rights to that content?

Here’s where it gets confusing for me. Let’s say I buy an NFT of a digital artwork. Do I then have the rights to reproduce and sell prints of that work? Or does the NFT just give me bragging rights that I own a one-of-a-kind piece of art? I mean, owning an original masterpiece doesn’t give you the rights to reproduce and sell prints, right? Can the original creator still produce more NFTs or replicas of the same art piece?

I’d love it if someone with understanding of NFTs and intellectual property can shed some light on this. Because from what I can see, there seems to be a significant gray area when it comes to NFTs and intellectual property rights. I think it becomes even more complex when dealing with music or film NFTs, where there’s not just one creator involved. Can you imagine buying an NFT of a song, only to find out you can’t actually play it without infringing on someone’s copyright?

Answers:

0 Votes
7 months ago

You’ve hit the nail on the head! There’s definitely a lot of confusion around intellectual property (IP) rights and NFTs. When you buy an NFT, you’re usually just buying ownership of that unique token, not the IP rights of the work it represents. So, while owning an NFT may give you some bragging rights, it doesn’t necessarily give you the ability to reproduce and sell copies of the work.

About the creator, they generally retain the IP rights unless they specify otherwise. This means they could potentially create more NFTs or replicas of the same work. Similarly, buying an NFT of a song doesn’t give you the rights to play the song publicly or use it for commercial purposes. You’re absolutely right that it can get even more complex with works that have multiple creators. So, if you’re considering purchasing an NFT and intellectual property is a concern for you, it could be a good idea to get some legal advice just to be on the safe side.

0 Votes
7 months ago

I completely agree with Minh263’s explanation and would like to toss in bit more clarity. NFTs and IP rights are indeed much more complex than they appear at first. It’s crucial to understand that acquiring an NFT gives you the proof of ownership of a unique digital item tied to a blockchain, but it doesn’t always include intellectual property rights.

Now think of it from the perspective of a “physical” artwork. Owning a Picasso doesn’t allow you to recreate and sell the artwork; the same principle applies to NFTs. Owning an NFT ascertains you own a unique digital item of that artwork, but the creator usually maintains the copyright and reproduction rights unless it’s clearly stated otherwise during the sale.

Concerning the creator’s ability to make more NFTs of the same work, it solely depends on their intention, and how they’ve defined the uniqueness of the NFT. If the art is sold as a one-off, creating more could devalue the original NFT. But if the artist created it as part of a series, then it’s expected that more tokens of the same work will crop up. Bottom line, always read the terms and conditions of an NFT purchase. If you need further clarification, consider consulting with a legal expert before making a purchase.

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