Non fungible tokens (NFT crypto) and the piracy problem

NFT piracy is a significant concern for artists who publish their work online. This is because anyone may take any online information and turn it into an NFT. Furthermore, the artist may never be aware that an NFT art was made from their work, especially if they are unaware of NFTs. Even when they do realise that their work is being pirated into NFTs, by the time their request for removal is accepted, those duplicating the artwork have already withdrawn their ether for a healthy return meaning that it has been very difficult to stop. DeviantArt has come up with a way to try and prevent art theft which was introduced last September.

NFT meaning and associated piracy issues

NFTs meaning

For a proper understanding of what NFTs are, we have provided you with a two-part, ultimate guide to NFTs. But as a quick summary: a Non Fungible token is a non-transferable digital asset that confirms unique ownership of an object but has no fixed value. It typically comes in the form of artwork, whether that be as a picture, video, 3D image, or an animation. There has also been a recent rise in more obscure NFTs such as digital real estate. Owning an NFT gives you the right to display said artwork in your digital wallet.

The piracy problem with nft art, nft crypto

The Piracy Problem

Geoffrey Huntley, an Australian artist and programmer, established The NFT Bay, a torrent website. This is a pun on Pirate Bay, the world’s most popular torrent site. Huntley made roughly 17 terabytes of NFTs available for download using the Pirate Bay approach. Ethereum and Solana NFTs are the two that are available on the NFT bay for anyone to access.

NFT photos, according to Huntley, are not saved in the blockchain contract. This allows anyone to right-click the image and save it as a file, which can then be downloaded. Although some who do not own the NFT claim that downloading it gives them ownership of the image, this is not the case. Why? Because the image can’t be sold as the original NFT.

This has led to multiple artists complaining about their art being constantly stolen with some artists having their art duplicated thousands of times as an NFT. People are now making money off people’s artwork as they are able to sell some of the artwork as NFTs. It has gotten to the stage for some artists that they have given up trying to take down their duplicated work because of the endless cycle that they have to endure as there are changes needed to be made regarding restriction to help detect and stop piracy.


DeviantArt, one of the most popular digital art sites in the world, has begun to protect the work of its artists. It had sent 80,000 NFT art violation notifications as of the 4th January 2022. Using state-of-the-art picture recognition algorithms, the DeviantArt Protect programme was designed in-house to detect suspected NFT violations. The application looks for probable art infringements in the form of minted NFTs on public blockchains and third-party markets.

DeviantArt aims to solve the piracy problem with nft art, nft crypto


There needs to be more verification processes put in place so that you are not able to pass off other peoples artwork as yours in such an easy fashion. If NFTs are going to continue to be successful then there must be more work done in reducing the issue of piracy so that artists are not putting all their effort into their work for someone else to reap the rewards from it.



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