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NFTs: art meets crypto – traditional copyright issues in tokenised world – Commentary

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Owning NFTs is not the same as owning underlying digital assets
Purchasing NFTs does not confer underlying copyright in digital works
Displaying, copying or minting digital artworks may constitute copyright infringement
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Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are the latest development in disruptive blockchain technology innovations, this time in the world of digital art, collectibles and even luxury goods. This article is part of a series exploring the evolving IP landscape in the internet, digital media and e-commerce industries.

Owning NFTs is not the same as owning underlying digital assets

Purchasers of NFTs should be aware that even though ownership of the authentic digital asset is established through ownership of the NFT, the digital asset itself may be viewed, downloaded and enjoyed by anyone (for example, the artwork sold on Christie’s can be found online). In fact, Christie’s conditions of sale clearly states as follows:

Your purchase of the lot does not provide any rights, express or implied, in (including, without limitation, any copyrights or other intellectual property rights…

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