Interview with digital artist kefan404: Achilles heel of copyright NFT

Achilles, the invulnerable god of war, was finally defeated by a poisonous arrow shot into his ankle. The only weakness in his body caused him to lose his life.

Since the birth of NFT, copyright issues have been around it, and in this subset of cryptographic art, copyright issues have been mentioned but never resolved the “dilemma of the century.”

In fact, before the birth of NFT, copyright issues have been plagued digital artists.

The artist who defeated Kardashian

“The form of infringement of digital art works, provided that the work has not been plagiarized or modified, can be roughly divided into two types: personal behavior and commercial behavior,” Kefan404 said.

Kefan404 (b.1996), born in Zhejiang, now living in Germany, is a digital artist, and he has a great say in copyright issues.

The time comes to March 2020.

At that time, Beeple landed at Christie’s, and the works sold for a sky-high price of US$69 million; at that time, kefan404 posted a Weibo, accusing Kim Kardashian of infringement.

Interview with digital artist kefan404: Achilles heel of copyright NFT

The reason is that Kim Kardashian published the digital art work created by kefan404 on personal social media without identifying the creator. Although in daily life, many people will post their favorite pictures on social media such as Weibo, Moments of Friends, and few people will specifically mark the original author, but this is actually a form of infringement. Famous people like Kardashian have no copyright awareness and show no respect for artists. This is an important reason for kefan404’s anger.

“It does not seem to be that serious to look at a single individual infringement in isolation, but if a work is very popular and is repeatedly disseminated, then a picture of a nine-hand digital patina work will soon appear, and everyone does not know the original Most people rarely track down who the author is in the process of dissemination, and they don’t even care who the original author is.”

Fortunately, this matter was finally resolved. Kefan404 received an apology and requested $1 in compensation, and Kim Kardashian also marked the artist. But this is a minority after all. The vast majority of such forms of infringement are difficult to trace, and it is difficult for the artist himself to know, and there is no way to talk about rights protection.

Interview with digital artist kefan404: Achilles heel of copyright NFT

“Exercising Wushu Can’t Save Gotham City” kefan404

Does NFT really protect copyright?

Kefan404 has also joined the camp of NFT art creators, and has sold his works on multiple platforms such as Foundation. Recently, kefan404’s work “The Homeland Is Difficult to Leave” was sold on Wave C for 1.18 ETH. And the income “brought” by these NFTs also made the digital artist realize that “the original digital art also has the same commercial possibilities as traditional art sales. After all, NFT has largely solved the unlimited copying and possession of digital art works. Right these two issues.”

As an excellent artist, kefan404 focuses on digital art, interaction and visual design. His works have been published in Dezeen, Mercedes-Benz official host, Porsche Lifestyle “Type7”, and have started a tripartite cross-border cooperation with Hyundai Motor and Boston Dynamics. His long-term project “Fuzzy Boundary”, which started in 2019, began with his recognition and exploration of the concept of “Perception is Reality”. In the creation of a series of surreal and sub-reality themed works, he tried to find the relationship between perception and reality. Balance and restriction.

Interview with digital artist kefan404: Achilles heel of copyright NFT

“A God in the World” kefan404

Before contacting NFT, he didn’t think about how much money he could make, just to simply release his overwhelming desire for expression. His initial source of income is the same as that of most digital artists: posters, peripherals, and commercial licensing.

There is no need to say more about the income from making posters. Peripheral refers to platforms like RedBubble that will provide artists with a complete set of solutions. Artists only need to upload their own works and choose which peripheral products to put on the shelves. The subsequent sales, production, and logistics will be The platform is responsible. Commercial authorization includes, for example, the authorized use of album covers of independent musicians, commercial orders for brand cooperation, and so on.

Previously, it has been revealed in social media that some digital art creators will “contract three chapters” with buyers before selling their works, requiring buyers not to use them for commercial use, or even to display them on social media. It can be said that before NFT came into people’s field of vision, copyright issues caused digital artists to face layers of obstacles in selling their works.

The emergence of NFT has made many digital artists become optimistic about copyright protection, believing that NFT has protected their copyright, but kefan404 does not think so.

“For creators to self-certify their identity, NFT is really helpful, providing a way that is simpler and more convenient than issuing source files and can be viewed by everyone.” However, kefan404 believes that such self-certification also requires creators Operate your own social media for a long time, and then “bind” your true identity with the address on the chain through social media. Although this method is not friendly to artists who don’t like to use social media or who don’t often operate social media, but “It’s always better than not having this step.”

Regarding copyright issues in the process of dissemination of works, kefan404 believes that NFT has not helped much. The definition and processing of copyright and copyright are no different from traditional art transactions. “Even because of the display mechanism of some platforms, the original resolution All of the works of the rate can be downloaded.”

Interview with digital artist kefan404: Achilles heel of copyright NFT

“Homeland Difficult to Leave” kefan404

In addition, perhaps we should also reflect on whether the current NFT helps to protect copyright, or does it reduce the cost of infringement and increase the revenue of infringement?

First of all, most of the current NFT art works are digital art works, which can still be copied and preserved, and everyone can use the same picture to recast an NFT by themselves. What’s more, unlike the real-name system on the Internet, it is on the blockchain. The address of is anonymous, and there is no way to solve it even if it is infringed. At present, all platforms such as OpenSea can do is to remove the infringing NFT and cannot punish the infringer. This undoubtedly greatly reduces the cost of infringement.

In addition, if a buyer who has not done enough research on the works or works buys fakes, due to the decentralization of the blockchain, the lost property cannot be recovered. For infringers, they can use their works at will Forging NFT, if you are lucky to sell, you don’t have to worry about subsequent disputes, which is equivalent to “zero cost.”

The most recent discussion on this matter is undoubtedly the work “The Flower of Mining Machine” taken by photographer Ding Gang. On the day the work was released, it caused heated discussions across the Internet. Countless people downloaded the photos and uploaded them to platforms such as OpenSea for casting. As NFT, some people added some filters to the original work and called it “secondary creation.” Kefan404 even bluntly said that “using StyleGAN to set an oil painting filter is really not a second creation.” With these recurring infringement incidents, kefan404 “always feels very angry, but there is no alternative, there is a deep sense of powerlessness.”

When talking about whether open NFT platforms like OpenSea need more centralized supervision, kefan404 cited the practices of content platforms such as YouTube and Instagram. They warned against possible infringement of content by comparing with database content. The creator proposed The appeals of the people are often answered quickly. But in the NFT field, few project parties do this. And the more serious problem is that most of the current infringement issues need to be discovered and handled by the original author and filed a complaint. Therefore, even if the platform wants to monitor this issue, it is often unable to do so. kefan404 is also looking forward to the future. Some blockchain projects that focus on copyright protection.

Interview with digital artist kefan404: Achilles heel of copyright NFT

“Sun Rain” kefan404

The copyright issue has always existed, and it has always been difficult to solve, and the solution cannot depend on the individual, but requires the efforts of everyone in the society. Kefan404 is an artist who is often infringed. As the party concerned, he is even more eager to increase the respect and awe of copyright for all people. At the same time, creators must restrain their own behavior and must not go beyond the absolutes of plagiarism and piracy. Outside the red line, we should unite more and stand up together to keep warm when our rights and interests are violated, because a person’s power and voice are minimal.

“I am grateful to those friends who came forward for me when I encountered some copyright disputes before myself.” Kefan404 said. 

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