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

See all articles by Megan E. Noh

Megan E. Noh

Pryor Cashman LLP

Sarah C. Odenkirk

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP

Yayoi Shionoiri

Chris Burden Estate / Nancy Rubins Studio

Date Written: February 6, 2022

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Noh, Megan and Odenkirk, Sarah C. and Shionoiri, Yayoi, GM! Time to Wake Up and Address Copyright and Other Legal Issues Impacting Visual Art NFTs (February 6, 2022). Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts, Vol. 45, No. 3 (2022), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4028116

Megan Noh

Pryor Cashman LLP ( email )

7 Times Square
New York, NY 10036
United States

Sarah C. Odenkirk

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP ( email )

41 Madison Avenue
38th Floor
New York, NY 10010
United States
3103406334 (Phone)
90212 (Fax)

Yayoi Shionoiri (Contact Author)

Chris Burden Estate / Nancy Rubins Studio ( email )

Topanga, CA

HOME PAGE: http://yayoishionoiri.com

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