Are Lapsed Copyrights The Next Big Thing For NFTs?




Most individuals consider NFTs with digital art, but in the future, nonfungible token technology may be used to keep, renew, and repurpose copyrights that are about to expire.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) exist in many other forms and represent much more than just art, even though digital art is the most prevalent form people associate with them.

Musicians like Kings of Leon have utilised NFTs in the creative sector to release their most recent album. NFTs are developed in the sports industry to capture the best moments from essential competitions like the NBA. Nike, Gucci, and many other brands in the consumer goods sector offer their digitally branded goods as NFTs. There are still many real-world uses for NFTs that need to be investigated, and the digital publishing sector is one of them.

Many people have previously talked extensively about how publishing and marketing books using NFTs might completely shift the game. For instance, the Alliance of Independent Authors helps independent authors use NFTs to advertise their most recent publications. Character cards and other related fan club products are also converted into NFTs. The whole text of George Orwell’s Animal Farm is even used by Tezos Farmation, a project developed on the Tezos network, and is divided into 10,000 sections to serve as the titles for the NFTs.

NFTs produced from published books are typically subject to copyright limitations. The copyright had already expired in the instance of Tezos Farmation, though. Anybody may use the book’s text without charge. How can NFTs keep copyrights and royalties for books with expired copyrights is a very intriguing subject raised by this.

So far, the bulk of NFT applications in the publishing field has been centred on books with active royalties and copyrights. However, some authors’ works remain to be read long after they have passed away and their copyrights have ended. Can NFTs give these authors’ estates a way to prolong the book’s life and its royalties?

The Journey From Copyright To The Public Domain

Worldwide, there are many complex and varying copyright laws. Few countries, following international contracts, provide no copyright protection; however, many states operate under the assumption that copyright is secured for the author’s lifespan and at least 25 years following their passage.

The protection of copyright in the European Union continues for 70 years after the passing of the last surviving author. The only difference is that works published between 1927 and 1978 are protected in the United States.

For 95 years following its initial publication. Whatever is protected by copyrights will ultimately become accessible in the public domain, no of how long those rights are maintained.

When a piece of well-known literature becomes part of the public domain, its future worth is practically eliminated. However, a detached community frequently has an innate appreciation for the work.

Estates with copyrights about to enter the public domain have a unique chance of turning the intangible goodwill ingrained in the disconnected community into a physical commodity in the form of NFTs.

Winnie-the-Pooh is an excellent example of a mythical anthropomorphic teddy bear developed by English author A. A. Milne and English illustrator E. H. Shepard. Winnie-the-Pooh has a huge following globally. In 1926, the first volume of the character’s stories was published. On January 1, 2022, the copyrights for the work became public domain after over 96 years. Even though Winnie-the-Pooh is a well-known cartoon icon worldwide, the estate holding the copyright won’t gain long-term value from him.

The controlling estate has the golden opportunity just before the copyright expires, during which no one else is legally allowed to do anything with the works. The result would have been very different if the estate had invested time engaging fans interested in NFTs, developing or working with a project that spoke to them, and launching the NFT collection before the copyright period was out. Winne-the-copyright Pooh’s lifespan might have been much longer.


About the author, Awais Rasheed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}