What Do You Own When You Own An NFT
What Do You Own When You Own An NFT

What Do You Own When You Own An NFT

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It’s unclear.  You think your buying a link to a digital asset or representation that can be stored and moved via the blockchain. What you don’t realize is that you may not own the underlying image. It is undeniable that an NFT is a certificate to something that exists but what the certificate gets you is undefined.  An NFT and its corresponding token preserves it’s ownership via metadata. 

The platform/marketplace you buy from is a commonly unknown deciding factor in the rights that you have to the NFT you purchased.  Most owners don’t understand exactly what they are buying and there are no current laws which even mention NFTs.  The need for clarification will likely come in the form of regulation, but this does not change the fact that what is allowed within the realm of NFTs is a moving system. 

NFT owners likely don’t realize thatOpensea.io, one of the more common NFT marketplaces, has little to no policy regarding enforcement of royalties and second hand licensing.  Code is law, but there isn’t a clear separation between the right retained by a given token project and the right of a purchaser/owner.  The unknowns regarding the policies of a given marketplace and the passage of exclusive rights between a token project and it’s purchasers creates uncertainty.  Further, artists want to sell their NFTs, but the amount of rights the original creator must have to sell the NFT is unclear.  IE In a situation where and NFT entail royalties, and the royalties are memorialized in a smart contract, who actually has the right to the royalties? Only the creator?  What about the copyright owner?  The licensee?  The Minter? What if I decide to take a picture of your #NFT and claim that I own it and request royalties. 

If you own an NFT and are unsure of your rights or If you are an NFT creator and you are unsure of your rights, please call my office for a free consultation. Quattrochi and Torres has unique experience with crypto, NFTs and blockchain transactions, including disputes regarding NFT royalties.  Even when it comes to NFTs, Justice is our Priority!