3x25: Novel Finance Things with No Flamin' Time for this New-Fangled Tosh

Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we invite special guest star Augustus de Morgan to comment, there is an intemperate argument about jeans, and:

  • [00:01:30] NFTs. "Non-fungible tokens"; a way to record ownership of some digital asset on a blockchain, something like a collectible or a trading card. Suddenly even more popular all of a sudden. So what's the deal here? There are a lot of people saying these are nothing more than a big scam; there are a lot of others making bank while claiming this is the way art should work in the 21st century. We're taking a look, including minting our very own NFT to see what all the fuss is about at rarible.com/badvoltage which you should immediately go and buy for a kajillion dollars. But seriously, folks... what's the deal here? We have, not surprisingly, Thoughts.

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News music: Long Live Blind Joe by Robbero, used with attribution.

Thank you to Marius Quabeck and NerdZoom Media for being our audio producers!

What I find worrying is something Jeremy said about the in perpetuity royalty that you can have with NFT. What does this mean for copyright expiration and artistic works moving into the public domain?
What if Charles Dickens had access to NFT, his works would still be encumbered with copyright restrictions to this day.

For along time now we have seen big media companies looking for ways to extend their copyright basically for ever, you just need to look at Disney for that. If I understand correctly this could potentially be a big problem for the future of works moving into the public domain.

I don’t understand fully NFT, but if I am correct Disney could crate an NFT of Mickey Mouse and have perpetuity royalty over the works and it would never move out of copyright and into the public domain?

I need ti investigate this more I think…

Awesome show as always guys.

Jeremy’s description of NFT’s at the start is the best I’ve heard on the geek podcast-sphere.

I can see some merit in having a digital provenance but I wonder, is there anything stopping anyone from creating a unofficial set of trading cards or art or whatever…

For example, I’m one of a dying breed of stamp collectors, sometimes fraudulent stamps can be worth more than the original, so yeah it got me wondering what’s to stop people doing the same with NFT’s…

This whole conversation is amazing. So many… bad analogies. Bad Voltage analogies.

Anyways, It seems obvious that this is all about piracy. Not value, not economics, not rarity, not art. Just piracy. The idea is that they’re effectively adding DRM to a file and trying to sell it as a value add. “look at my item, it’s unique!”. And if you copy it and share it around on XYZ piracy website, then you know it’s not unique. It’s functionally no different than a randomized watermark.

It’s on a blockchain. And everything on blockchains are sexy. But fundamentally I see no difference.

IANAL, but I think this is a very confusing part of copyright.

So in 50 years, or whatever, you could copy the Bad Voltage logo and sell it yourself. But @jeremy implementation still has a contract attached to it that affords him royalties. So it depends on whether you personally want to own the original or if you don’t mind having a copy.

Lke you can get Mozart’s sheet music from a thousand places but there’s only one original written by him and you can’t just have that for free because the copyright ran out.

NFT’s could impart that kind of uniqueness on digital goods.

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