There has been a new problem being brought to light, and that is NFT. NFT stands for Nonfungible Token, Nonfungible means that you cannot exchange it for another thing of equal value. For example, NPR’s Bobby Allyn best described it as “A $10 bill can be exchanged for two $5 bills. One bar of gold can be swapped for another bar of gold of the same size. Those things are fungible. An NFT, though, is one of a kind.” A token refers to a unit of currency that is on the Blockchain, similar to Bitcoin, it is a form of Cryptocurrency. According to Bitcoin.com, the industry has swelled up in the last six months, artists, celebrities, and social luminaries jumped on the bandwagon. It has racked up 5,368,992 NFT sales that equate to $381 million in sales to-date since nonfungible.com started tallying up the market history.
Now, how does this exactly translate to trouble you might ask? Well, an NFT is a declaration of Ownership in Cryptocurrency which means you could sell your art for a huge amount of money but the system in it is faulty. Some professionals argue that the owner of the NFT wouldn’t be getting the copyright or trademark to the item since there aren’t endless other versions of that on the Internet.
Jacob Brukhman, founder of the Cryptocurrency Investment Company known as CoinFund discussing buying NFT: “You’re not buying the picture, You’re buying the property rights to the picture.” Artists on Social Media have been on high alert, due to the possibility of someone taking an artist’s tweet (which includes the promotion of art that someone has worked hard on) and make it into an NFT by tagging an account called “tokenizedtweets“. This is considered to be a new form of Art Theft, one that can steal your artwork, and sell it online. Since it is part of the blockchain it is part of a network of computers that all hold each other accountable on a shared public record.
If you were affected by this new form of Art Theft, Tokenized Tweets has a form that you can fill out this Take Down Request Form. For now, this is the only information to go by from what has been reported via News Tip. For more information on NFTs be sure to check out NPR’s article, and will update this when there is more information.
Update, March 15th, 2021: It has been brought to this writer’s attention that DC Comics has been exploring opportunities to enter the market. It recently sent a letter to freelance artists, barring them from creating digital works based on their characters. The letter also alluded to not only the publisher’s controversial line of NFT digital Batman Black and White statues but potential other NFT collectibles including digital comic books. Which the widow of Darwyn Cooke requested DC remove her late husband’s work from NFT licensed products, for more on this developing issue, Newsarama’s George Marston has further details, also, Wired has brought up another issue that NFT is causing and that is the environmental cost of creating an NFT is the consumption of the vast amount of electricity.
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