Do I have ownership rights to NFTs?

Everything you need to know about buying and selling NFTs.

NFTs are probably one of the most talked about topics on the internet right now. The question naturally arises, what are NFTs anyway? How do I buy, sell and acquire ownership of these, even if it is a virtual artwork?

NFTs are one of the hottest topics on the internet right now. The question, of course, is what are NFTs? How do I buy, sell and own these items even though they are virtual art?

What are NFTs?

NFT stands for non-fungible tokens and in German means: non-fungible tokens. An NFTer is therefore a visual token that protects a digital object by identifying it as an original, unique item and assigning it to a person.

NFT is described as non-exchangeable because it is a one-time arrangement. For example, if you dip one bitcoin after another, you end up getting one bitcoin again. With an NFT, however, it is not possible to get exactly that back immediately. In this case, non-exchangeable does not mean non-negotiable.

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, which means in German: non-exchangeable token. An NFT is a visual token that secures a digital object by identifying it as an original, unique object and associating it with an individual.

An NFT is described as non-fungible because it is unique. For example, if you exchange one bitcoin for another, you end up with one bitcoin again. But straight recovery is not possible with NFTs. Non-exchangeable in this context means non-negotiable.

How do you buy and sell NFTs?

Basically, you can buy and sell NFTs on online marketplaces. The best known of these marketplaces are: Binance, FTX, OpenSea, Nifty Gateway, SuperRare or Rarible. The largest marketplace for digital goods is OpenSea. Here, NFT transactions are processed via the Ethereum blockchain. So you first need to have a wallet with which you can buy NFTs with cryptocurrencies on the market. Sales work the same way. You sell your NFT on the market and then credit your wallet with the corresponding crypto value.

However, you should exercise extra caution when creating an account on a marketplace. In principle, you do not receive NFT, but only a claim against the marketplace. However, it depends on the respective user agreement (possibly other articles here). If you have any questions, Mr. Hermann Kaufmann will of course be happy to help.

But what is an NFT from a legal perspective? How do I deal with attempted fraud?

Ownership at NFT’S?

NFTs are basically decentralized strings stored on a blockchain. Therefore, they cannot be spatially defined or stored. According to our legal status, they cannot establish their own ownership. Because only those who have the key can sell NFT.

However, NFTs can establish different rights.

Because only the person who has the key can dispose of the NFT as the authorized person. The keys are kept in the wallet. Only the authorized person can access this content.

Copyright may apply.

If, among other things, a picture is sold, the buyer becomes the owner. However, the artist is still the author of the work. In principle, copyrights cannot be sold. However, rights of use may be granted whereby third parties acquire the right to reproduce, publish or edit the work.

When selling an NFT that belongs to an image, the original authorship remains. The buyer of the NFT acquires a certificate of authenticity (NFT) and (copyright) rights to use the image in accordance with § 31 (1) UrhG. This right of use is transferred by a license agreement and can and should be agreed separately.

For example, a simple license may grant the buyer permission to use the corresponding work. The author can even stipulate that he himself continues to use his work and/or gives others the right to use it.

If it is an exclusive right of use, the buyer is the only one who can use, distribute and reproduce the work.

A special standard is § 69a UrhG in connection with § 69c UrhG, computer programs are protected. Computer programs are programs in any form (eg as programs on a hard disk or embedded in hardware), including the design material. This means that the substance (the individual structure) of the computer program (eg the collection, selection and structure of the commands) is fundamentally protected.

An NFT consists of an individual code and forms an individual structure that can be stored on the hardware. An NFT can thus basically be a computer program to which an asset can also be attributed.

As you can see, the legal position of an NFT can be quite complicated.

Looking for a lawyer to buy or sell an NFT?

You would like to buy or sell an NFT, or you are unsure of the legal position of your NFT and you would like to be shown your options, Mr.

Lawyer Hermann Kaufmann ready for advice. Simply call the phone number 04202 / 6 38 37 0 or send us an e-mail:


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