Copyright and NFTs: new wine in old bottles?


Dinusha Mendis

Copyright and NFTs: new wine in old bottles?

iQoncept /

For ‘nyfties’ to cement their phenomenal early success they will require regulation, but this could face strong opposition, says Dinusha Mendis of Bournemouth University.

Non-fungible tokens—also known as NFTs or “nyfties”—are digital assets on the secure blockchain. They are mainly used to sell exclusive, digital items online and since a digital artwork tokenised as a NFT sold for $69 million at Christies in March 2021, it has expanded into various other industries, ranging from sport, fashion, music, films, entertainment to many more.

One of the striking characteristics of NFTs have been their high sale value. For example, in August 2021 a series of 8,888 adorable ‘Pudgy Penguins’ each reflecting its own, unique characteristics made a splash in the NFT space with one selling for 150 ethereum, approximately $500,000, in the first-hour of trading.

Similarly, the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT tokens that were first minted in May 2021, resold for $24.4 million in summer 2021, at an auction hosted by Sothebys. These are simply a few examples, among many.

NFTs, copyright, digital assets, blockchain, bitcoin, Ethereum, ownership, exclusive rights, EU copyright law, injunction