Blockchain/ Distributed Ledger

NFT Theft - when NFTs steal the things they purport to represent

  • 1.  NFT Theft - when NFTs steal the things they purport to represent

    Posted Jan 06, 2022 09:19:00 PM
    NFT Theft - when NFTs steal the things they purport to represent

    I'm not super interested in theft of NFT's from users, that all boils down to digital wallet security stuff and is reasonably well covered in other areas.

    I'm more interested in the NFT's effectively stealing and then purporting to represent that item. This is obviously trivial with digital assets: "hey this JPEG, I totally made it and own it" and unless there's a huge watermark across it...

    The current "solutions" to this class of problem seem to consist of "the original author of the work needs to track down the NFT and file a DMCA claim" (or other related take down/copyright claim). Obviously, this isn't scalable and is a huge amount of work.

    A really great thread to get primed on this is:
    NFT thefts on Twitter: "Here are some resources to help artists deal with the growing problem of plagiarized art on NFT marketplaces. A few of these are links that have been shared with us, but we have not had the chance test ourselves. Please add you experiences/suggestions to help others: / Twitter" 

    Some ideas that come to mind:

    1) watermarks like shutterstock, ugly, still forces all artists to do it
    2) digital fingerprints, this makes ownership proof easier, potentially, still forces all artists to do it
    3) perhaps some sort of bounty hunting system, e.g. if you file a legitimate claim on behalf of an artist the violator gets fined, bounty hunter gets a cut as does the artist, downside being obviously that this needs legislation, and a way to enforce fines against fake NFT minters, so probably not a workable solution
    4) Public shaming/transparency, e.g. making a stink on twitter about NFT minters that steal artwork, good luck

    Any other thoughts on this topic?

    Kurt Seifried
    Chief Blockchain Officer and Director of Special Projects
    Cloud Security Alliance
    [email protected]