By Cheralco Worship, Candidate Attorney
Category: Technology Law

Introduction 
With the increase in technological advances in financial technology and the emergence and popularity of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, we find ourselves in a time when people are making large sums of money with the purchase and sale of what is known as NFTs. NFTs or Non-fungible tokens are unique crypto assets held on a blockchain and used primarily to represent the ownership of unique items. Due to the unique nature of NFTs, they cannot be exchanged in the way cryptocurrency is exchanged and traded because the value of each specific cryptocurrency is the same. In contrast, NFTs, on the other hand, all vary in value. The most popular form related to NFTs is unique and digitally created images.  

How is an NFT created using images
Before embarking on the creation of an NFT using a digital image, it is imperative that you make sure that you own the rights to that image because creating an NFT with images you don’t own the rights can lead to serious legal consequences. As a result, many NFT creators choose to create their own images.  

The creation of an NFT is primarily done on a crypto exchange or NFT marketplace where NFT minting or production is supported. Once you have acquired or created the digital image, you intend to use to create the NFT. After that, the process of making it becomes easier. An NFT requires you to choose a blockchain, set up an NFT wallet and select an NFT platform. Once the NFT wallet has been set up and the blockchain and NFT platform identified, the process of creating the NFT is as follows:  

You will connect your NFT wallet to your NFT platform, and once connected, select the create option, which will display all the sections required for the creation of the NFT. These consist of the upload section, the NFT features and details and the blockchain. Upon completion of each section and the upload of the image, the NFT will be created.   

AI and the copyrights regarding the digitally created images
Although NFTs can be purchased and sold, the copyrights to the actual image remain with the image’s creator. Considering that many people wanting to create NFTs may not be artistically gifted insofar as to create their own digital images, they may opt for using image-creating software to assist in this regard. Several of these image-creating software tend to use Artificial Intelligence or AI technology for a more user-friendly experience in image creation. As a result, this may raise the question of who owns the copyrights to the image created. Is it the creators of the software used, the company selling the use of the software or the person that pays for the use of the service? These questions remain unanswered, leaving many uncertain about their ownership rights and open to possible litigation.   

Conclusion
Until legislation has developed in such a way that essential questions such as those relating to copyrights for AI-generated work, it is crucial to know the user terms of software you are using, the current legislation, and the implications it may have on your rights of ownership. Therefore, consult with a legal professional before embarking on creating digital images intended for creating crypto assets.   

Contact an attorney at SchoemanLaw for your legal needs by visiting our website at www.schoemanlaw.co.za.