How does Copyright Law Apply to NFTs and What Rights do Creators Retain?

Understanding NFTs: The Evolution of Digital Assets

As the digital realm experiences exponential growth, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have emerged as a groundbreaking addition. Unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, NFTs are unique digital assets that cannot be exchanged on a one-to-one basis. This uniqueness is instrumental in attributing value to various forms of digital content, including art, collectibles, and even tweets.

If you are an NFT creator or investor and have legal questions, reach out to our hard-working and experienced nft attorneys at Bull Blockchain Law by calling 215-695-5860

NFT Creation and Minting

To make an NFT, creators employ blockchain technology. Minting is the process of converting a digital file into an NFT on the blockchain. It's crucial for creators to discern how much it costs to mint an NFT, as this can vary based on several factors, including the blockchain used and its associated transaction fees.

Delving into Copyright Law

Copyright law protects the original works of creators. When an individual creates a piece of art, a book, or any other original work, they are automatically granted copyright protection.

The Role of Copyright in the Digital World

In the digital age, copyright law ensures that creators can control the distribution, reproduction, and display of their works. This is especially pertinent to digital art, which can be easily replicated and distributed without the artist's consent.

How Copyright Law Intersects with NFTs

When an individual purchases an NFT, they acquire ownership of a u201ctokenu201d that proves their ownership of a unique digital item. However, acquiring an NFT does not inherently grant copyright. Just as owning a painting doesnu2019t make you the artist, owning an NFT doesnu2019t make you the copyright holder.

The Creator's Retention of Rights

Creators who launch an NFT retain the copyright to their work unless expressly transferred. This allows them to reproduce and monetize their creation, even after the NFT has been sold.

Practical Illustration

Imagine an artist who creates a digital painting. The artist can sell the NFT associated with the painting without giving up the copyright to the actual image. The buyer owns a u201ctokenu201d proving ownership, but the artist retains the right to reproduce the image.

NFT Copyright Protection for Creators

To protect your NFT collection, as a creator, it is vital to explicitly state the terms of the copyright in the smart contract of the NFT. This helps in defining what rights are being transferred or retained.

NFT Ownership Protection for Buyers

Buyers can protect their NFT by ensuring they understand the terms of the smart contract. Additionally, storing NFTs in secure digital wallets can prevent loss through hacking or other means.

Enlisting Legal Experience

For both creators and buyers, consulting a digital currency attorney, blockchain attorney, cryptocurrency lawyer, or an NFT copyright lawyer is advisable to navigate the complex intersection of NFTs and copyright law.


1. How do you create an NFT?

You create an NFT by minting a digital file onto a blockchain using a platform that supports NFT creation.

2. How do you protect your NFT collection?

Store your NFTs in a secure digital wallet, understand the terms of the smart contract, and consult a digital asset lawyer for legal advice.

3. What rights do creators retain when they sell an NFT?

Creators generally retain the copyright to their work unless they explicitly transfer it. They can still reproduce and monetize the original creation.

4. How much does it cost to mint an NFT?

The cost to mint an NFT varies depending on the blockchain used and its associated transaction fees. It can range from a few dollars to over a hundred dollars.

5. Can someone create an NFT of someone elseu2019s work?

Creating an NFT of someone elseu2019s work without permission is a violation of copyright law. Itu2019s important to have the legal right to the content you are turning into an NFT.

Navigating NFT and Copyright Law 

The realm of NFTs is both exciting and complicated. As a creator, understanding the nuances of copyright law can ensure that you capitalize on your work without inadvertently giving away your rights. Conversely, as a buyer, it's vital to recognize that owning an NFT does not equate to owning the copyright.

Contacting the Correct NFT Lawyer 

Both parties must tread cautiously and consider enlisting an experienced cryptocurrency attorney or NFT lawyer to safeguard their interests. 

Call us now at Bull Blockchain Law for a free consultation regarding your NFT legal questions at 215-695-5860