GM! Time to Wake Up and Address Copyright and Other Legal Issues Impacting Visual Art NFTs
26 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2022 Last revised: 11 Aug 2022
Date Written: February 6, 2022
Regarding visual art NFTs, art world stakeholders currently appear to be of two camps: some curious and diving in, and others feeling skeptical. What is it about NFTs that make certain art world stakeholders wish they were a passing fad? What is the legal landscape for this fast-growing portion of the metaverse? And how can artists and purchasers protect themselves using pre-existing legal concepts and frameworks? After covering the basics of what constitutes visual art NFTs, and the application of the pre-existing U.S. copyright framework to the NFT format, the authors elucidate considerations and issues that artists face when they decide to mint their work and sell NFTs, as well as concerns that purchasers of NFTs may face. Because the environment is fast-paced and a single set of standards or guidelines has not yet been adopted, the authors discuss certain types of terms and conditions that currently govern the sale and use of NFTs. In sharing case studies of recent examples, contracts and projects, the authors hope to provide a snapshot – if fleeting – of the dynamic world of NFTs, as of the end of 2021.
Keywords: NFTs, art law, copyright, intellectual property, visual art
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