News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for April 29th, 2021

What is an NFT? Does It Have a Copyright?

NFT stands for Nonfungible Tokens: “An NFT is a digitized, authenticated token linked to a digital asset, and the NFT is recorded on a blockchain, most commonly the Ethereum blockchain. Typically, the blockchain does not store the actual work that is tokenized because it is too large.” NFTs are used in the digital universe and are common in the arts (images, videos, music, etc.). A recent article from JD Supra lays out the basics on NFTs and copyright considerations.

NFTs are unable to be duplicated (or faked) due to a unique serial number (or hash) that can be used to prove its ownership and authenticity. The hash also provides the provenance of an item, including payment history.

Generally, purchasing an item does not grant copyright of the item to the purchaser and the same is true of NFTs.  Copyright issues related to NFTs are sure to land in the courts in the near future since the technology only began in 2015. See the linked article above for more information on copyrights as they relate to NFTs.