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NFTs and Intellectual Property: What Do You Actually Own?

Taken from | Author: Cameron Thompson

As non-fungible token holders look for new ways to monetise their digital collectibles, creators might seek to define what collectors can and can’t do with the original artwork.

Non-fungible tokens (NFT) gained popularity in early 2021, when generative art and profile picture (PFP) projects such as CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club were touted by celebrities and used as a sign of affiliation to different crypto communities. These crypto tokens cannot be replicated and represent ownership of an asset, real or digital.

As the early NFT frenzy has cooled, digital artists have sought to bolster the value of these collectibles beyond speculative trading on the secondary market. From TV shows to merchandise, some projects have expanded possibilities for commercializing NFT artwork.

But not every NFT project allows its holders to monetize the underlying artwork, and NFT creators will need to outline the terms and conditions of how their artwork can and cannot be used by new owners. In turn, NFT holders must follow certain preset rules outlined by intellectual property laws.

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