#005 (Aug. 2021) Do you know where the illustrations for the NFTs you buy come from?


First published on August 17, 2021

With the massive arrival of NFTs, the Bitclout platform has seen much controversy in recent days following accusations of plagiarism and copyright infringement.

What is plagiarism? Plagiarism, Wikipedia tells us, "consists in copying an author or capturing the work of a creator in the field of the arts without quoting it or saying so, as well as in strongly drawing inspiration from a model that one omits, deliberately or by negligence, to mention. It is often assimilated to an intangible theft. Some make a distinction between plagiarism, coarse borrowing, and "markdown", where the work undergoes various modifications to scramble tracks ".

Plagiarism is therefore a work made up of borrowings; an unacknowledged reproduction of an original work or part of it, without authorization from the author or his beneficiaries.

We present in this issue several NFTs that seem to fit this definition.

It is possible that the creators of these NTFs have received permission from the authors. We don't know. What we want to emphasize here is that by not mentioning the authors, they are leading potential buyers to believe that they themselves are the authors of these works. This is not ethical because the value of an NFT depends in large part on the origin of the work. Whether the illustrations are downloaded, legally or illegally, for free or for a few dollars, it is not the same value as if the creator of the NFT is the artist himself. 

The photograph used in this NFT titled "Loneliness" is the work of American photographer Ron Compton, who specializes in dancers, portraits and nudes. 

The painting used in this NFT is the work of the Californian painter Brian Calvin who is known for his stylized close-up portraits as in this typical example.

This NFT is composed of a collage of two works: an illustration representing the Egyptian god Anubis available on the Vecteezy site, and, for the background, an illustration entitled "Taipei 101", which is the work of Romain Trystram, , a talented artist in Morocco. 

The head of Skelly, the now famous skeleton of this NFT series, comes from the EasyDrawingGuides site while the body comes from the Getty Images site which is known to have a very aggressive policy against copyright infringement.

The illustration used for this NFT is the work of the Russian artist GraniaA

This NFT consists of two works: the portrait of a Russian general by the painter George Dawe (1781-1829), and the portrait of Kurt Cobain by the German painter Michael Knepper
George Dawe was an English portrait artist who painted 329 portraits of Russian generals active during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia for the Military Gallery of the Winter Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The creator of the NFT who continues to assert, despite the evidence, that it was she who painted this portrait just forgot to remove a piece of white fur near the collar. It is not a crime to make an NFT with a copy & paste. You just need to recognize it. 

Reactions of some angry clouters

@brootle : "All those shit NFTs that use stolen images will become toxic assets when BitClout grows to bigger size. And people who buy them now will never be able to resell to get their money and will probably start legal actions to get refund from those "artist" who "created" them."

@lukasjakson : "The thing is, all these NFT scammers and fake artists have killed the secondary NFT market. Some have spent a lot of money on stuff that is now absolutely worthless because every sale is a possible copyright infringement.
That there are people who forgive these people is commendable. But the consequence will be that scammers will not disappear and that there will be no NFT market and collectors will have to sell creator coins to get liquidity again.
I am strongly in favor of a zero tolerance policy towards scammers, otherwise BitClout will fail " 

What to do to fix this problem? 

If you are thinking of purchasing an NFT, there is something very easy you can do to verify the origin of the illustration, and that is to search with  Google Images Search. Copy the image url and paste it into the image search. Google will show you all similar images online.

The other thing to do, but it depends on the platform administrators, would be to establish a rule requiring the creators of NFTs to say whether or not they are the authors of the illustrations. And to credit the authors of the borrowed works.

Luka Jakson talks about creating an artist verification process. 

@lukasjakson : "There are already some people working on new nodes (Stet and supernova as far as I know) for artists and I think this will help in the future. Verification of the authenticity of artists and their works can be done in several ways. For example by uploading videos of the creation process, where the artists show their BitClout handle or an issued QR code on the video. 
Most artists I have talked to have no problem with giving out their identity and proof of residence either. 
But some nodes want the artists to pay for the verification system. In my opinion collectors should pay for this. 
So in order to get access to some artists on the node the Collectors have to pay for a 10 day pass or something like that."  

The Hectic Life of Mr. Clouter  


We hope you liked this 5th issue. Please consider investing in @CloutZine !
Editor and drawings: @PhilippeMeunier

CloutZine is now also published on Medium platform for a more interactive experience.

Site Map © DeSoNews.net 2021-2023