Why can't you "simply" copy-paste NFTs?

Time:2022-01-09 Source: 1036 views NFT Copy share

As we all know, when we buy a piece of physical art, we get a physical object, we can put the purchased famous painting on the wall and admire this entity, and the owner has the right to allow others to display copies of the painting. In addition, in the field of images and music, copyright issues have also been taken seriously. If you want to use copyrighted images and music, you must pay licensing fees. Platforms that once had a lot of infringing content have now been rectified. Many things that used to be copy-pasted as their own are now protected by copyright. However, this year's NFTs, which are hot in the encryption field, are facing disputes over copyrights.

For example, a leasing protocol called reNFT has now been launched on the Ethereum mainnet, allowing users to “rent” CryptoPunks assets. According to the agreement, CryptoPunk owners only need to sign a special deal, which abides by the renter rights agreement, allowing the CryptoPunk to be displayed as the renter's avatar for a fixed period of up to 99 days, while the rented CryptoPunk is allowed to be used in NFTs Marketplace, Twitter, Discord, and any other social platform where cypherpunks gather. That is, the rental service creates an NFT license that allows people to borrow and display their cypherpunk avatars for a fee.

In this case, CryptoPunk NFT holders can earn money while having ownership. However, this has also sparked widespread discussion of whether "copy-pasting" these digital images is suspected of infringement. Nowadays, more and more people start to rent CryptoPunks as their social media avatars, and renters can get the right to set CryptoPunks as their avatars for a fixed number of days. And their biggest motivation for buying CryptoPunk is to use it as their own social media "tag" that doesn't allow others to copy the image.

In the Ethereum example above, you don't actually get the property rights of the image itself, and these JPEG property rights remain in the hands of the original author by default. Because according to the U.S. Copyright Office - where an author transfers copyright to another person or entity, such as a publisher, the author will always be the owner of the copyright unless there is a written agreement between the parties involved.

So "renting" CryptoPunks raises an important question - why can't you simply copy and paste NFTs? In fact, if CryptoPunk only uses an avatar image, it seems to be no different from other image avatars. Users can directly save the CryptoPunk avatar as an "image" format, and then upload it to various social media platforms. Pictures, as if there is no need to waste the money at all.

But it is worth noting that this is not like we usually save other people's photos and use them as our own photos. In the NFT field, copying other people's NFTs is a kind of theft. We can't directly right-click to save a CryptoPunk and use it Use as a profile picture.

From a legal perspective, owning an NFT does not automatically mean owning a native title. There is a difference between the CryptoPunk image creator owns the copyright not transferred to the NFT buyer, the NFT buyer/owner owns the token and a copy of the image. Additionally, it is generally believed that the buyer of the CryptoPunk avatar image does not acquire the copyright to the image, but has the right to display the purchased reproduction.

In the case of CryptoPunks, the blockchain startup Larva Labs is the creator of this NFT, which means they are the real owners of the CryptoPunks intellectual property. Maybe Larva Labs paid the programmer to create the image or the owner established the image copyright ownership in Larva Labs from the beginning, in either case, Larva Labs owns the copyright of the NFT image sold , unless part of the copyright is transferred in the NFT purchase agreement. At the same time, Larva Labs also has the legal right to stop certain people or certain entities from using their artwork.

In other words, unless NFT buyers clearly state it in the purchase agreement, they don’t know what rights they actually have. For either party, copying the CryptoPunk avatar is likely to be illegal and a copyright infringement, so the copyright owner has the right to claim damages.

While copying CryptoPunk avatars is illegal, CryptoPunks buyers/holders can lend or rent the images and tokens they purchased, just like the owner of a painting allows others to display copies of the painting. But the premise is that CryptoPunks buyers/holders must have acquired the NFT copyright in the purchase transaction, otherwise they still cannot rent or lend any copies of CryptoPunks.

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