NFT: a risk to intellectual property?

NFTs pose intellectual property risks and require better oversight, according to a report for the Ministry of Culture.

The latest report of the Superior Council for Literary and Artistic Heritage (CSPLA), charged with advising the Ministry of Culture, warns against NFTs. These non-reproducible digital certificates of authenticity attached to a real or virtual object would pose a risk to intellectual property. it is one of the first reports to address the subject in France.

Its authors, Jean Martin, lawyer at the Court, president of the CSPLA mission, assisted by Pauline Hot, master of petitions at the Council of State, conducted about sixty hearings of professionals and organizations interested in this “complex matter”.

NFTs have been around for years, but interest in them has grown with several sales, including the December 2021 one of Beeple’s work, which sold for $ 69.3 million. Since then, auction houses and galleries have engaged in this new market, which is disrupting the art world.

These certificates raise “new issues” regarding intellectual property, ownership of rights, their management methods, note the authors who propose to call them “JNF” in French (for “non-fungible token”).

Furthermore, they ask a series of questions on the application of this technology to public collections, which are characterized by their inalienability, or on the applicable financial and fiscal framework or on the state of the platforms.

For the authors, if the “JNF” constitutes “an opportunity for the cultural sector as a whole”, their use must be better “supervised” in “a speculative and uncertain financial context that risks clouding the prospects for the development of culture. “.

According to them, an “essential issue” concerns “the responsibility of the digital platforms on which JNFs are exchanged” which must “ensure respect for literary and artistic property”.

They propose to be subject to the 2019 European directive on copyright and related rights in the digital single market.

The authors also point out the “energy-intensive character of the blockchain” (the technology that serves as the basis for cryptocurrencies in particular), the “many risks to the security of tokens” and the “speculative nature of the market” observed during the ” last 18 months “.

They also believe that “consumer protection against this multifaceted and technologically complex phenomenon remains insufficient”.

Advertising, your content continues below

Advertising, your content continues below

Leave a Comment