Crypto and NFT

The last few years have witnessed the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies by individuals and institutions, and the realization that blockchain tech may have significant application to areas other than digital money.  This increasing adoption of blockchain has brought with it litigation activity over crypto and NFTs.  French luxury brand Hermés has sued a prominent artist for making NFTs inspired by its “Birkin Bags.”  Miramax sued director Quentin Tarantino over his stated intent to sell NFTs of “exclusive scenes” from the original Pulp Fiction script.  And Roc-A-Fella Records filed a lawsuit targeting its co-founder’s purported attempt to sell Jay-Z’s album Reasonable Doubt as an NFT.

These cases and other developments show the rising legal challenges in this area of tech.  For example, unauthorized minting of NFTs may bring claims for copyright infringement by the author of the under-lying works.  Certain morphing and manipulation of the original works by NFT creators may also prompt claims from the authors for violation of their right to maintain the integrity of visual art.  Also, California protects a person from having their likeness used by others for commercial purposes without permission, which may be implicated by some NFTs. 

Mr. Mandlekar has a good understanding of the mechanics of blockchain and the NFT marketplace.  If you believe you may have a legal claim in this area, or are facing a lawsuit concerning same, he may be able to help.