Last week, the digital artist Lois van Baarle tweeted that she had uncovered "132 instances" of her artwork minted as NFTs on the OpenSea marketplace, all without her consent.
When it comes to verifying the authenticity of a picture, "NFTs are meant to be about authenticity, yet these platforms... do less than bare minimum when it comes to ensuring sure the photos are being uploaded by their original authors," she noted.
Using the online name "Loish," Van Baarle creates comical paintings and character designs in a highly stylized manner. Unfortunately, after last week's tweets, numerous NFTs for these designs were delisted from OpenSea.
OpenSea and other NFT platforms like it are not the only places where an artist's work may be sold. Even Shepard Fairey, the artist behind former President Obama's "Hope" campaign poster, has expressed displeasure with the manner his work has been reproduced on NFT marketplaces like Rarible.
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As van Baarle points out, moderation is a significant problem on OpenSea - you can uncover a multitude of really vile and prejudiced NFTs in about two seconds. However, the bigger issue is the NFT ecosystem's underlying market dynamics.
An NFT is nothing more than a symbolic link to a digital media file: For anybody who wants to get started, an OpenSea template for this, Rarible, SuperRare, and many more platforms with similar concepts. There is no way to verify the legitimacy of the picture, video, or music associated with a token in the smart contract's underlying logic.