The world of NFTs and digital assets is transforming the possibilities of the art world as a whole. The doors to a boundless virtual portal have been swung wide open, unfortunately this new found land of opportunity is not without its fair share of undesirable trespassers.
The past month has seen an unconquerable amount of complaints from artists and newcomers alike regarding the rampant theft of their artwork. Their publicly viewable work is getting stolen and transformed into NFTs, which are then sold online for, more often than not, exorbitantly delectable prices.
The process, coined tokenisation, is incredibly hard to tackle at this moment in time, due to the sanctuary of anonymity surrounding the sellers', as well as the buyers', identity. As such, one can't even know how to go about contesting copyright violations. Now the struggle faced by artists whose works got stolen online is nothing new, but at least when there was a physical product and person behind the theft, reparations were still in the picture.
The days of elaborate art gallery heists, Ocean's 11 style, by the nifty hands of a suave Clooney-type are behind us. Now all you have to do is tag Twitter account "Tokenized Tweets" to purchase your NFT.
Cool new scam artists should be aware of. Any rando can now turn your tweet and by extension, your artwork into an NFT by tagging this account @/tokenizedtweets
Block this guy pic.twitter.com/JeHXwcoYFV
— RJ Palmer (@arvalis) March 9, 2021
Particularly for smaller artists, this trend has evolved into a serious threat. Most of the commissions they get are thanks to their online presence, however this online presence could now be the very reason for their own demise.
NFT experts say that there are ways to protect your work from falling prey to tokenisation, and urge creators to put them into practice immediately. Many speculate that this is the future of art, and therefore artists have no choice but to adapt to the shift, essentially beating the digital art poachers to the punch by turning their own artwork into NFTs before anybody else does. Once the NFT exists, the very technology that makes it possible protects it from being copied.
I guess it's true what they say… If you can't beat'em, join'em.