Home > Blockchain, business model, Content Protection, Copyright, Digital, DRM, Intellectual Property, Internet Business > Are NFTs the future of digital IP and the creative world, or just a remix of DRM and all its woes? (Part 3)

Are NFTs the future of digital IP and the creative world, or just a remix of DRM and all its woes? (Part 3)

This is third in a series of posts to share some observations, opinions and conclusions from playing with this intriguing technology that sits squarely at the intersection of digital technology, creative content and intellectual property. The topic is broken down into the following parts:

  1. What are NFTs (and the non-fungibility superpower)?
  2. What has this got to do with Intellectual Property (and content protection)?
  3. Does it mean that NFTs are like DRM remixed?
  4. How does it affect the creative industry today and in the future?
  5. Summary observations and conclusions.
My Blogpost NFT
Blogpost NFT

In the previous post, we explored how NFTs build on those legacy technologies that both necessitate and challenge the concept of, (and technical protections for), intellectual property rights, thus raising the question… 

3 – Does it mean that NFTs  are just a remix of DRM?

No. Far from it, they are two entirely different things with distinct contexts and perspectives.

DRM is a technical protection mechanism introduced by content industry players to tackle the challenge of unprecedented and disruptive abundance of digitally perfect replicas in an old world content economy built on scarcity.

On the other hand, NFTs create a semblance of scarcity and uniqueness in a world now largely acclimatised and adapted to the power of sharing, (over-sharing?), and remixing digital content, often as a means to engage, influence and monetize a target audience via sometimes novel business models.

Furthermore, content protection mechanisms such as DRM may modify the target content in order to track, manage or otherwise control access to it, whereas NFTs only subsist in the metadata that links the item – it is agnostic of the target. However, this hasn’t affected the perception of some NFTs as items of tremendous value – I am still trying to get my head around that!

So there you have it, DRM and NFTs are two different things, playing slightly different roles, albeit in the same digital content ball park.

In the next part, we’ll examine current and potential future effects of NFTs on the creative world today.


Disclaimer:The opinions expressed in this post are mine alone, and do not reflect those of my employer or professional affiliations in any way, shape or form. Secondly, it does not constitute any legal, financial, spiritual or otherwise professional advice, and I do not claim any specific expertise on these topics. Furthermore, I believe, we’re still very early into these particular digital technologies and their fast emerging use cases, therefore it is always advisable to proceed with caution. 

Note: As part of my education, research, and experimentation, I purchased a couple of NFTs and even minted a few pieces on OpenSea, (the above NFT image is based on an early draft of this article). It is used here for illustration and critique purposes only.

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