By Chase Lawyers

NFTs and the Future of IP Licensing

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are taking the digital art marketplace by storm, with artists cashing in millions. Mike Winkelmann, a.k.a. Beeple, has been at the forefront of this trend. If you haven’t heard, an image he created was auctioned at Christie’s for $69 million, outselling the likes of Monet, Lucian Freud, and Damien Hirst.

Needless to say, there’s much hype around NFTs and digital art. Due to their unique structure, it opens up several questions about intellectual property (IP) rights, regulation, and more.

Chase Lawyers is a boutique entertainment law firm, specializing in all legal matters related to art, entertainment, and IP licensing. From IP governance and asset protection to the implementation of smart contracts, our lawyers are prepared to answer all your questions about non-fungible tokens.

What Are NFTs?

Short for non-fungible tokens, NFTs are unique digital tokens stored on Ethereum’s blockchain. They can be used to verify the authenticity and represent ownership of any form of art, such as drawings, music, furniture, and legal documents. Even memes, recipes, and startups are being sold at NFT marketplaces.

No matter what the assets are, NFTs can’t be exchanged for other items because of their unique properties.

The hype around NFTs is mostly around digital art. Someone, for instance, paid about $6.6 million for a 10-second clip by Beeple. Although anyone can download that same digital file for free, the buyer has ownership of that work of art.

Just think of physical art collections. Anyone can get their hands on Monet reproductions, but only one person can own an original. NFTs have extended that concept to digital assets.

An NFT can only have a single owner. Smart contracts manage the ownership and transferability of NFTs using unique ID and metadata, which other tokens can’t replicate. When you create an NFT, you carry out a code in a smart contract that adheres to different standards like the ERC-721. Every token that is minted comes with a unique identifier, which is connected to an Ethereum address. 

What Rights Does an NFT Give You?

Creating NFTs comes with a lot of advantages. For starters, it makes it so much easier for you to prove that you are the creator of a particular work of art. As a creator, you get to determine its scarcity. You aren’t