The fundamental legal nature of NFTs is a difficult problem to solve. On the one hand, everything can be NFT, and its practical application is all-encompassing, and any kind of NFT may exist; on the other hand, as a new application of blockchain technology, NFT is only a few years old, and the law itself has a lag. Sex makes it difficult to respond to new things in a short time.
The author attempts to examine NFT from a new perspective of usufructuary rights , only for discussion without drawing conclusions, in order to share new ideas for all NFT research partners.
Can NFTs be considered legal property?
The rise of NFTs is closely related to the metaverse. The Metaverse creates an immersive and realistic virtual environment, and NFT, as an unrepeatable and valuable digital collection, is an important part of distinguishing the player’s identity.When a user buys NFT, it establishes a one-to-one relationship with it, enters the locked “wallet”, and falls into the category of the user’s virtual property.
As a legal property, it must have three characteristics: utility, scarcity and legitimacy.
In terms of utility, NFT has utility for users in a specific metaverse, and can meet the material and spiritual needs of users;
In terms of scarcity, the acquisition of NFT is obtained by users through legal currency, rather than the random distribution of enterprises. Users are restricted by the rules of the virtual world and cannot acquire them at will. The virtual props obtained in this way are the same as those obtained through labor in real life. The process is similar, but also through labor behaviors that spend socially necessary labor time;
In terms of legality, the legal community generally recognizes the virtual property attributes of virtual props and virtual game currency in online games, but the nature of NFT is not clearly defined, and NFT transactions are not regarded as virtual currency transactions.
Therefore, the property rights attributes of NFTs must be viewed directly, not just intellectual property or copyright. It is true that it is more beneficial to protect NFTs as copyrights, but whether it is an item that can be put on the chain or an item that exists virtually in the metaverse, it all has the existence basis of an entity or a quasi-entity. We should realize that NFTs are property and are protected by law.
How to define the rights of users to NFTs?
Although NFTs have been on the rise in recent years and have a strong market interest, the ownership of users’ rights to NFTs is still unclear. Whether it is an enterprise or an individual, the use of NFTs for secondary transactions and other ownership transfers can easily be identified as Violation of 9.24 and other provisions, there is a risk of falling into the scope of criminal law.
The author believes that it is easier to define the relationship between users and NFTs as the use-right relationship of usufruct rather than ownership to make NFT transactions more legal and compliant. First of all, if the user’s rights to NFTs are defined as the right to use virtual collections to buy and sell, the compliance risk is low under the current legal norms.
At this time, if we use legal currency to buy NFT in the official mall, this is in fact the platform and the consumer to establish a sales contract for the right to use, so we can get the right to use the NFT.
In other words, the essence of the transfer of the right to use NFT at this time is a contract between the two parties, which promises the user to complete the transaction of a certain currency and digital collection. When the user makes a specific action (click to buy) in accordance with the agreement, that is, the possession of the NFT is obtained. For NFT collections that currently lack keys in China, perhaps linear transactions are more similar to transactions of usage rights rather than ownership.
Define NFT as a secondary transaction of the right to use the property
Today, my country does not have many regulatory laws for the Metaverse and NFTs, but it is precisely because of the absence of regulatory rules that NFT secondary transactions are more likely to be regulated by traditional laws, and conviction and sentencing can be achieved by applying expanded interpretations. Under this situation, enterprises should timely prevent and control the capital risks caused by NFT transactions, and defining such rights as usage rights can reduce relevant risks.
At the same time, the definition of the right to use can also better protect the intellectual property rights of virtual items on the chain. With the help of blockchain authentication and the authorization and performance mechanism of smart contracts, the legitimate rights and interests of copyright owners can be more realistically protected, and at the same time, the abuse of copyright by the creators themselves can be prevented.
Of course, in the actual situation, users have possession of NFTs, so we can regard this situation as giving users partial power rather than ownership-based disposal rights. In this way, the rights owned by users include the rights to possess, use, and benefit from virtual items. It is precisely because the NFT issuer has transferred these rights that users can use the virtual items they own in the metaverse. Transactions are made so that the issuer makes a profit.
write at the end
In the face of new things, every legal person is in the process of exploration. The views and perspectives put forward by the author today are only for academic discussion, not the conclusion of NFT. From the perspective of usufructuary rights, there is also the defect of giving the platform too much rights and too heavy obligations.
At the same time, according to the legal principle of real right, another new type of usufructuary right cannot be created in the legal system of our country without clear legislation. But the author hopes to create a larger discussion space for NFT and other blockchain technology products by making different voices.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/if-nft-is-a-usufructu/
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