After Copyright: Pwning NFTs in a Clout Economy

12 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2021 Last revised: 12 Aug 2022

See all articles by Brian L. Frye

Brian L. Frye

University of Kentucky - College of Law; Dogecoin DAO Legal Scholarship Page; Rug Radio DAO Grifting Division

Date Written: November 25, 2021


Copyright is supposed to solve market failures in works of authorship by encouraging their creation and distribution. But it isn't very efficient. Most importantly, it makes public goods artificially scarce. But we accept it because it's the best tool we have.

What if we could do better? Maybe we can. The new market for NFTs suggests that people are willing to pay authors for ownership without control. Or rather, NFT collectors want pwnership and clout. NFTs promise a way of encouraging authors to create works, without limiting their consumption.

This essay explains how NFTs work, describes the rapidly growing market for NFTs, and reflects on how the NFT market could transform authorship.

Keywords: copyright, economics, NFTs, crypto, authorship, art, trolling

Suggested Citation

Frye, Brian L., After Copyright: Pwning NFTs in a Clout Economy (November 25, 2021). 45 Colum. J.L.& Arts 341 (2022), Available at SSRN: or

Brian L. Frye (Contact Author)

University of Kentucky - College of Law ( email )

620 S. Limestone Street
Lexington, KY 40506-0048
United States


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