NFT, copyright in the digital age

InvestigationThe so-called non-fungible tokens (NFTs), used on the Internet as certified digital titles of ownership, are revolutionizing the notion of ownership of assets, especially digital ones (images, videos, music, etc.), but also physical ones.

Grab a vintage car, blow it up, take the pieces out of the fire by filming them one by one, then auction them on the Internet as NFT and wait to become a millionaire … It’s the bet of an artist, known by the pseudonym by Shl0ms, which sells 999 videos online, each corresponding to a unique piece removed from the destroyed Lamborghini at the end of February. Since then, the value of this collection has exceeded $ 2 million (€ 1.8 million).

NFT for “Non-fungible token” : it is a so-called “non-fungible” token, ie imperishable and irreplaceable, which acts as a certified digital property title and associated with a unique original asset that a single holder owns. Such tokens, hosted in a virtual wallet called wallet “it can be associated with a digital artwork, a collector’s item, a digital image, a piece of music or even a digital book, or even something physical authenticated online.

Almost anything can be the subject of a certificate sold over the Internet to the highest bidder, most often from highly secure digital marketplaces such as OpenSea, Rarible, Nifty Gateway, and many more. The strength of these tokens is that they are authenticated and certified through what insiders call the blockchain, in other words a “blockchain” on the Internet (such as Ethereum, Decentraland or Polygon). It is a digital ledger, or tamper-proof online ledger: no operation can be done without the approval of all the links in the chain, as a notary would do with a paper history of ownership of an asset.

Read the decryption: By guaranteeing the authenticity and ownership of NFTs, the “blockchain” paves the way for a new art market

Not a day goes by without talking about NFT. The phenomenon quickly interferes in art, cultural industries, economics, finance. According to Chainalysis, a New York-based blockchain provider, more than $ 44 billion was spent on NFTs in 2021 alone. For a market that started five years ago, this is shaping up to be a wave.

Why such an interest?

Such a frenzy comes first and foremost from the fact that an NFT can pay off big. For the first time since the dawn of the Internet, where in principle any content can be copied and duplicated for free, identically and indefinitely, NFTs make it possible to certify and monetize an original digital file and attribute its individual ownership. And this, even if this content (image, digital artwork, video, music, etc.) can continue to be distributed to as many people as possible.

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