$7.5 Million NFT Collection Accused of Using Art Without Permission

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While non-fungible token (NFT) assets were hugely popular in 2021, many ecosystem issues were also raised. A recent report indicates that a dozen artists are considering taking legal action against an NFT collection called Art Wars because their original works of art were sold as NFT without their consent.

NFT collection focused on the use of works without permission
Non-fungible token (NFT) assets have generated multi-billion dollar sales this year, and the term “NFT” was recently given the title “word of the year” by the Collins English Dictionary. In the past seven days, NFT markets such as Openea have achieved $ 587 million in sales. Atomicwax has recorded over $ 20 million and Rarible over $ 3 million in weekly sales of non-fungible tokens.

However, some issues in the NFT industry have arisen lately, such as issues of permanence, censorship, insider trading, and now artists are upset about broadcasting NFT without their consent. Financial Times (FT) reports that works of art by Anish Kapoor and David Bailey were issued as non-fungible tokens without obtaining their approval.

According to the report, Star Wars Stormtrooper helmets made by Kapoor, Bailey and others have been photographed and sold as NFT without permission. The NFT collection has sold for around 1,600 ETH, which equates to over $ 7.5 million at the time of writing.

A dozen artists are said to take legal action over their intellectual property
The Financial Times report notes that the collection called Art Wars has approximately 1,138 images. Works attributed to Kapoor were resold for 1,000 ETH, while works by Bailey were resold for 120 ETH. FT’s Cristina Criddle said the NFTs have since been pulled from Openea:

“About 12 artists are considering legal action against the project, according to legal representatives,” Criddle’s report points out. Criddle explains that Helen Downie, an artist who uses the name “Unskilled Worker”, can take legal action after noticing that two helmets have been sold as NFT.

Problems similar to those facing Kapoor and Bailey have arisen in the NFT industry of late and have made headlines. The legal representatives of comic book publishers DC Comics and Marvel have cautioned independent artists not to use copyrighted material and characters to sell them as NFTs.

Acclaimed film director Quentin Tarantino is in a legal row with Miramax over Pulp Fiction’s NFTs.

Record label Roc-A-Fella Records also entered a legal battle with Damon Dash over NFTs related to Jay-Z’s debut album, Reasonable Doubt.

NFTs are objects with unique properties that enhance copyright retention. But what if the rights are already reserved in paper form? Can unauthorized NFTs be counted as the result of misunderstanding or ignorance? Or is this just intentional fraud?