The United Kingdom’s government is in danger of regulating nonfungible tokens (NFTs) in a way that doesn’t suit the true nature of the nascent technology, says Mintable CEO and founder Zach Burks.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Burks said he believes a recent report from a U.K. parliamentary committee significantly exaggerates the role NFTs play in copyright infringement and fails to recognize that they are more than just volatile digital pictures.
“NFTs are in a transition phase where they’re moving away from the speculative boom of PFPs, and now it’s going into utilities of brands implementing NFTs across a whole range of different things,” Burks explained.
In the Oct. 11 report, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee urged the government to take action to protect artists and content creators from copyright infringement associated with NFTs.
NFT marketplaces need to do more to address the scale of copyright infringement on their platforms.
We’ve published our report on “NFTs and the Blockchain: risks to sport and culture”.
— Culture, Media and Sport Committee (@CommonsCMS) October 11, 2023
Burks acknowledged that copyright protections and intellectual property rights for artists are of paramount importance, pointing to Mintable’s own IP protection algorithm it uses to prevent plagiarism on its platform.
However, he explained that while these issues should be a top priority for all NFT platforms, they’re not exactly NFT-specific concerns.
“These are problems inherent to the internet, not to NFTs.”
“Regulators say, ‘Well now, NFTs are being used for copyright infringement.’ Well yeah, so is WordPress. So is YouTube. So is Spotify,” he said. “And how do you combat that? Well, you have some of the largest, most advanced companies in the world, like Google, working on this.”
“They’ve got hundreds of billions of dollars, and they can’t solve the problem of combating copyrighted material on YouTube. It’s not like this problem just came up out of thin air because NFTs were created.”
Burks, who personally corresponds with U.K. government officials on NFTs on a weekly basis, said that while NFT platforms should be doing their utmost to protect artists, it falls on regulators to embrace a more nuanced view of NFTs as a whole.
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