This is fascinating[1].

Anyone who knows anything about copyright law laughs their arses off, of course (and here's a primer for anyone who needs it[2]).

But this *is* dangerous. A lot of people have no clue, copyright is byzantine in its complexity, and it just takes a few ill-informed judges to make this into a thing. And coinbros will push their bullshit, whether they know they're wrong or not.

[1] source:
[2] NFTs and copyright:

But it's even more fascinating than that. As the anarchist adage goes: "property is theft". NFTs are perhaps a great exemplification of that.

Basically, for a particular kind of private property to exists, there must be a broad consensus that something *can* be "owned", there must be some kind of record of ownership", and there must be some enforcement of that "ownership".

NFTs pretend to provide a record of "ownership" for something that never really had one: digital art.

Now, bros are trying… 2/?

…to create this broad consensus that on-line images can be "owned" in any real sense of the word. They seem to understand it not the way copyright understands it, but as a more "this specific copy of an image" kind of way. This doesn't make any sense, but who's to stop them?

Once they have that "broad consensus", they will try to find ways to enforce that "ownership".

History of private ownership of things, unfolding in front of our very eyes!


Important caveat: I am *not* saying this is all part of some master plan.

It's just a whole lot of people who don't understand technology, don't understand IP (imaginary property) law, but "invested their money" and feel this entitles them to things.

Like demanding random people don't right-click-save on on-line images. And soon, probably demanding the Internet Police to stop them right-clickers.


tl;dr bros are entitled pricks who demand that their misguided understanding of technology is shared by everyone, just because they put their money in this crap.


Take-away: this is laughable, but also dangerous -- they must not be allowed to normalize shunning the "right clickers" or demanding NFTs are treated as "proof of ownership" or whatever.


@rysiek I remember when JavaScript to disable right clicking on web pages to prevent saving images was really common. Do you remember that? Haven't run into it for a while, I guess it's being reinvented.

Actual copyright is worth respecting, I think - pay the artist for their work! - but so many people don't understand even the basics of copyright.

@varve copyright in digital era is a broad, complicated subject.

It's what enables CC By-SA and GPL/AGPL (that is: copyleft) licenses to exist and be effective.

On the other hand, in its current form, copyright *creates* the problem of orphaned works, forces artists into the hands of huge gatekeepers, and locks culture down under corporate control.

Rights of *individual* artists need to be respected, but copyright needs to be reformed and brought into the 21st century.

@rysiek @varve QuestionAuthority actually did a spot on this last week; highlighting that copyright in the way the UK/USA came up with it is all about protecting the rights of publishers, from other publishers. Nothing to do with artists, or consumers.

While European *moral rights* are more focused on the artist.

It's worth considering if copyright itself has some serious problems of misapplication.

@doctormo @varve in EU moral rights are *marginally* more focused on the artist.

Remember, the first version of copyright law, the Licensing of the Press Act (1662)[1] gave the effective power to the Stationers' Company. That is, publishers.

Copyright was always about publishers. Artists were used as a pretext, and given mainly and almost only the rights that were necessary for them to be able to effectively sell to publishers, in a way enforceable by publishers.



@rysiek @doctormo @varve

this is where Berne & how it has manifested in individual countries gets interesting and where @conservancy's contract patch efforts already go some way in stemming the default flow of rights away from creators via work-for-hire.

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