Intellectual property rights infringement are rampant on NFT marketplace
The explosion of the NFT market gives greater chances for creators to make money right away from selling their work. Painters usually need an agent to sell their work, but through NFT, they can interact and do business with customers on their own. Another possible benefit of NFT technology is that creators might be able to make money (royalty) from the sales of their NFTs.
It is unfortunate that NFT, which is a new technology, also has a risk gap in the form of intellectual property rights fraud. Art theft or the use of a work without the creator’s permission is nothing new, but this technology has taken the infringement to a whole new level.
A jaw-dropping scale of copyright infringement
A report states that a jaw-dropping scale of copyright infringement has been occuring on the largest NFT marketplace platform, Opensea. A username OriginalTokenArt had more than 100 listings of NFTs for sale, including the names Microsoft Corp, Dell Inc, The Boeing Company, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, and Verizon, which were eventually taken down. Another account Dodge For The World! also has a list where top brands are included. The Pixel’s Brand Logo sells logos from famous brands in the pixelated version.
In addition to well-known brands who are victims of violations, there are also many artists whose artworks are sold on the platform without their permission. This happened to the work of Indonesian illustrator Kendra Ahimsa, which was plagiarized by a crypto artist named Twisted Vacancy. Even Van Gogh’s masterpieces are modified and sold by a username Bored Starry Night Dog Club. Those cases are only the tip of the iceberg.
Battling the infringement actively
From the platform side, in its Terms of Service, Opensea states that “All other third-party trademarks, registered trademarks, and product names mentioned on the Service or contained in the content linked to or associated with any NFTs displayed on the Service are the property of their respective owners and may not be copied, imitated or used, in whole or in part, without the permission of the applicable intellectual property rights holder.”
So far, the platform places an online reporting form for those who find their intellectual property rights infringed. This reporting mechanism requires the complainant to fill in the IPR details and other pertinent information. The report will be reviewed and if proven to infringe a copyright, the platform will take appropriate action, including taking down the NFT in question from the platform.
In other words, IPR owners are required to be proactive in monitoring and reporting if they find any infringement. Even after the takedown, owners must keep an eye out to ensure that the infringing assets are not offered or sold again.
Integrity Asia has collaborated with a global marketplace platform to take down infringing items. We are ready to help IPR owners protect their assets. Apart from conducting the takedown of counterfeits on online channels, we are experienced in the continuous monitoring of online channels to detect and identify whether the infringing items are re-offered using a different account or channel.