Fans of NFTs and blockchain often talk about how these technologies can improve the ability to safeguard intellectual property rights. Yet many people fail to understand what NFTs, blockchains and the metaverse are, which creates the opportunity for intellectual property (IP) breaches by those who do understand it.
One set of people who need to understand this virtual world fast is the lawmakers. It’s hard to create clear and effective legislation for something you find confusing. As there is very little legal precedent concerning breaches of IP rights in the metaverse, there is currently too much room for people to interpret things differently.
People often misunderstand their ownership rights when it comes to the metaverse
If you buy a physical piece of art, you understand what you have in your hands. You realize that if you were to make and sell exact replicas of it, the artist would come after you and claim you have breached their IP rights. Unless that is, you negotiate the rights to replicate the work.
People get confused with digital art held as NFTs. Many think they now own intellectual rights, yet more often than not, they do not. They believe they are paying for a unique piece, but the creator can make thousands more at the click of a button should they wish. The artist can do this much more easily than if they had to replicate a physical piece of art. But just because it is easier to create, that does not mean that the original art is free to be replicated and outside of the original owner/creator’s consent.
Protecting intellectual property is not something you can risk getting wrong. That applies whether you are creating things held in the metaverse or investing in them. Consider legal help to develop an IP protection strategy for your business that takes into account all the latest developments in both the real and virtual worlds. Contact the lawyers at Patterson Thuente with questions about how you can ensure your intellectual property is always protected.