If you’ve had anything to do with digital art, digital assets, or both in recent months, it’s almost impossible to avoid a ton of news about how irreplaceable icons or NFTs are changing the game in the creative industries. From Kings of Leon who have released their new album as NFT to digital artist Beeple, who finishes Christies with an astonishing price tag, the trend has gone at an astonishing speed.

Many believe that NFT is not only a great new medium for works of art, but that it is able to generate new skills and redefine the relationship between creators, audiences, traditional leaders and the music and art industry.

Better management of intellectual property rights and easier distribution of royalties are some of the more controversial issues of use. Established copyright authorities such as the Italian Association of Authors and Publishers join the movement and move towards IP blockchain registries, while musicians offer shares of their business for sale to investors to take advantage of subsequent commercial recordings. use. How useful are these solutions, and what obstacles can the heroes face?

In search of originality
One of the main challenges facing digital content creators is how easy it is to create the perfect digital copy of their work at no cost. Since a digital image or sound clip can be instantly copied and distributed infinitely many times, it is difficult for content creators to keep track of how and by whom their work was used, and thus benefit from it.

The core value proposition for NFTs is that by creating a unique blockchain-based ledger for each creative work unit, they can not only encrypt a sense of authenticity and scarcity, but they can also give artists the ability to establish and enforce rules regarding the transmission of copyright. …, use and revenue generation. JJ van Royen, co-founder of Custos Media Technologies, a blockchain content security firm, commented to Cointelegraph:

First, NFT allows us to track rights transfers reliably – just as Bitcoin payments can reliably track money transfers. Second, NFTs can provide long-term support to creators. In NFT, for example, you can specify that content creators should be rewarded each time an asset is resold at a higher value.
In particular, one of the notable improvements in the traditional world of intellectual property protection that NFT offers is automatic enforcement. Daniel Dabuzzi, CEO of technology company Technicorum Holdings, told Cointelegraph that by leveraging the underlying smart contracts, NFTs can enable artists to distribute royalties and protect intellectual property without the need for legal recourse and enforcement.

However, the relationship between smart contract technology and the existing legal framework can in many cases not be so simple.

What do NFT owners really have?
In most cases, ownership of an NFT does not by default give an individual to own the underlying work. Alternatively, it can be seen as a digital certificate confirming that they have a unique and collectible copy of it. Burr Ekstut, Special Adviser at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP, explained to Cointelegraph:

NFT differs from digital content in that it can only be one owner of a specific NFT at a time. However, NFT does not typically contain digital content and may not be related to DRM technology that prevents digital content copying. The relationship between NFT and content can only be a conceptual concept, but it can be of value as long as the NFT elements are insufficient.
Gunther Sonnenfeld, CEO of RAIR Technologies, a provider of digital real estate solutions, told Cointelegraph: “There is really no DRM-free intellectual property protection.” NFT itself is just a serial number, and an extra layer of functionality must be created so that people can share the underlying asset again, while ensuring that both the creator and the contributor get their share.

There are various aspects of using creative work that NFT-smart contracts can be programmed to manage. Perhaps the most stringent option is to restrict access to encrypted content. William Honaker, intellectual property and patent attorney at the law firm Dickinson Wright, told the Cointelegraph: