Whenever I talk to artists about NFTs, most of them tend to be excited about the opportunity to increase their learning potential. They see it as a chance to grow and possibly become world stars. There are those, however, who are skeptical. They think that NFTs are a way to scam them out of their intellectual property. One even asserted that put up their content on an NFT marketplace – Mintbase, in this instance – was akin to handing over their intellectual property!
This obviously is not true. Online marketplaces generally do not own your property, intellectual or otherwise. It is in their best interests to create an enabling environment for you to sell whatever you have and maybe take a cut. This is – to an extent – what eBay does. This is what iTunes does. In fact, iTunes essentially showed that people were willing to pay for music content if it was of high quality and thus – according to a lot of people – saved the industry.
Now, Mintbase is more than just a marketplace. It is also a minting platform. A factory if you will. Let me give you an IRL analogy. Imagine if the market where you sell your creations also had workshops that it rented out for a very small fee. And imagine if they were not bothered that you might take those creations that you – well – created in those workshops to another market to sell. Now, if you substitute the creations for NFTs, Mintbase would be the market that also has workshops. Mintbase allows you to sell NFTs you minted elsewhere, and also allows you to mint your NFTs and take them somewhere else to sell. It is both a Marketplace and a minting platform.
That said, just because Mintbase – and other NFT marketplaces – do not own your intellectual property does not automatically mean that you are protected. The artists and their representatives are responsible for protecting the IP. Just imagine you are selling your work on iTunes – or eBay – and try and put in the same protections you would in those instances. The creator – not Mintbase or the marketplace – is responsible for ensuring that the IP is protected. The creator and their team would decide what rights the purchaser would be receiving and what rights would be withheld.
While almost nobody that is serious about NFTs believes you are selling the Master or Copyright to the work (unless that is, you decide to), it is in your best interests to make sure that your IP rights are protected. Don’t just find any lawyer, get one that is into blockchain and NFT law. The NEAR Legal Guild would be a great place to start. If, on the other hand, you want to release your work into the public domain, take a look at the Creative Commons website. It would still help, though, to get some legal advice on how to go about it.
So, not only would Mintbase – or any other NFT marketplace – own your intellectual property, you are responsible for keeping it secure. And please do that. It could be worth millions – even billions – in the future.