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.


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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.


Come to think of it, the author of that message screenshot should make an NFT of it and link it in the message back to the coinbro. And let's see what happens. 🍿

If you enjoyed this thr^Wrant on NFTs, please support an artist with a donation or a commission.

Artists need and deserve your support.

One reason why bullcrap like gets traction is because coinbros can *exploit* that. They are using artists in need as poster-children for their schemes.

Supporting artists directly sucks air out of NFTs and other such hare-brained technosolutionist "ideas".

Q: What would #MargaretThatcher support today to continue the #neoliberalOrder?

A: An #NFTOwningDemocracy

You know where this ultimately goes if left unchecked, and linked to a CentralBankDigitalCurrency (#CBDC). It means #LandTitles on a blockchain and #cronyists close to the moneyPrinting being able to print themselves into #landOwnership *that can never be challenged by any government*.

Yes, it's very dangerous and we need to ensure NFT never gain #legitimacy above #hardCurrency.

@rysiek Also works as a hiring/interviewing strategy.
* "Do you own any NFTs?"
* "Did you do any work on 'crypto' or 'NFTs'?"
If either is yes ... 🚩

@tbr oooh next time I am managing a team (Dog forbid...), I might actually steal your idea.

Hope you didn't mint an NFT for it! :blobcatfingerguns:

@rysiek you can even mint a different NFT for the same image, right?

@raboof of course. You can create your own blockchain even, as @makeworld did:

And what gets saved on the blockchain is up to you, too. Not enough space for a base64 of the whole image, usually, so often it's a... link. Which leads to hilarity:

It's just silly on every level.

@rysiek @raboof heh thanks for the shout out. There's no actual blockchain on my site, but the effect is the same ;)

@rysiek @makeworld @raboof Well if you're managing the blockchain manually you don't need "mining" or proof of waste, so you can just manually declare, for each block, what the previous block was.
So, a linked list. A wiki with links to "previous page" would suffice. :)

@rysiek Ahh, yes. A permanent record of them getting owned

@rysiek I think NFTs are stupid. You can't own "digital art" like you own IRL paintings. It could work if it's a game thing or tradable, otherwise it's just a way to burn your money.
You can take a screenshot and then they can try to get you to delete it but it won't work.

@semisol @rysiek even real paintings often aren't really about the paintings. Berger's Ways of Seeing. Renaissance European art was the original NFT.


The nft "owners" have purchased an aura of authenticity, ala Walter Benjamin, but they have no particular rights over the image itself.

This could be potentially damaging to artists who are under the impression that they have surrendered zero rights of any kind.

I hope that if a judge does end up ruling their judgement is that you can't buy and sell parcels of nothing, but I fear that there may be president in financial derivatives.

I don't know what those are and I don't want to know.

Its a sick joke that wealthy people have so much money they're sinking it in pretend assets while the world is literally starting to burn. NFT owners and coinbros against the wall first

@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 I think it's dangerous to call these things "rights." It's like that staged event back in March of 1929, where women were hired to pretend to be feminist protestors, while prominently smoking "torches of freedom." (Tobacco usage for women of course skyrocketed.) We don't need to grant artists the right to hurt themselves and others. They'll still keep drawing.

@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.

@rysiek @doctormo true enough! If copyright is the right to make and sell copies, but the only ones who have the tools and ability to make copies are publishing companies, that's who benefits. Electronic copies are easy for anyone to make, and yeah, that shakeup isn't nearly over yet. Even physical copies are getting easier with digital typesetting and layout.

I've long been arguing that profitrights are more sensible than copyrights for benefiting creators in a world where it is far easier to keep track of money than duplication machinery.
@rysiek @doctormo

@rysiek @doctormo @varve You can't look at the European tradition by looking at UK law, that's the UK/US tradition.… and… are the right places to look.

But @varve has it right; In the end the monopoly benefits those that have the means of reproduction.

@gert @varve FSF is not in the business of reforming copyright (not their fault, it's just not their fight).

If you want that to happen, support people who are pushing for it. This includes @pluralistic , @juliareda , and anyone you can find who has that on the agenda. And push back strongly against copyright maximalists.

@rysiek @varve @pluralistic @juliareda Yes, FSF will probably just complain about unintended consequences..

@gert @varve and they would have a point. Copyright, as much as I have a problem with its current shape, did make copyleft licenses possible. So that *is* something that needs to be taken into consideration.


> I *paid* for that NFT you're handing around freely!

> Thank you for your service!


I so love how you have IP stand for Imaginary Property...

it's funny. I've often called them Improper Privileges. but that's problematic because it suggests they're even a thing. and the cognitive weapon that does the damage is precisely this suggestion, that misleads people into making all sorts of incorrect generalizations.
so I've now started talking about the intellectual properties of caffeine, theine and guaranine, in an attempt to disarm the cognitive weapon

@rysiek Oh, I'm sure there are "master plans" going on, mostly plans for Disney style corruption of legal codes via armies of lawyers, just to secure a hegemony for whoever is funding the planners. I guess it's true the vast majority of the people bringing about this terrible future are just clueless, but I don't think they'd be clueless in the same way without the deliberate misinformation and propaganda of a few.

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