Aja Trier had been a victim of online thieves in the past.
Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” has inspired Trier, a painter in San Antonio, Texas, to riff on it with dogs, dinosaurs, or Mordor from “The Lord of the Rings.” On mugs, mouse pads, and pillows she sells versions of her work, and over the years she has discovered and stopped people selling pirated versions of her work on Amazon and other online marketplaces. Thieves are now stealing her work at an alarming rate as a result of the rapid growth of the NFT art market. OpenSea, the leading marketplace for the burgeoning NFT art market, saw an unidentified seller begin listing tens of thousands of listings for her work, many of which were duplicates, just last week. Before she could persuade the platform to remove them, 37 of them had been sold.
According to Trier, the NFTs “just kept taking and remaking them as NFTs”. “It’s ridiculous. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. “
It’s not uncommon to hear stories like Trier’s in the emerging market for NFT art sales. RJ Palmer, a San Francisco-based artist who creates digital creatures and monsters for film and video game companies, said he had to give up on NFT platforms because he couldn’t keep up. “It’s going to be too many. ” NFTs “became this part of my day,” Palmer said, describing the constant emailing he would do in an effort to get them removed. “I’m having a hard time keeping up with all of this work. “I don’t even want to think about it anymore.”
There hasn’t been enough progress in ensuring that a buyer is actually purchasing digital ownership rights as the NFT art market has grown. For the past few years:
online thieves have been stealing and selling any digital art they can get their hands on. Proponents of the NFT technology claim that it will revolutionise art patronage, but digital marketplaces that make it possible for these sales to occur have done little to curtail piracy to date.
An art thief is selling Aja Trier’s artwork. Since then, OpenSea has removed the listing. There has been a recent explosion in the art market of Aja Trier NFTs, short for nonfungible tokens, which promise a way for people to prove that they own a digital asset. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are built on the same blockchain, have been called “a geeky implementation of bragging rights” and “digital certificates of authenticity” for NFT.
The NFT-connected digital knickknacks are being issued by celebrities:
musicians, athletes, and even political campaigns. According to DappRadar, the third quarter of 2021 saw an increase in NFT trading volume of $10.7 billion. NFTs were quickly hailed as the solution to a slew of issues in the art world. To help artists make money off of their digital art, they created a way for them to make money off of the sale of their work in the future. A digital deed or certificate that can be linked to a work of art and then bought and sold as proof of ownership, NFTs are not art in and of themselves.
NFT marketplaces allow Cuban artists to share their culture with the world.
There has also been an increase in piracy and fraud due to the rapid growth of the industry. Many of the most popular NFT platforms, including OpenSea, which is by far the largest NFT marketplace, allow users to sign up and begin selling digital images. Since OpenSea has grown rapidly (the company announced Tuesday that it had been valued at $13.3 billion in a recent funding round), artists are forced to actively patrol OpenSea and its competitors in an attempt to get their work removed.
A spokesperson for OpenSea said:
We take theft seriously and have policies in place to meet our responsibilities to the community and deter theft on our platform,” and the firm is “actively expanding our efforts across customer support, trust and safety,and site integrity” in an email, It’s not clear how widespread this problem is, but there are indications that it is. To start, a large digital art platform, DeviantArt, has begun scanning blockchains used by NFTs to alert users when copies of their work are shown on NFT exchanges. Chief marketing officer Liat Gurwicz says DeviantArt has notified thousands of artists since September.
Aja Trier was alerted by DeviantArt that someone had made an NFT of her artwork:
The film director Aja Trier “Theft of art is not a new concept. When it comes to NFTs, “we’re seeing it at a completely new scale,” Gurwicz said. She asserted that artists must take matters into their own hands if they want their work removed.
We don’t know of any other options for artists at this time she said.
Because OpenSea’s process places most of the responsibility on the artists to take down sales of stolen images, the onus is currently on them. Sellers don’t have to provide proof of ownership or use their real names when starting an auction, but artists filing copyright notices must provide personal information like their real names and links that prove they are the real owners of a work. Because many NFT thieves appear to be automated bots, the burden on artists is exacerbated, says a Silicon Valley lawyer who has published a guide on how to send copyright notices to NFT marketplaces.
NFT art that has already been minted and is being resold is not the only target of these bots:
- Weiss said. Because they don’t have to worry about their work being taken down, counterfeiters are making more money by targeting artists who aren’t even aware of what an NFT is.
Brian Frye, an intellectual property law professor at the University of Kentucky who has sold his own artwork as an NFT, says that while OpenSea tends to respond to takedown requests, copyright in the NFT space is a little more complicated than it appears to be. According to him, the sale of an NFT does not violate an artist’s copyright because it is not a physical image but rather a receipt or digital deed that points to an image. Only the OpenSea-hosted image would be affected.
According to Frye, “all [an NFT] is] a URL saying ‘Look at this place on the internet,'” he explained:
- There is no copyright infringement in directing someone to this URL because no original copyright-protected element of anything is being copied, he said. As a result, “the NFT itself is irrelevant.”