Is it reasonable that the NFT offered by Paypal does not transfer the copyright of the work?

What do we get when we buy NFT digital artwork?

Recently, Alipay’s launch of NFT skins, a payment code based on the ant chain, has attracted widespread attention from all walks of life. Some people have put up the NFT they grabbed with 9.9 yuan for tens of thousands of yuan in idle fish; some questioned that it is not an NFT at all, but just a jpg image; some expressed an unprecedented positive attitude towards the prospect of NFT.

People repeatedly read the explanation and introduction of NFT given by Antchain, and engaged in heated discussions. For example, Antchain defines NFT as “digital works” instead of “non-homogenized tokens”, the “T” in NFT is translated as “pass-through” for compliance reasons, and currently these NFTs cannot be transferred or traded. And while most of these discussions can reach a unified view, there is one issue that many people are still confused about.

In the user needs to know – the fourth rule of use states: “The copyright of the NFT digital works is owned by the publisher or the creator of the original work, and you may not use the NFT digital works for any commercial purposes unless you obtain separate written consent from the copyright owner.

This sentence exploded the already lively discussion, and some even directly blasted Alipay’s move as inconsistent with the spirit of blockchain in an article, which argued that “Alipay has changed the copyright property of NFT” and “is very different from the NFT we are familiar with in the blockchain field. Even some crypto artists and collectors have a half-understanding of the copyright issue.

Do you really understand what copyright is and what ownership is?

What is copyright?
Let’s look at copyright first. In the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China, copyright and copyright are the same concept. And the scope of application of copyright includes common forms of NFT artworks such as music, art, photography, and audiovisual works.

Copyright is further divided into two subparts, namely, the personal right of works and the property right of works.

Let’s start with the personal rights of copyright. It is a kind of intellectual property right, which refers to the author’s rights to his or her works that are linked to or inseparable from his or her person without any direct property content, and the author’s right to gain reputation, prestige and maintain the integrity of his or her works by creating works that express his or her personal style. These rights are for life and cannot be transferred, denied or restricted.

Then there is the right to property in works. The right to property in a work is also known as the “economic right of copyright,” which includes the right to use, gain, and dispose of the work. The most central part of this right is the right to use the work. The right to use includes the right to reproduce the original work in material form, the right to communicate the work to the public, and the right to interpret the work. The right to receive and dispose of the work is an essential part of the right of property in the work, and the copyright owner may license others to use the work in the above-mentioned manner and receive remuneration for doing so.

In short, the personal rights of copyright guarantee the artist’s spiritual rights and interests, while the property rights of copyright guarantee the artist’s economic rights and interests. Both domestic and foreign laws regulate the transferability of personal and property rights. In general, most national laws consider that property rights are transferable, but that personal rights are not, and that a written contract is required for the transfer of property rights.

What is ownership?
Ownership is the right to possess, use, benefit and dispose of one’s property, which is the most important and complete right in property, and has three characteristics: absolute, exclusive and perpetual.

In simple terms, the object of ownership is a tangible object, for example, a cup with a certain design on it, you own this cup, you can drink from it or rent it out, sell it to gain revenue, or smash it and destroy it.

What do we get when we buy NFT digital artwork?
Article 18 of China’s Copyright Law states: “The transfer of ownership of the original work of art and other works is not considered a transfer of the copyright of the work. Therefore, what we get when we buy NFT digital artwork is only the ownership of the artwork, not the copyright. This is not a case of “Alipay has changed the copyright properties of NFT”, it is a legal requirement.

Some may question whether the laws and regulations that apply to traditional artworks apply to the new technology of NFT. Then let’s take a look at how the mainstream crypto art trading platforms are doing now.

Let’s open the official document of SuperRare, the most prestigious crypto art platform, which states that “NFT Ownership ≠ Copyright Ownership”, and SuperRare further explains that

“Copyright is not the same thing as ownership of any physical object (i.e. a painting) or digital asset (i.e. NFT) that embodies or is embedded in a work. Under our Terms of Service, an artist does not lose copyright protection on a work when selling it on the SuperRare Marketplace, unless both parties expressly agree in writing to include a copyright interest as part of the transfer.

Is it reasonable that the NFT offered by Paypal does not transfer the copyright of the work?

As we can see, even in the familiar public chain NFT domain, the NFT trading platform’s approach to copyright and ownership is no different from that of the traditional art domain.

In short, you buy a piece of NFT art you own the painting, the painting on the emerging art medium of NFT, the medium and the pattern together make up the “painting”. This does not mean that you can print the design on other media for commercial use. Even if you buy a very intense work by FEWOCiOUS, you can’t print it on clothes and sell it without his authorization, because it violates the artist’s copyright.

So what can we do when we buy NFT? We don’t own the copyright, so we can’t earn income by making peripheral products, but we own the ownership and can sell it in the secondary market, rent it out, exhibit it for rent, or use it as collateral, and of course, if you want to destroy it, you can do that too.

Alipay this issue of NFT digital artwork copyright does not transfer is not a precedent set by Alipay, but the law, both in the traditional art field or blockchain NFT art field should comply.

Take the current hottest NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club as an example.

First of all, when we buy an NFT digital work, we get the ownership of it. We can display it, list it to the trading platform for trading or even destroy this NFT.

Is it reasonable that the NFT offered by Paypal does not transfer the copyright of the work?

One might say, “Well, why do I see people putting monkeys on their clothes and selling them to other people?

This is because the Bored Ape Yacht Club grants the copyrighted work to the holder of the NFT digital work, as explained in the terms and conditions on the project website. However, the holder only owns the copyright of the digital work of the ape that he or she holds, and the use of other apes requires the authorization of the other holders.

Is it reasonable that the NFT offered by Paypal does not transfer the copyright of the work?

Moreover, the holder does not own the copyright of these digital works, which simply means that he or she cannot claim to be the original creator of these apes.

Copyright and ownership have always been two concepts that are easily confused, but it is necessary to clearly distinguish the two. With Ali and other big players entering NFT, it is bound to bring a lot of new users, who need to be properly guided in order to have the right perception of NFT and to push it in a healthy direction.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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