As an illustration of the (admittedly) abstract legal concepts discussed on the other thread, here’s a little hypothetical showing how little value NFT’s can hold - even if the “denoted” work is very valuable.
Imagine an artist has developed a set of characters, which he calls Altered Adolescent Pirate Pangolins (AAPPs). They feature mostly as an independent comic. The artwork is quite good, and he’s been investing a lot of time in building up an audience. Early on, he decided to make some money minting a limited edition run of NFT’s associated with digital portraits of the characters - 100 units. He made a moderate amount of money from them, and most of them have changed hands to other buyers over the years. Since then, though, he’s mostly been earning a living on the comics and other IRL artwork he creates.
The AAPP’s get very popular - become a big hit, first underground and then a bit into the mainstream. A major studio approaches the artist and wants to buy the exclusive rights to the AAPP’s. The artist delightedly agrees, and the studio starts generating lots of AAPP’s content - movies, a TV show, toys, games, etc.
At first the NFT owners are also delighted, as the characters that they use for their online avatars and home screens are now super popular and valuable. However, all of the NFT owners that didn’t buy directly from the artist soon get a rather unpleasant surprise. They all receive cease and desist letters from the studio, advising them that they can no longer use any imagery, likeness, or illustration of the AAPP’s in any context whatsoever, even for private personal use - and warning of big financial penalties.
The NFT owners are livid. They bought and paid for these AAPP NFT’s! They have rights! So one of them actually challenges the cease and desist letter in court. And they’re flabbergasted with the court agrees with major studio, and enters a judgment not only enjoining the NFT owner from using the image that the NFT was minted on in any public context, but also requiring them to delete that image from their home phone and computer.
What happened? Again, when they bought the NFT, they didn’t buy the digital image the NFT was minted against - in any way. They didn’t just fail to acquire the copyright or intellectual property; they failed to acquire the right to even a single use of a single copy of that image. They didn’t get anything that could hold up in a court of law, other than (arguably) the token itself. And possibly not even that.
The first lawsuit relating to NFT rights certainly won’t look exactly like that, but it will rhyme with it. There will be a conflict between someone who owns and NFT and the person who really owns the digital artwork, and the NFT owner will lose. And that will likely destroy most of the value of the NFT markets.