🔥 The next goldmine for NFTs could be expiring copyrights.
Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are most usually associated with digital art, however they exist in a variety of other forms and represent much more than simply art.
NFTs have been employed in the creative business by bands such as Kings of Leon to release their current album. NFTs are used in the sports business to record the highlights of big athletic events like as the NBA. Consumer sectors, such as Nike and Gucci, are offering digitally branded items in the form of NFTs. There are many more real-world uses of NFTs to be discovered, one of which being the digital publishing sector.
Many people have previously explored the game-changing consequences of publishing and promoting books with NFTs. The Alliance of Independent Authors, for example, is assisting indie authors in promoting their latest novels using NFTs. Other fan club-related things, such as character cards, are also converted into NFTs. Tezos Farmation, a project developed on the Tezos network, even utilizes the entire text of George Orwell’s Animal Farm and divides it up into 10,000 bits to serve as NFT titles.
NFTs derived from existing books are typically subject to copyright restrictions. In the instance of Tezos Farmation, however, the copyright had already expired. The book’s text may be freely utilized by any party. This raises an intriguing question: How might NFTs retain copyrights and revenues for books whose copyrights have expired?
So far, the NFT application in the publishing sector has mostly concentrated on books that still have revenues and are within the duration of their copyright. However, some writers’ work outlives both their mortal lifetime and their copyrights; may NFTs give their estates with a way to extend the life of the book and its royalties?
Copyright rules are complicated and vary greatly throughout the world. Although few nations provide no copyright protection in accordance with international standards, most jurisdictions operate under the assumption that copyright is secured for the author’s lifetime plus a minimum of 25 years after their death.
Copyright is protected in the European Union for 70 years after the death of the last surviving author. The same is true in the United States, with the difference that works first published between 1927 and 1978 are protected for 95 years after their initial publication. Whatever copyrights are protected for, given enough time, anything will become free in the public domain.
When well-known literature enters the public domain, its future worth is effectively reduced to nothing. However, there is frequently an isolated group that instinctively loves the work.
Estates with copyrights about to enter the public domain have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to develop a concrete asset in the form of NFTs from the intangible goodwill contained in the disconnected community.
Winnie-the-Pooh, a fictitious anthropomorphic teddy bear developed by English author A. A. Milne and English artist E. H. Shepard, is well-known across the world. In 1926, the first collection of stories featuring the character was published. The copyrights had expired after almost 96 years, and the work entered the public domain on January 1, 2022. Even if the commercial worth of such a globally recognized cartoon character will stay high for a long time, the estate owning the copyright will gain no future value from Winnie-the-Pooh.
The controlling estate has a window of opportunity just before the copyright expiration when no one else is legally allowed to do anything with the works. The outcome would have been considerably different if the estate had invested time engaging people with an interest in NFTs, constructing or partnering on a project that resonates with them, and launching the NFT collection prior to the end of the copyright period. Winne-the-Pooh may have had a significantly longer copyright lifetime.
Currently, there are no incentives for publishing firms to interact with the estates of copyright holders whose works are set to enter the public domain because the work will soon be free. A tradable NFT representing an authenticity certificate might provide an incentive for such partnerships.
When the copyright expires and the work enters the public domain, the royalties will be carried farther into the digital realm via the NFTs. Royalties can be earned through sales in the blockchain’s NFT marketplace or through more elaborate smart contracts designed for specific use cases such as first edition, limited edition, or autographed antique copies.
The estates with expiring copyrights have credibility, which is a valuable commodity in the realm of NFTs, and they have nothing to lose. They are positioned to profit on their present ownership and the potential for a digital community.
Beloved characters and the worlds they inhabit may provide a solid foundation not only for NFTs that can prolong copyrights, but also for extended creativity across genres such as literature, gaming, the Metaverse, charity, education, and many more to come.
About Kally 👑
Kally is a P2P auction platform for NFTs, powered by Substrate & IPFS. Our goal is to build the most interoperable and user-friendly NFTs marketplace ever, allowing artists and everyday people to unleash the true power of the virtual world.