Marvel and DC, the two largest comic book publishers in the world, do not want their artists to sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of their (own) work. Bloomberg news agency reported this on Sept.
Marvel and DC have banned sales of NFTs featuring their characters, forcing artists and dealers to rethink how it could affect their earnings https://t.co/vOnLvJTK3W
— Bloomberg Technology (@technology) September 10, 2021
Marvel, known for Spider-Man and the Avengers, and DC, known for Superman and Batman, normally allowed their artists to earn extra by selling original prints of their work.
The artists thought that NFTs could be the next step to earn extra money, but the huge corporations don’t allow this. According to the publication, artists with the two publishers are not allowed to sell NFTs of characters “owned” by the companies, including characters they have created themselves.
This is of course not without controversy, because it blocks (potential) income for these artists. There has already been a lot of criticism that these artists are not paid for the success of the companies’ recent films.
The reason for this decision is most likely because the issuers themselves intend to sell NFTs. Marvel already ventured into this last month with a Spider-Man NFT on the VeVe platform. A Marvel spokesperson says there are also plans for the artists on VeVe in the future.
The news does not come as a surprise, since the summer several artists already received warning letters from the companies. Ironically, then someone had just sold one of these letters as an NFT.
Issues such as copyright, patents and intellectual property have been the subject of controversy for years, especially since the advent of computers and the Internet. Many people believe that the rules and laws regarding this are far out of date and only protect the rights of the rich. The rise of NFTs and what this means for property rights only seems to make this subject more complex.