“What are the Copyright Implications of NFTs?”

October 29, 2021
Reuters Westlaw Today

In an article for Reuter’s Westlaw Today, Partner and Chair, Trademarks & Copyrights Gregory Chinlund and Associate Kelley Gordon offer focused insight on the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the associated implications for copyright holders and copyright law. The authors explain, “With increasing demand for ‘minting’ related to creative works, this phenomenon inevitably raises question in relation to not only the related copyright ownership, but also ownership enforcement issues.”

Questions that will inevitably need to be addressed include:

  • How will the transfer of a newly “minted” sub-edition of a creative work ultimately impact a copyright holder?
  • Will we see a new wave of counterfeit issues for copyright holders?
  • Will this increase the burden on copyright owners to employ heightened monitoring standards on platforms that the majority of the public have never even accessed?

The authors go on to further discuss the international implications, which include some potential benefits like increased access to an international audience.

“Although it remains to be seen what potential long-term impact NFTs will have on both domestic and international copyright laws,” Gregory and Kelley write. “For now it appears that the typical hurdles to copyright owners exist, albeit with some added benefit.”

Visit Reuters to read Gregory and Kelley's full article "What are the Copyright Implications of NFTs."

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