Is it theft when you screenshot an NFT?
”Stealing” is a term that must be considered when you are dealing with an object or type of property that can be transferred or conveyed to the receiver. The right of ownership and transfer is the most important aspect when considering “stealing” and transferring a virtual object. Let’s see how it applies to NFTs.
Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are represented as a unique set of characters and/or numbers that represent an object, contract or agreement within a blockchain-based decentralized infrastructure with the objective to verify and validate all transactions in a secure and transparent manner within Ethereum. Consequently, once a token is created, it can be freely transferred from one member of the community to the other without any third party interference, supervision or permission.
Once the NFT is created, it becomes fully owned by the creator of the token, who can then decide to freely exchange it as part of an agreement between multiple parties – as it is happening today in the Virtual Asset Marketplaces (VAMPs), peer-to-peer marketplaces built on Ethereum.
Nowadays a lot of NFTs appear in the form of pictures such as the “Bored Ape”. But is it theft when you take a screenshot of such an NFT?
Let’s compare the NFT to a real life painting. Is it theft when you take a picture of the Mona Lisa? Of course not! – You don’t own the painting by taking the picture, but you can’t hang it on your wall or resell it either. So in the context of NFTs you wouldn’t be able to resell the NFT and to profit from it in a financial way, but you can still contemplate the screenshot you took.
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