Personality Rights and NFTs: Another Intellectual Property Law Conflict?

Authored by: Niharika Salar and Rhea Reddy.

What is the NFT buzz all about?

NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are the talk of the town, especially amongst the digital and the IP community. Apart from allowing artists to monetize their work in ways that were never explored before, NFTs facilitate a self-perpetuating chain of ownership in a particular object, which can range from anywhere between a tweet to a musical piece. NFT transactions are tracked on a blockchain ledger, allowing individuals to see whether the NFT originates from the creator. Buyers can then easily spot forgeries and avoid fraudulent purchases, motivating them to invest in NFTs. It also ensures the artistic integrity of the underlying asset and prevents manipulation of protections. However, the underlying asset may be replicated once bought. In addition, blockchains only track transactions, due to which the underlying asset resides separately. This may create issues when the asset is deleted or changed on the host platform.