Blockchain and the Law

Category Archives: NFTs

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Rise of Financial Crime in the NFT Market Elicits New Scrutiny from Regulators

With the enduring popularity of certain NFTs and the promise of their use in the Metaverse and beyond, the hype around the new technology has been accompanied by rising concerns over NFTs being the centerpiece of traditional financial crimes like money laundering and wire fraud.  For example, on June 30th, 2022 the Justice Department indicted … Continue Reading

Senators Ask USPTO and US Copyright Office to Conduct NFT Study, with a Focus on IP Issues

UPDATE: On July 8, 2022,  the USPTO and the Copyright Office responded to the Senators’ letter and indicated that they would conduct a joint study on the current and potential future applications of NFTs and their respective IP-related challenges. With a market capitalization forecast of over $35 billion for 2022, there is no question that … Continue Reading

Three Questions Brands Must Ask about Trademarks and the Metaverse

Web 3.0 and the promise of the metaverse has generated excitement about new markets for businesses large and small. But as with any technological frontier, legal uncertainties cause new risks to emerge alongside the opportunities. One area currently full of legal questions is trademark law. We will examine what we see as three of the … Continue Reading

As NFTs Blur the Line Between “Receipt” and “Product”, Trademarks Owners Fight Over New Virtual Markets

Last month, our post about art NFTs and the DMCA highlighted the distinction between non-fungible tokens and the copyrighted works they represent. In the context of copyright, this dichotomy is generally uncontroversial: In most cases, an NFT merely points to an underlying work but does not contain a copy of the work it represents, and … Continue Reading

Roots of Confusion Over “v1” CryptoPunks NFTs Raise Key Copyright and Practical Considerations for NFT Minters, Acquirers and Platform Operators

Minters of collectible non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have taken a wide range of approaches. In addition to variations in the means of distribution, token standards, governing smart contracts and platforms on which initial sales or transfers are made, the terms, conditions and content licenses (or lack thereof) under which users take possession of an NFT often … Continue Reading

Will NFT Piracy Compel Changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

So you bought an NFT. You now own what is effectively an immutable electronic deed meant to record ownership of an asset, often a digital artwork. You probably paid for the NFT upfront—and if the artist is popular, you may have paid a substantial sum. This is one factor that has made the NFT market … Continue Reading

In the Coming ‘Metaverse’, There May Be Excitement but There Certainly Will Be Legal Issues

The concept of the “metaverse” has garnered much press coverage of late, addressing such topics as the new appetite for metaverse investment opportunities, a recent virtual land boom, or just the promise of it all, where “crypto, gaming and capitalism collide.”  The term “metaverse,” which comes from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel “Snow Crash,” is generally used … Continue Reading

NFTs Are Interesting but Fractionalized Non-Fungible Tokens (F-NFTs) May Present Even More Challenging Legal Issues

Except for the extensive coverage surrounding Coinbase’s IPO last week and the volatility in the price of cryptocurrencies, much of the air in the crypto space in the last few months has been taken up by the meteoric rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). At this point, we will assume that readers have at least a … Continue Reading
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