Since the digital NFT art craze last year, photography NFTs have been relegated to a secondary role. However, they still offer many possibilities to photographic artists. In March 2021, the digital work Everydays: The First 5000 Days was sold for $69.3 million. A record for the American artist Beeple. It is not the JPEG file that explains this sale, but the acquisition of the title of ownership of the image. Today, this solution to the problems ofdigital artwork affiliations extends to photography. Indeed, NFTs are changing the creation and marketing of photos.
What value do NFTs bring to artists and consumers?
The amount of photographic content continues to increase exponentially with new technologies. NFTs are a tool that allows us to continue to accelerate and democratize this content while offering new means of remuneration for artists. Photographer Marshall Scheuttle explains how the current compensation model can be detrimental to them: “How we present our work has been largely dictated by existing platforms, and as the space grows and evolves, it is imperative for us as artists to contribute new solutions and options to better reach our audience while meeting the needs of artists to showcase their work.”
A recognition of intellectual property that is not without limits
Even though blockchain technology, through NFTs, has allowed artists to define their terms, the system is not flawless… Indeed, NFTs provide individual works of art with supposed proof of their provenance, which which is attractive to many artists, but there is a difference between provenance and copyright. Many online marketplaces trade NFTs, and the majority of them follow an auction-style scheme with varying levels of selection. However, these platforms do very little to protect ownership and usage rights. In some cases, malicious people have been seen stealing photos and turning them into NFTs.
Although there is no plausible scenario in which people do not counterfeit or reuse other people’s content, cryptographic art nevertheless makes it impossible to copy it. This is technically impossible, as no copy can understand the information contained in the work’s non-fungible token. This is the whole point of this new technology and the reason why the artistic photography sector is getting into it, little by little. This is the case of Julie Pacino, the daughter of the legendary actor Al Pacino, who self-finance their project Keepers of the Inn with a collection of NFTs.
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Student passionate about entrepreneurship and fascinated by the technologies behind cryptos! And yes, I am convinced that the two are intimately linked: blockchain and NFTs are revolutionizing many sectors and presenting unprecedented opportunities.
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The consequences of NFTs on photography
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